This class turned out to be one of my favorites I've taken so far. Even though I'm definitely not a psychology person, I was fascinated by all of the information I learned about our interpersonal relations. The stuff that interested me the most was the stuff on attachment, sex and support. I really liked finding out all of the benefits of sex because my sex education was definitely less than stellar and mostly based on scaring us off. Lots of the other stuff was very interesting and surprising a lot of the time. Some of the stuff on how to give good support was new to me and has actually come in handy to know.
If I could change one thing about this class I would set up the discussions a little differently. The blog posts were a good setup but I think it would have been helpful to have some more readings before discussion just so I would have more knowledge on the topic. I just found it difficult to make an observation or theory when I was very uninformed about the topic. Overall, a very good class though with good teachers :)
November 2011 Archives
This class turned out to be one of my favorites I've taken so far. Even though I'm definitely not a psychology person, I was fascinated by all of the information I learned about our interpersonal relations. The stuff that interested me the most was the stuff on attachment, sex and support. I really liked finding out all of the benefits of sex because my sex education was definitely less than stellar and mostly based on scaring us off. Lots of the other stuff was very interesting and surprising a lot of the time. Some of the stuff on how to give good support was new to me and has actually come in handy to know.
So it turns out that there was a fairly comprehensive study about this very same topic published in 2006. Here is the article, for people who have nothing better to do and want to challenge themselves: (Noftle & Shaver, 2006). Note that the authors were testing more complicated hypotheses as well, but that's beyond the scope of the question that was asked.
As a quick and dirty summary, it turns out that people who are high in neuroticism are also much more likely to be anxious, as well as more likely to be avoidant (although not as much). Moreover, it turns out that people who are high in extraversion are especially likely to be LOW in avoidance, as well as low in anxiety (although not as much). So essentially, their conclusion is that extraverted people are less likely to be avoidant (or alternately, that introverted people are more likely to be avoidant).
Of course, these are just correlations, and they are not ridiculously high correlations (although they are significant). Here is the correlation table that they provided in case you want to see for yourself.
All of the subjects in this class we're so interesting to me, and I think what is most interesting to me is how all of the subjects tie together and lead back to your health and your relationships. I could tie a lot of our discussions back to my own life and my own experiences, and I understand now why some of the feelings that I had happened and how they affected me. I can't really say that there was one subject that was most interesting because they all gave me great info that I can use in my own life.
I have to say this class was definitely one of my favorites, if not my favorite. I like the structure of it and I loved discussing it all together. Sometimes I felt like people were holding back and I wish we could have been more vocal about some subjects. I never felt uncomfortable or nervous to say things, but I think if everyone had something to say or shared an experience I think the class may have flowed easier.
One of the topics from this semester that sticks out to me is the topic on support. It was really intersting to read about the different types of support and when kind is better then the other. I didn't realize that doing things that the other person may not notice is sometimes better. I really enjoyed the show that we watched that went along with this topic. I thought it was the perfect thing to show to help further prove when someone needs certain types of support. Another topic that I really liked was social networks. It's weird to think about how someone we don't know can play such a big role in our lives. After learning more about it it makes a lot more sense on how it does though. If someone decides to start working out and eating healthier it may motivate the friend to do the same thing continuing in a chain effect.
A topic that I wish we learned more in depth about was addictions. I think it would be interesting to learn about the hardships that people go through with trying to deal with their addiction and reasons they may have become addicted to whatever they are. Many times we only see the after affects of people with addictions but we don't get the opportunity to see what caused them to get to where they are. Also I would be interested to learn about how it affects their relationships with family and friends.
Looking back on the class I think that what has stuck with me the most has been the attachment theory. I think that we covered that really well and I find myself thinking about it all the time. I watch the show Dexter all the time, and if you haven't seen that his mother is killed when he is very young. Don't judge me or the show based on my brief and poor summation, but he ends up being a serial killer. I never thought of it until after this class but he was attached to his mother and when she was taken from him he suffered from that detachment and never found anyone else to attach to. It made me wonder if real criminals had problems early in their life with attachment. I really liked the articles that went along with this discussion as well. They were interesting and informative.
I honestly cannot think of anything that I wished that we had covered. I think that the amount of time we have every Monday has given us sufficient time to go into detail about each topic.
I have to admit that the topic on support both really surprised and interested me. I never really thought there was more than one type of support and that one could even possibly hold value over the other. I am still trying to apply these concepts in my life yet what they say holds true: that visible support is the most common and easiest to give. One thing that has not come up in this class that I have always wanted to know is based off an article I read stating that girls are more likely to cheat on a partner. They stated that this was done without the intention to leave their partner. In essence the idea was that the woman found better physical fathers for their offspring when they compared him to her partner and thus is victim to "flings" with other men. I was wondering if this theory at all held true? Of course this would not be true across the board, but it still would go against the stereotype of the "cheating husband" so often found in movies.
All in all, I think that we have covered a good variety of subjects. I cannot think of anything in specific that we have not talked about that I was curious about coming into the course. The subjects that we did cover, we covered in detail and I do not think that anything was mentioned and then dropped without discussing it.
My favorite part of the class was when we discussed food and relationships. Food is a passion of mine and I never really thought of the way relationships could affect eating, especially in the patterns where it was not necessarily a direct effect. I liked that we met with the other class on this occasion and it helped me to understand their topic even more.
The topic that I have been thinking about most often is probably stress. Perhaps because at the end of my first semester of college there seems to be tons of it...! I found it fascinating that just the presence of stress can be quite detrimental to your health. Not just because of things one typically does while stressed (not eating well, not sleeping well, and so on), but having stress even when taking care of yourself the same way is unhealthy. Stress can be brought on by a myriad of things whether it be attachment, grief, and pretty much every topic we covered in the course.
I feel that we covered the topics quite well in general. However, it seems that while we exhausted what happens to health in many scenarios, I do not recall as much conversation around how to make healthy changes. It would have been interesting to discuss the different views people have on how to "fix" problems that come up involving relationships and health. Alas, it is quite possible I was simply focusing on other things and missed it (this has been known to happen to me).
As for the article about sex education, I loved the scenario at the beginning of the article. Open conversation is so healthy in general, and when the topic is something as serious as sex, it is imperative that it is talked about! I feel education complete with class discussion is the best way to foster learning and get teens (and adults) to be open with their thoughts.
