Arguing Can Be Good for You?

Well, normally I am not that skeptical of too many science articles-- though I am learning to look into them a little more closely. But, this study just seems silly to me. Basically, the study by researchers at UCLA says that "a constructive argument with your spouse can increase immunity." The study asked 41 "happy" couples to discuss current issues in their marriage for 15 minutes. "The researchers detected surges in blood pressure, heart rate, and immune-related white blood cells"-- benefits similar to the effects seen after mild exercise.

Ok, at this point is already started doubting the science of this study. Sure, there is such a thing as "a constructive argument" but honestly, do arguments with the ones you love ever make you feel good? I know they don't for me. Also, what exactly qualifies a couple "happy"? I'm sure there are plenty of "happy" couples out there with different levels of stability in their relationships. I also think the "discussion" of a current issue in their marriage can cover a very wide range of topics-- really anything from putting the toilet seat down to an affair. So, how can we really compare the unequal "happiness" of couples and the "problems" they face if they are not standardized in some way?

The study also notes that couples have to "play nice." To reap the positive benefits of "a constructive argument" there can be no "sarcasm, insults, and put-downs."  Couples who frequently used these negative argument "techniques" had higher stress hormones, fewer virus-fighting cells and take "40% longer to recover from injuries."

Right, where did those numbers come from? Out of the couples, did more than one person suffer an injury during the study? Did the researchers measure how long it took for couples to "get better" after getting sick? We don't know! The article certainly does not explain it and the paper does not go into much more depth.

All I know is that arguments, whether they are constructive or not, never make me feel good. Sure, it gets some issues solved and allows us a chance to vent, but honestly, I don't enjoy it.
What do you think? Does this science have some oomph that I'm not seeing?



Apparently there are even more perceived benefits to arguing. I found another study that says constructive arguments between couples increases their respective life spans. It's wierd to think that people being angry at each other could possibly have health benefits.

I think to ask the question "What makes a couple happy" is extremely open ended. Everyone is different and different things make different types of couples happy. This website talks somewhat about different types of couples and I believe that healing relationships and individuation assertion relationships need argument to grow within each other. Everyone should agree to disagree, and it's always beneficial to hear a different opinion for once or to learn that you're not always right.

I'm not a fan of arguing but I have heard this to be true. What I remember is being told that arguing, as nasty or annoying as it may get, can sometimes help couples in their relationships. No one likes arguing but I think that sometimes it might be worth it. You can't keep everything bottled in and if you decide to talk and it turns into an argument maybe it could prove to help the relationship. I do agree thought that this study is a little off with how they are going to describe their participants. I have to agree that the term "happy" might be over played in this study because what, to them, is really a "happy" couple?

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