When feeling insecure about ourselves or our relationships, we may try to overcompensate – to show our partners how smart, competent, or attractive we are. A recent study of intimate relationships reveals, however, the significant association between humility and relationship happiness (Dwiwardani et al 2018).
The study included participants from the US and India who were in exclusive romantic relationships of at least three months duration. The results showed that perceiving one’s partner as humble significantly predicted relationship satisfaction. The opposite was found as well: Being perceived as superior negatively predicted one’s partner’s relational satisfaction. Other virtues such as forgiveness, gratitude, and relationship commitment were also found to be associated with perceived humility.
The study provides evidence for how having an accurate view of oneself can be protective for relationships as opposed to self-enhancing. Acknowledging one’s own shortcomings can help repair conflicts and strengthen the relationship bond. So too can acknowledging the virtues of one’s partner, such as appreciating their humility.
Inspiring Story ….
Dennis Frandsen, a successful Midwest banker, has twice paid for the full community college education of an entire graduating class in his hometown in Wisconsin. Owner of manufacturing companies and banks across several states, Frandsen never went to college himself. He reports wanting to help local youth come out of college without any debt.
Check it out:
A recent study out of Columbia University and CUNY (Midlarsky et al 2018) investigated how simply visualizing helping another would affect one’s mood and emotions among participants aged 60 and older.
Results showed that visualizing helping a needy stranger led to more positive affect than visualizing being social with friends or walking down the street (the control condition).
However, differences were found among the participants such that those who reported high levels of social responsibility demonstrated significantly greater positive affect than those who didn’t. Those who self-reported less of an altruistic orientation to life actually experienced an increase in negative emotions when imagining helping others.
Clearly, individuals vary. Not every one values social responsibility and altruism. But for those who do, the research shows that prosocial behavior (even the imagining of it) will make you feel positive emotions and experience greater overall mental health.
Here are a few inspirational stories to check out:
Starbucks to Pay Employees to Spend Half of Work Hours Volunteering for Charities
Strangers Carry Injured Woman Down the Mountain When She Couldn’t Continue Hike
This teacher on a plane talked about her low-income students. Passengers overheard and gave her more than $500 in cash.