My two favorite topics were social circles and the various attachment theories. It was fascinating to hear about the extent that people can influence you. The part concerning the infectiousness of suicide was frightening, and the amount one's eating habits can be changed is also quite intriguing. Learning about the attachment theories was also interesting because of the sway they hold over future relationships. Also, the attachment theories came up in my psychology class, so it made that portion of the test a little easier. In my opinion, we discussed everything very adequately in class. I do not feel as if we skimmed through any of the topics we set out to discuss.
I really enjoyed our discussions about support. I found myself reflecting on it whenever someone was complaining about stress or telling me about something good that happened to them. I tried to remember to not give advice, but either be silent and listen, or just encouraging and showing them that I was there for them. When someone told me about how well they did on a test, I tried to be really excited for them and say something like "You worked so hard and deserved this." I thought about when I should be giving invisible versus visible support. I think learning about this topic will help me to become a better friend and girlfriend. If not a better one, at least one that is more aware of how I should be giving support. I also really found the discussions about attachment to be interesting. This makes sense since it is a very important aspect of psychology. It helped me to make sense of why some people may or may not act certain ways, or at least predict why that act that way. I think learning about attachment will make me be more empathic towards people who are "clingy" or seemingly unattached.
They aren't any topics that I think we didn't cover well enough. Each discussion was fairly thorough and I got what I wanted from each. This was my first class related to psychology, so there aren't any topics that I can think of that I want to cover and we didn't.
One of the major things that stuck with me was how women with many sexual partners were more prone to depression, I think that's something women our age need to be aware of. Another thing that stuck with me was the attachment types we learned about the first day. I have found myself diagnosing my friends as certain types. I also found the gender topic really interesting, and could relate to it because we talk about the more scientific areas of gender in my Evolution of Sex class, which really interests me.
I wish we would have talked about the sex topic more. It seems like we just kind of touched on how it can be bad, but not the ways it can benefit relationships. I also wish in every topic we would have talked about more scientific findings & expert's knowledge instead of everyone just sharing their opinions, and look at multiple sides of things. Like for grief we really only got one woman's story.
I thought majority of the topics we covered were pretty interesting. The one that stuck with me the most was the sex and whether it was a good or bad thing. I think that this was the most appealing because it provided so much information that I never knew. I had no idea of all the health benefits of sex because we are constantly getting the negative affects pounded into our heads. However I do understand that the health benefits are only there if the sex is healthy and at a reasonable age. I found myself telling all my friends the random facts that we learned about it just to see how shocked they were when I told them, as I found myself shocked about the information.
There wasn't anything in particular I could think about that we have not covered in class. We covered a lot of topics for only meeting once a week and I feel well educated in all of them. I enjoy discussing in class every week and hearing what all of my classmates have to say on the topics.
All of the topics we covered in class were very interesting. The topic that stuck most with me personally, was Relationships and Eating. One of the things I miss most about home is having a family dinner. It was really cool to discuss that dynamic and how it can affect your health. The second topic I liked most was Grief. It was interesting to analyze how grief affects your health, especially because that was an easy topic to relate to my life. My grandpa recently passed away, so I could see the examples of grief in my family that we talked about in class. I found that the topics were most interesting when I could personally relate to them.
There wasn't really anything that I wished we had talked about, but didn't. Overall, we received a lot of information on the topics, and I didn't have any unanswered questions. All of the topics were easy to relate to each other, and I didn't feel like anything was missing.
I thought many of the topics that we discussed were interesting, but the one that stuck out in my mind the most was social networking. Many times we don't realize how much we are influenced by other people, and if we do, we just think of our closest friends and families. However, the articles we read talked about the 3 degrees of separtion and how friends of a friend of a friend can affect us. In today's world, social networking, whether it's facebook or twitter, has had a huge influence on our health and the way we act. The story about the sex outbreak in a middle school was insane! I couldn't believe something like that would happen, especially in that young of an age group.
I thought the topic of marriage and divorce was really interesting, but I wish we could've gone into a little more detail. As a child of divorced parents, I would be interested to know the effects that divorce has on their children and the relationships they have later on in life.
The New York Times article was shocking to me! I couldn't believe that that sort of sex education is done in schools. I don't know necessarily how I feel about it. I think it's a little to much, but at the same time, I don't think that strictly abstinence only sex ed is the way to go either.
I thought that the most interesting topic that we covered was attachment. I know that it is a big topic in psychology, but I think I found it the most interesting because it wasn't something that I had already thought about or could easily reason through with common sense. It also was something that I looked at in others' behavior, such as when they made some comment or behaved in a certain way, I linked it back to attachment. Also, it is something that affects everyone, not just married people, or men/women, but everyone. In that sense, I found it the most interesting and relevant topic that we covered. I also enjoyed the topic of support - no particular reason, I guess I just found it interesting.
As far as what we didn't cover that I wished we had...there really isn't anything that I can think of. Coming into the class, I wasn't sure what to expect, so I didn't really have anything in my mind that I was expecting we'd cover...and I feel like in our discussions, we did a good job of wrapping up subjects before we moved on, so I don't feel like we missed anything there, either. All in all, I'm not left with any unanswered questions.
Over the course of all our readings, there were a few articles and ideas that really stuck out and I will remember for quite a while. The first was the discussion/article on social networks. I thought that the article about all the young sexually active children was extremely startling and that is why it has stayed with me. I was shocked to see how influential the sexual patterns of a few people can be on the entire group. The young children were so promiscuous and it was something that shocked me.
Another thing that I found really interesting is that your weight is affected to three degrees of relationships. It's so crazy to think that I could be affected by someone who doesn't even live in this country. My friend has a friend who lives in Japan and it's weird to think that she could indirectly have an influence on my weight. It's something that's hard for me to grasp.
When I had enrolled in this class, I was really interested in finding out about relationships of kids my age (19) and about how they affect health. We focused a lot on marriage relationships, but I think that it would have been interesting to look at the benefits or drawbacks of having a relationship at a young age. Is it better to have relationships or take time to grow on your own? Besides this, we really discussed a wide range of topics and this class was very interesting!
I think the most interesting topic we covered was attachment. I called my mom after class that day and asked her what I was like when I was little, and how I behaved when she left. Also, I'm more aware when I babysit now, how the children's respond when their parents leave. I think it's very cool that who we are depends a lot on our relationship with our mothers.
I feel like this class has covered every topic I can think of. I think both Maryhope and Jon give us enough information on all the topics!
