A little arguing now and then is good for you, if done for the right reasons, a new study suggests.
The results show when people experience tension with someone else, whether their boss, spouse, or child, sidestepping confrontation could be bad for their health. Avoiding conflict was associated with more symptoms of physical problems the next day than was actually engaging in an argument.
Previous research has shown married couples who avoid arguments are more likely to die earlier than their expressive counterparts. Another study found that expressing anger contributes to a sense of control and optimism that doesnt exist in people who respond in a fearful manner.
In a previous study, scientists analyzed data from 1,842 adults ages 33 to 84. Each day for eight days, participants were asked whether they had engaged in an argument or whether they had experienced a situation in which they could have argued but decided to let it pass without a fight.
Most participants, 62 percent, said they sidestepped arguments at some point during the study, 41 percent reported engaging in conflict. Twenty-seven percent of participants indicated no tension. some type of tension (whether they avoided it or not) reported more negative emotions, such as feeling upset or angry, and physical symptoms, including nausea or aches and pains, than did people who didnt experience any tension during those eight days.
However, avoiding conflict was associated with having more of these physical symptoms the following day, according to scientists.