I really enjoyed all the topics that we covered. The two topics that I found myself talking about the most with those around me was social networks and relationships and eating. I found these two to be the most interesting. I think this was because these two topics I didn't know much about to begin with. The social network topic was really actually shocking. I never would have thought how about how much others could affect us even if we didn't know them. It's a weird thought. But the social networks topic opened my eyes to see that this is true and that it's something worthwhile to look into. It was a great topic to pull in many aspects of other topics about how people can impact our health.
The relationships and food topic was also one of my favorites. It may have been because it was a joint class and we got a lot more input on the topic. It was really interesting to listen to what the other class had to say about food and what they had been learning as well. I also enjoyed this topic though because I think eating is an essential part of everyone's life and it put a lot of things into perspective. It's funny how much food impacts ourselves and our relationships and all that. It was fun to learn about.
I can't think of anything that we didn't cover that I wish we had. Overall I think all the topics were discussed very thoroughly and answered any questions I might have had.
So, for next week we'd like you to answer two questions about this class in your blog entries.
1) What was the most interesting topic we covered and why? Which topic has stuck with you or have you found yourself chatting about with friends?
And 2) Was there a topic you were hoping we'd cover but haven't? Something we started to talk about and then dropped, and you were hoping we'd come back to it?
Also, we meant to mention this in class yesterday, but we forgot. There is a very interesting article in the New York Times Magazine from this past weekend about sex education. I'm curious what you guys think of it, how it is related to your own sex ed experiences and what the implications of teaching sex ed in the way proposed in the article would be for relationships and health. Any thoughts? No required responses, but we may talk about this on Monday. Here is the article:
And finally: HAPPY THANKSGIVING! I hope you all have a great time and a good weekend. We'll see you next week.
i found these articles to be extremely sad. When we hear about 9/11 we usually hear about the events that happened but never the stories of the individual people who lost their loved ones. I can't imagine going through the pain of losing a loved one in such a tragic event. Along with others, I found it interesting that the therapists advice was to continue the relationship with the person you lost. I think by grieving like this it makes it difficult for the woman to move on and to eventually be able to accept what happened. I feel like the woman doesn't realize that she can't continue to keep Eddie alive through the belongings he left back, and the more she tries to the harder it will be for her. Similarly to the woman, when something bad happens I can't help but to have a million what if questions run through my mind. Such a small event such as missing the train saved many lives on September 11, its scary to think that such an small thing in ones day can determine whether they lost their lives on 9/11.
Though I have been extremely fortunate not to loose any loved ones recently, I have a few friends that did. One of my friends lost her mom in a sudden accident after getting into a fight with her. Seeing her go through the grieving made me have so much respect for her. I knew that she was in so much pain from her lose but she held her composure around everyone and remained the backbone of her family as they grieved the lose. In her position I definitely do not think I would be able to keep my composure as well as she did and to remain so mature around others.
The scientific aspects of the effects of grief seem to follow what we've learned so far but on a much more intense scale. We already know that stress has a negative impact on the body but in the case of Broken Heart syndrome, it appears to be strong enough to actually change the shape of the heart and cause an attack similar to a heart attack. In an attack caused by broken heart syndrome, a massive rush of adrenaline caused by stress stuns to cells in the heart and causes them to go inert for a while. It seems that the cells don't actually die, as some of the patients affected were back to normal within a short amount of time. The scary part about this condition is it seems there's no way to prevent it from occurring. Since the attack isn't caused by blockage like a conventional heart attack, the usual medication is useless and the people affected are of all ages and genders. It sounds more dramatic than it is, being labeled broken heart syndrome, since it can be caused by physical stress as well as emotional but the fact that strong enough emotion can damage your heart is frightening.
I can't be too critical of the woman in the second article as I have no idea how much emotional turmoil she has gone through but some of her methods of dealing with her grief seem unhealthy to me. She keeps many things of his around and treats them as if they were him in some ways. It seems like she's unwilling to move on and find acceptance, which is the final step of grief. She does seem able to overcome the need to blame someone at some point however, which is a good thing. However, the one part I really was confused by was her wish for anew husband. She says she wants someone to be there who will not mind being second place to a ghost and being pushed aside. Again, I'm in no position to say what's right or wrong, but this seems unhealthy and frankly not fair to whoever would attempt to be there for her. From her requirements for a man though, I think she'd be lucky to find one.
These four articles are four sad reminders of an experience we all will likely go through at one point or another. Whether through the loss of a loved one close to us in some way, or even through the loss of something such as a house or pet. The story of the 9/11 victim was extremely sad. Especially due to the fact that it was her husband's second day at work, if only he had started just a bit later. Her efforts to remind him remind me of a story I heard of an old married couple at a nursing home. Every night since they were married they always gave each other a goodnight kiss. When the husband died, the wife found it impossible to fall asleep because she did not receive this kiss. Loved ones can indeed shape our lives, but here it shows how they can effect our very routines. Having them taken away can clearly have great effect on how we are able to live our lives.
This string of articles made me think that this woman was dealing with the death of her husband all wrong. Not that I'm an expert or anything but I thought that the way that she was grieving was detrimental by making it harder on herself and doing everything that she could to remind herself. She said that she kept a lot of her husband's t-shirts in bags so that she could reserve his smell. I feel like that would only remind her of her terrible loss, especially considering that it was so close to the death of her husband. I personally have no idea how I would react. Last Sunday my dog Tucker, got into some antifreeze on the street and didn't make it when we took him to the vet. I understand that this really doesn't compare to losing your partner but I handled it differently, which is probably not very healthy either. I'm someone who doesn't like to talk about why I'm grieving because it makes it more painful to remind myself of the loss. When the assistant informed me that my puppy didn't make it she kept asking if there was anything that she could do or if I wanted to talk. I just shook my head and told her that I would wait for my mom to get back to the animal hospital. My mom got back and immediately came up and hugged me and asked me if I wanted to talk, just like the assistant. I told her that I just wanted to get out of there as soon as possible. When I got back to my dorm the next day I didn't tell anyone even though I was still upset about it. It made it easier for me to handle it to not remind myself about my loss. Like I said, I understand that my story and this woman's story are on two totally different levels but I couldn't help myself but to compare. She did little things to remind herself of her loss whereas I just kind of brushed everything under the rug. I have no idea which way is healthier and I am interested in finding out more and am excited for our discussion about grief tomorrow.
This topic was really tough to read, but I think it is probably the most interesting one we've covered so far. The articles with the wife telling the story about her late husband were very hard to get through. To lose someone you love, especially in that traumatic of a way, would be exceptionally difficult. One comment of her's reminded me of what we discussed last week. In one of her articles, she mentioned that afterwards she created "to-do" lists, and she delegated very few things to other people. This reminded me of the show we watched last Monday, when the wife with cancer wanted to have those chores and errands to do in order to keep a hold on her life. I just thought that was an interesting similarity.
I thought that the article dealing with the physical breaking of hearts was very surprising. I had heard about this before, but I had never really thought that there was much science behind it, but rather that it was just a wive's tale. The fact that individuals who have this issue recover so quickly afterwards is amazing too - if it physically impacts your heart, you would think that it would be more of a permanent issue, not one that is not visible a few days later.
What I found most shocking in this article is when it stated "in addition to such common emotions as grief and anger, doctors say broken-heart syndrome has been triggered by a person's anxiety over making a speech, a migraine headache or the emotional response to a surprise party". It's very strange to think that simply a large surge in emotion can affect your body, and especially your heart, that much.
After reading the entire article, it kind of seems like this can happen in any instance that is extremely stressful. I thought it seemed interesting that they noticed that this happened more often in post-menopausal women - it was almost as if they were wanting to draw that conclusion, but didn't have the facts to support it, so they just threw that information out there and hoped you'd link those two things together.
These have been the best articles I think we have read in class. Grief is a tough topic and hard to read about. As I read the articles of the 9/11 wife grieving I couldn't help but tear up feeling her pain. I thought it was interesting that her therapist would advise her to do such things as smelling his shirts, and pretending he is still there as such things are usually seen as unhealthy. The summer before my freshman year in high school by best friend Nick passed suddenly in his sleep. Not having a chance to say goodbye, or hug him one last time was hard. I related to the women in the article because I felt like I kept reaching out to him and never being able to receive a response took it's toll on me. I found myself watching old videos of us and calling his phone just to get his voicemail and hear his voice. It's hard to lose someone close to you but throughout the years I have learned like the women in the article that there are healthy ways to deal with grief and move forward with life.
After reading the first article about the woman's loss, I almost cried. Almost. it's saddening and quite understandable for someone like her to act this way. But what about her children? Did she act like this when her children was around to? When my grandma died, of course I cried a lot but it's okay. My situation is different because she died of old age and that is certainly understandable. The way the woman treats her husband as if he was still there, is just a way saying that he will always be in her heart. That is how my father treated my grandma when she died. He still left a bowl of rice for her at the table even though she is not present anymore. And how she presents her husbands altar with candles and then dims the room while dancing? My mother would pray and hold feasts in honor of my grandma's death with her picture in the middle of all of the food on the table. But after awhile, life goes on and things change.
Then reading the article with the broken heart syndrome?! Amazing. Absolutely amazing to find out that you technically can be emotionally sick that causes you physical pain. In my point of view, it is like saying that if their loved one has gone then they will want to go into the after life with them than to live on earth alone. But if they are willing to survive that broken heart syndrome, then they are strong enough to keep moving forward. No this is not contradicting what I said because I am very sure their loved ones would not want their significant other to die just because they have left the earth.
Any feeling of loss involving nearly anything can be painful, the loss of a pet, possession, etc. so the loss of a person is completely devastating. Especially if said person had been a constant presence in your life, like with the woman who had lost her husband. Grief is such a personal thing, however, it seems that people generally deal with it with similar patterns or coping mechanisms. The stages that come to mind when I think of grief are those of the Kubler-Ross Model; denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and finally, acceptance. These are illustrated in the media (cinema, literature, etc.) and in the everyday lives of people who have lost someone. I do not really think there is a standard way to comfort the people who have been left behind for dead since each person who encounters death is unique. I also think it greatly depends on which stage of grieving the individual is in at the time. I would comfort someone who was feeling anger differently than I would someone who was depressed. This being said, I think it is most important to be very intuitive and sensitive to the person's needs. Damage can be done by blindly executing standard grief stereotypes instead of being receptive to where a person is at.
I had heard of the broken heart syndrome prior to this article, however I had not ever seen how in depth the research had become. It is fascinating how strong the link between the loss of a close person in your life is to the health of your heart! However, there are still so many questions and variables involved that it doesn't seem very concrete. As the article said, so many things can cause this "broken heart syndrome" that the name is a bit misleading. It can be caused by many things, not just the loss of a loved one.
These articles were very sad. I haven't really lost anyone close to me so its hard for me to imagine what these people went through. Whenever someone I know looses someone close to them, like a grandparent, I never know what to say to comfort them. I can't say I know how they feel or what they are going through, and even if I had lost someone, each situation is different and there would be no way for my situation to be just like theirs. In these situations I all I can really do is let the grieving person know that they can come and talk to me if they need to and that I am there for them. I thought it was good that the lady in the article sought held from a therapist when she lost her partner. I think that's important for the grieving process because while grief is a natural thing, you need to be able to move on after a while, otherwise the grief becomes very detrimental to one's health. As far as the broken-heart syndrome goes, it reminded me of the final scene of the Notebook when the old couple died together. It also reminded me of an event in my own family. My great-uncle died a few years ago after a long time in hospice care, and after he died my great-aunt's health deteriorated very quickly and she passed away not long afterwards. Even though it was sad, and broken-heart syndrome would be a terrible thing to go through, it's almost sweet to think that a couple's bond was so strong that they couldn't live without one another.
Truthfully, I really don't have anything to say about the first articles. There really are not words to describe the reaction to hearing stories like hers. Recently in my life, I have been helping my best friend through the horrible and sudden loss of her mother and father, and it reinforces the thought that there are not words. I am often at a loss for what to say to her and for good reason. Without having lost someone so close to me, I feel like I almost do not have the right to talk about how it might feel. It is something I cannot even imagine.
The article about broken heart syndrome was interesting, although was difficult to read after the heartbreaking intensity of the first one. To me, it sounds like shock is more of a factor than the relationship possibly? This may be my cynical outlook on this article because numerous times they said that doctors are still looking into the causes and who is most susceptible but I don't know that I personally would see this as dying of a broken heart but rather as dying or suffering from medical conditions brought on by shock.
The articles about the woman who lost her husband were really sad. I can't begin to imagine how she feels because I have never lost a loved one. I think that losing your husband while so young would be one of the worst things to go through. You are going through grieving while raising a new baby, such a happy time turns into a sad one. Your husband misses the baby's first words, first steps, everything. This situation reminds me of a movie, called Brothers. Its about a woman whose husband dies in the war, leaving her and their two daughters behind. She gets really close to his brother, and then it turns out he didn't die and comes back home with post traumatic stress disorder. In the beginning of the movie when she thinks he died, it shows how hard it was for her to grieve. Then she starts to move on, when she finds out that he is alive, but he's not the same. I hope that I will never have to go through something like that.
The article about the science of a broken heart was interesting. It makes sense that your heart can actually break, but it can also be other stressful or exciting events that cause it. I would like to see when they find out more about what causes it, because it seems like they don't know much as of now. It is a hard thing to study, because it is such a sudden event, and not very common. It seems like I've heard of a lot of other things that are detremental to health after a spouse dies. Grief is not good for health. That is why it is important to go through the grieving process, but then move on.
Eddie's story was truly heartbreaking. I cannot comprehend the level of pain and loss she had to go through especially while having to care for a baby. When she mentioned keeping the shirts of Eddie in plastic bags to preserve a part of her memories of him, I completely understood. My grandmother died of cancer when I was 13, and my grandfather did the same thing. He even kept one of her shirts in his truck for a while. They had been married for a little less than fifty years, and it has been very hard on him. The scent-related recall is true for me as well: My grandma would always smell of lilacs, and every time I smell anything lilac, I am reminded of her.
The broken-heart syndrome was fascinating. I had heard of it before, but I assumed it was only found in really old people whose spouses had perished. I also really enjoyed the explanation of the Japanese origin of the name. I had told my roommate what this article was about, and it was interesting to hear her opinion on the matter. She thought that dying of broken-heart syndrome would be awful; I, on the other hand, thought that it would be a relief. If you love someone that much, it would seem better that you would die and not have to live with that grief. I just found her perspective on the matter an interesting point of view.
I'm not gonna lie, while reading these articles I couldn't help but cry. It was so sad to read about that woman's struggle with moving on after her husband died in the 9/11 attacks. It would be the hardest thing to lose the person you promised to spend the rest of your life with, no matter how old you are or how long you have been together. My grandma has Alzheimer's, and it was so hard to see her after my grandpa died last February. She couldn't remember that he was gone, so she was wondering why there were all of these people around and kept asking everyone where he was. It was so difficult to keep telling her that he was gone, and to see her astonished reaction every time. I can't imagine the pain you would feel when you know you will never see that person again. The last article about broken heart syndrome was very interesting. It showed how a traumatic experience like that can literally "break" your heart. It was interesting to me that most people don't die from broken heart syndrome. It seems to me that after someone experiences that, they may actually want to die. Once they go through the grieving process and realize that they can go on with their life, they would obviously be glad they survived. They will realize they can continue with life, although it will be much different than before. However, that might not be their initial reaction. It would be so difficult to go through losing anyone close to you, like a parent or sibling, but I think losing your spouse would be the hardest thing to go through.
These articles made me so sad. I couldn't imagine going through an experience like that. The worst part was that she had to finish pregnancy and then have her baby without her husband. In one of my other classes, we had a speaker come in and talk about grief and disasters. With disasters, it's so hard for families to find that complete closure because many times they don't see the body. The speaker told us that in situations like this, they usually have families bury a shoe or something that was that person's favorite thing. Just by burying something, it helps the families to realize that they are gone rather than sit around and wait for them to walk back through that door.
In the last article, I thought that the broken heart syndrome was so interesting. I never would have guessed that there was an actual disease called that, but I'm not surprised. My grandpa died about a month ago, and I can remember my grandma saying, "I don't know what I will do without him. I always thought we would go together." That has to be so hard on her. She's doing pretty well as far as health goes, but it seems like after one spouse dies, it's not long before the other one does too when they're so old. Everyone grieves in a different way. For me, I'd rather have someone just give me a hug then actually say something. It makes me feel worse when someone says something like, "It will be okay. He loved you, and he lived a good life. Just remember all the happy times." But maybe for some people, that's what they want, which makes it hard to ever know what to say or how to react. For my mom and my grandma, they just kept on moving and tried not to really think about it. Neither one of them got much sleep, but in time, they got a little bit of time to recover. For my mom, it's been tough. For the past month, all that she's been doing is driving back and forth between Illinois (where my grandma lives) and Minnesota. This has taken so much out of her. She hasn't really gotten that time to just sit around and relax because as soon as she gets home, she's back at work. This is definitely not good for her health. You can tell that she's struggling and that she needs to take some time for herself and not worry about everything else in her daily life.
Reading the articles about the woman who had lost her husband in 9/11 was really depressing. I cannot imagine going through the loss of a partner, especially in such a tragic way. Grieving is a difficult thing, and people go through it in so many ways. It is hard to know the right way to react to someone who is grieving because if this. It also depends on what stage they are in. Sometimes people need someone to distract them and do something fun, other times they just need a shoulder to cry on. Three of my grandparents have passed away, so I know what it is like to lose a loved one. There a definitely times when I was tired of being sad and just wanted distraction, but other times I needed someone there to help me get through the grieving process. I have had friends who have had grandparents pass away too and even though I have been through it before, it is still hard to know what to say or do.
Grief reminds me of the movie "The Notebook." There are several times throughout the movie when grieving occurs, over lost love, lost memories, and eventually over the loss of life. The end of the movie reminds me of the physical reaction to grief, the broken-heart syndrome. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=th0gZzAovn4&feature=related The couple die together, holding hands. The way the movie is made, this doesn't seem like a coincidence, it seems like their love let them die together. I am not sure if this would actually be possible in real life, but the broken-heart syndrome makes it seem like something similar could, and actually does happen. In a way it is romantic, but at the same time scary. Health problems or death of one family member would cause enough grief without the having health problems of another at the same time. This is probably far reaching, but it reminds me of the social networking talk we had and how the actions of one person affect others to three degrees. What if this happened more often with the broken-heart syndrome? Just a thought.
The first three articles were all very sad and tough to read. I cannot even imagine how people who lost loved ones during 9/11 could cope with such a tragedy. As she had mentioned, she was one of the few people who actually found out for sure that her husband had died. It's awful to think that some people never heard back as to what happened to their loved one, seeing that such a mess was created that day. I think it would almost be more tough to have to wait and wait and never hear back as to what happened. You would never fully gain any closure. Although the woman from the article was extremely devastated over the event, she was proactive about seeking out someone to talk to and also keeping the memory of her husband alive, which I really give her credit for. She could have completely shut down, but she seemed to know that she couldn't do that.
As far as the broken-heart syndrome, it reminds me of how stress can have serious health impacts on your body without any real cause. Dealing with such huge amounts of stress, which partners who suffer from this syndrome feel, come down with real illnesses that just have no origin. It makes me feel bad for people who go through such awful events that they suffer from this. It was interesting to read about how doctors diagnosed the patients with something and then after checking them out found out that there was actually nothing wrong with them. Our body is really amazing and it can do so many crazy things. It's mind blowing that our body can respond so strongly based off of what we're feeling and our emotions and mental state.
The articles about the woman who lost her husband in the 9/11 attacks were really sad. It's always kind of interesting to see how certain people deal with grief and how they deal with deaths of a loved one. I feel like losing someone in a tragic event would put so much more added trauma to everything. It seems like everything would be so much harder to handle. Having to wait for people to identify the body of your loved one would be devastating. Especially if you saw the body. It was interesting how the woman kept her husbands shirts around and how she celebrated events with him. I think it's a sweet gesture but also sad.
I've been to a couple wakes, but only one funeral, which was my grandpas. But I've also had a handful of people around me die. I remember at my grandpa's wake how weird it was to see his body lying in a casket. I was a little kid and the whole thing was just so strange. My aunt took me and sister up to the casket to look closer at him and I remember touching his hands. It all seemed fake to me. I'm not too sure how my grandma dealt with the whole thing. But she had a lot of people to support her and help her through the tough times. My dad was very quiet about the whole thing too.
I found the article on the broken heart syndrome pretty interesting. I'd heard a small bit about it once on the news about a year ago. It's kind of scary to think that you can actually die of a broken heart. But I like how they talk about how it's not only brought on by emotional distress. It's not completely a broken heart in the context of people think of losing someone from a break up and what not. It's weird though how something so sudden could just hit you at any time of inclined stress and adrenaline. It's also a little worrying that some nurses may just say it was a heart attack and not give the proper treatment when it in fact wasn't a heart attack.
Grieving elephants? In the article about the woman the beginning opens up with a part about a dog losing its partner. Animals grieve too which is interesting.
I'm glad you warned us about these articles because they were really sad to read, especially the 9/11 article. I can't imagine losing my partner, especially so young and so tragically. I think if something like this happened to me I'd be a wreck, I'm glad the woman in the article sought help from a therapist, no one should have to go through that by his or herself. Luckily, I've only experienced one death in my family, my grandpa. He did not want a funeral though, so I've never been to one, and I dread the day I have to, hopefully no time soon (knock on wood). I try to keep my grandpa alive by bringing him into family conversations frequently. Recently my friend's cousin had committed suicide, he was 19. He was over at my friend's house all the time, they were like brother and sister. When I heard the news I could not believe it. I didn't know what to say, but just showing up at his wake meant a lot to her I know. These articles make me think of how I'd like to die, and reminds me of the recent story in the news about the couple that died together holding hands.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iKntqynkoFI
I feel I should warn everyone that this weeks topic is pretty sad. We'll be talking about grieving. So give yourself a break if you cry reading some of these, and also maybe plan something fun for after? Like read them just before renting a funny silly movie or something!
There are 4 articles for this week. The first three are a series about a women who lost her husband during the attacks of 9/11.
The 4th article is about the science behind dying of a broken heart:
On Monday we'll be talking about the psychology of grieving and what it can do to the body, but also about what kinds of things help a person who is grieving. This is kind of an extension of the social support discussion. Think a little bit about what your assumptions are about grieving. What do you think YOU'D want to hear? Have you ever tried to comfort someone who has lost someone only to feel like you may have made them feel worse? Or were you at a loss of what to say or do?
Today in class we'll spend a few minutes going over the data blitz, discussing the teams, and assigning the topics to those teams. We'll also go over this document, which is a set of guidelines for the data blitz.
Here are a couple of powerpoint slides, referenced in the above document. These slides are ONLY designed to give you, in the most basic sense, an idea of how much text (and at what font size) should go on a given slide. The first is an example title slide, and the second is an example substantive slide. Don't worry about WHAT the slides say--just use the format as a guideline. Of course you're slides will be far prettier and more interesting!
See you shortly!
These articles made sense to me. I think that the first one was more understandable to me, because I envisioned my parents relationship the whole time. While my mom always has something to say and add in (visible support), my dad barely ever says anything, but will listen to you attentively for hours (invisible support). As someone mentioned in their blog, these articles do contradict the ones we read last week, but both of them do make sense. How is that possible? I believe that support is ALWAYS a good thing, so I agree more with this weeks articles. However, depending on the situation, too much support can be a downfall and cause even more stress. I think most of the time, the level of support that you need to give or receive is situational.
The first thing that popped into my head while reading the articles was the phrase "too much of a good thing can be a bad thing". I feel that every relationship is unique so the levels of support vary from couple to couple. The support that I received while in different relationships was always very different from the prior. One in particular was pretty much made up entirely of invisible support. He would do really kind things without being prompted which was great! .....to an extent. After a while it kind of made me want to scream because I felt like I had no say in certain matters, even though it was his way of showing care and helping. I've also had friends who were in very VERY visibly supportive relationships. Their boyfriends were constantly giving them unwarranted advice and trying to give them ways to fix everything. I could see where it would begin to feel almost like the partner is dismissing your issue by saying, "Well fix it by doing this!".
I believe support is key in a relationship's success. Feeling supported makes people happy, happy people generally have happier relationships! It may take a bit to figure out the level of each kind of support each person needs, but once the right combination is found the relationship is sure to be much stronger.
Both of these articles made me more paranoid about giving support. The first one said that if you give too much visible support and not enough invisible support it can be detrimental to the person you're giving the support to. Then they added if you give too much invisible support and not enough visible support it can also be detrimental. Obviously the goal of giving support is to help out your partner. I was not aware that how much you give of the two different types can change the perception of the receiver. You really need to be careful when offering up support for someone. The more I thought about it the more sense it made. In high school when I would come home from school stressed out about a project I would get angry when my dad would try to give me advice.. I thought what does he know? High school was way easier when he was younger. So I understand why giving advice would annoy someone. What I had a hard time understanding was why doing things for your partner, like unloading the dishwasher, or organizing the closet too much can be detrimental. In my opinion I would think that I had the best husband ever and wouldn't feel dependent at all, but I guess that's just me. What I also have a hard time understanding is why, as mentioned in the second article, when given support right before a big speech can make you perform worse. I mean I know it makes me more nervous when someone tells me I'm going to do great because I think that they have higher expectations than what I'm able to do. The second article mentioned just that. You feel indebted to whoever is giving you that support and feel like you need to do well for them. I can see how that could increase stress level and therefore decrease performance. These articles taught me that I really need to watch out how much support I am giving in a relationship and how to make sure that it will be beneficial.
The articles provided for this week was funny. At least one of them were while the other one was very scientific. First from the "Skilled Support within Intimate Relationships" I learned that giving support in general can be tricky because it can hurt the person themselves. Through self-esteem, creating stress, and creating misunderstandings between people. I never thought support to be this tricky because when I want to help someone, I just help them. I don't think of what they are feeling; I just try to say almost anything to make them feel better about themselves. Like my boyfriend tried to support me by spouting solutions to my problem when all I wanted was just someone to listen to me. It did stress me more to try to shut him up and make him listen to me than to just try to talk about my situation.
It brings me to the next article from the Men's Health magazine. I love how it was all explained from a man's perspective. It's interesting to know that men want to help but would love to take pride to see if they could get a prize or some sort of praise from their special other. My dad does that with my mom. When he does something without being asked in the kitchen, he makes sure my mom knows that he did it and my mom would just keep saying good job to him. Doing it this way makes him sound like a kid. It's true though that doing visible support is a lot easier in a sense if it is doing some sort of work. But to visibly give support by talking can be too much if it isn't in the right situation. Invisible support is a lot easier if it is done from the bottom of your heart. Just doing a good deed.
The articles for this week's reading both covered the topic of support between couples in a relationship. The first article discussed the difference between visible and invisible support and was easily the more interesting of the two for me. Visible support is classified as a noticeable effort to support someone, such as giving them words of comfort or asking for ways to help out. Invisible support is doing something to help out your partner without them even asking. What it basically said was that in order for a couple to maximize the feelings of support between each other, they need to find a balance between the two types of support. While it can seem odd that too much support can be detrimental, this makes a lot of sense to me when I think of how these types of support affect me. If a partner is giving too much visible support, it can come off as them not believing that you're capable of handling your own problems, which can be frustrating. If a partner only gives invisible support, it can lead you to believe that they don't care or aren't supporting you at all. In a couple relationships I've had, I can clearly see issues in support where my girlfriend didn't give enough of one kind of support and came off as uncaring.
The second article was a lot more heavy on the technical terms but I think I was still able to pull the key details out of it. What it basically said was that supporting your partner might not be at all related to relieving their stress. A lot of times, when a person attempts to support their partner by giving advice, they can come off as a know it all and cause the other person to pull away. Too much support can also cause the person under stress to believe that the other person has no faith in them. There are ways to show support effectively but it can easily be misconstrued.
I was not altogether surprised with the results of these articles. In my family, invisible support is what my mom always wanted more than visible support and I am the same way. The articles show the necessity for both kinds of support to be present but are there differences between people? Especially in the first article, it seemed like there was a quota for how much invisible and visible support there should be in a relationship and it should be balanced but I doubt this is best. For many people, more of one type would be better than an equal balance of both.
This entire idea reminds me of a topic I discussed in a seminar last year. We talked about the five love languages: words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service and physical touch. After taking a quiz to see which ones are most important to me, I can see how a correlation between the quality of a relationship and the way partners support each other easily. If words of affirmation are the most important to you, then invisible support is likely to mean more than invisible support. If acts of service is more touching, then invisible support is bound to be more helpful. All of this goes back to how I think that although both are necessary, one will be more important than the other.
I really enjoyed reading the first article "How to support a Woman (in All the Right Ways)" it was an easy read and John Lutz is a hilarious writer. I found it interesting that invisible support was necessary in a relationship. It seems as though invisible support would be hard to provide because as Lutz said we tend to want to be rewarded for our support we give are hardly ever let it go unnoticed. I was wondering while reading the article if when we are in a relationship and like someone enough does the invisible support come naturally? Would we do nice things such as unloading the dishes and not caring if it goes unnoticed any longer.
The second article was a little more difficult to read then the first one, but was still a decent read and had a lot of good information. The point that was made that caught my attention most was that support before a huge speech will generally make people do worse. In my case I would disagree. This year I had to speak at my graduation commencement, and if it weren't for the large amount of support provided by my mom the days leading up to it, I would have completely froze. She helped me to perfect it, and gave me unconditional support by allowing me to constantly read it to her, until it was pounded into my head. I also think it contradicts another point they made saying that support before a big event results in a positive way. Typically in high school my large volleyball matches that received a lot of attention and support from the entire town, tended to result with a win more than the games where no one attended and support was not given.
Initially I was quite surprised by these articles, yet as I read on they seemed to make sense. I was surprised by the notion that not all support can be beneficial at all times as well as that there was more than one type of support. Yet this makes sense to me as I dwell on it. We may not always see how "invisible support" has helped us out, yet when one considers the invisible support they have received they can clearly see how much easier it made their life at that given moment. One way to see it is through the eyes of a story I heard about a dog. The owner praised the dog for bringing in the newspaper so he went and collected every newspaper he could find along the block to gain praise. In other words we all try to give visible support. It is something we can see and feel and we feel just as good giving it because we know we helped the other person. But sometimes we don't have to solve big problems for other people to know they feel better or to show we care. Sometimes its the little things that we do that help out best. Just like the husband and wife in the first article, the minor things were what made his wife's life a lot easier. Although his acts weren't like the dog's so that you could see the others happiness when he did them. They were more like the presence of the dog in the house, providing company and comfort. Invisible, but just as important.
The first article, talking about the balancing of the two types of support, I thought made a
lot of sense. If you really want to be a supportive partner, or even friend, you really do need to find that balance between visible and invisible support. I think we find it much easier to load on the visible support and trying to give advice, but this isn't always as helpful for the other person as we may think. Often we feel the need to elicit our own thoughts on a situation and tell the other person how they should proceed, when in reality, that person just needs someone to listen and provide invisible support. I find that I get annoyed when people just tell me what they would do if they were "in my shoes." Like the article said, I feel like the person giving me advice thinks I can't handle the situation myself and that they think they are in a way superior in knowing exactly what to do; however, I find myself doing the same thing to my partner or friends without really realizing I'm doing it. The second part of the article also made a lot of sense in saying that often when we try to give invisible support we almost seek some sort of reward or acknowledgment for our actions. Thinking about this, I thought of times when I've tried to be supportive of all that my mom does by doing things like doing the dishes or taking my little siblings off her hands for a while so that she can have a break; however, in the back of my mind I get a little annoyed when she doesn't give any outward sign of noticing what I'm doing and I almost try to elicit a thanks or some kind of response, basically canceling out the original support I was trying to give. I think this is something we all struggle with, providing invisible support in a subtle way. The whole issue of support is a balancing act that requires a lot of work. We all would like to think that we are good at providing support for the people in our lives, but in reality, its something that we have to constantly work at and be conscious of; we need to be aware of what kind of support to give as well as when and how.
The topic of this week brought to my attention something that I hadn't ever really considered before - that there is more than one way to support another person. Support seems like a pretty basic concept (basically, that you are there for another), and therefore I had never really taken much time to think about it. The first article was a fairly entertaining read - I thought that since it was about one couple in particular, it was pretty easy to see exactly what was being referenced in specific examples. Unrelated to the topic, but I thought it was really cute to see John Lutz so concerned about his relationship with his wife and not taking her for granted. When he explained invisible support and how important that was to a relationship, it got me thinking about how I behave and support others. I hadn't ever really thought about it, but it seems that I don't do as great of a job in invisible support. Not that I don't, but for the majority of situations I seem to hit on visible support a lot harder; I didn't think about how significant invisible support can be. I know that, for example, when I'm sick, it makes my day when my dad goes ahead and throws a load of laundry in, when it is typically my responsibility.
In the second article, even though it was a tougher read, I thought it had some interesting points in it. I liked how they explained why support is studied so much in couples - they indicated that once an individual cannot do it themselves, they turn to the one closest to them, which tends to be their significant other. I found the finding that knowing that you have support available is more beneficial than actually receiving support to make a lot of sense. Our family has had a tough past couple of weeks, including a death in the family. I know that my boyfriend would be more than willing to talk about it, and in fact would probably prefer to talk with me instead of having me deal with it alone, but I didn't want to talk to him about it. I didn't need him to physically (or more accurately, visibly) support me in order to know that he was there for me. Once he did get me to talk about it, I ended up getting frustrated more than anything else, because I didn't want him to feel sorry for me-that wasn't making me feel any better about things. Even though I knew he was just trying to be there for me, it wasn't helping me out; I very much understand what the author was talking about when they discussed the thought of support.
I was floored by the study in Great Britain regarding support and mortality...firstly, how in the world did someone think to study those two concepts together?? While the qualifications that they made to partially explain the high correlation (such as when people who are physically/mentally in need will draw more support from others), it was surprising to me that there was still an association with the two even after those factors had been controlled for. That was something I would not have expected. "Lehman, Ellard, and Wortman (1986) found that advice giving, minimization of feeling, identiﬁcation with feelings, and encouragement of recovery are most often seen as unhelpful." This made a lot of sense to me, and is something I have seen in my relationships over the years, both close and distant. When people are looking to receive support, they don't want you to act like you understand or tell them what to do - all they want is for the other person to listen.
These articles were very interesting. I've never really thought about the concept that support is not always a good thing, but these articles had some very good points. Support from your partner can make you feel helpless, because it seems that they are taking care of everything for you. This actually makes a lot of sense to me, because I find that when I am more independent and figure out my problems on my own, it makes me feel more secure for the future. I know that I can handle things on my own. The idea of "invisible" support is very interesting, because it shows that sometimes not saying anything is even better than trying to give someone advice. A lot of times, just talking things out helps, but I don't need someone to tell me what to do. Most of the time I realize a solution to my problems if I just think about it or talk it out. My friends know to only give me advice if I ask for it, because otherwise it just isn't helpful. Visible support can obviously be helpful too.
The component of support in a relationship also shows how communication is very important too. Sometimes you need to tell your partner what type of support you need. If you want advice for your situation, ask for it. If you need someone to vent to, tell him or her you just need them to listen. Having your partner constantly telling you what you should do would make you feel like you can't make your own decisions. The "when, what, how, and who" idea is really key in support, like the second article mentions. The circumstances really affect if you're going to give your partner visible or invisible support. It's important to listen to your partner and figure out what type of support they need from you.
The results of "Skilled Support Within Intimate Relationships" quite surprised me. I found the study done in Great Britain interesting. I can see how the perceived availability of support was actually more beneficial than actual support. Sometimes I appreciate just knowing that I will be supported by those who care about me rather than hearing them say it a multitude of times. I also found it interesting that depressed people are more likely to remain stagnant or retreat further into their depression if their family is too emotionally involved.
It was also interesting to learn about the difference between visible and invisible support. After thinking about it, I realized I am more comfortable giving invisible support than visible, but I offer both when I need to support people. Oftentimes, I listen to my sister and then try and encourage her after she's vented, and she appreciates that because she can blend her insight with the advice I've given her. On the same token, I have listened to her express her opinions and feelings, and she knows that I am aware of the aforementioned things.
I thought this made a lot of sense. Both articles talked about support but in different ways. In the first one, the article was very entertaining. What the author noted about visible and invisible support is so true! From my experience, I've always noticed that when I had a boyfriend, he was the one I came to for support about a lot of things. I just wanted to know that someone was there, and since I spent a lot of time talking to him, it made sense to vent to him. It was nice knowing that he supported me whether it was through visible or invisible support. Invisible support is the easier choice most of the time because you just have to listen to what you're partner is saying, and sometimes that's all they need. There's times when it's hard to know what to say when someone you know is in a difficult situation. You don't want to say the wrong thing and offend them, so that's when the invisible support comes into play.On the other hand, there's visible support where they actually encourage you and give you advice. This support is good too, but sometimes can be overwhelming. You need a balance! Like the second article said, sometimes advice can be harmful. I've definitely experienced that. There's times when you want advice, encouragement, and someone to listen to, but there's other times when you just need to step away, take time for yourself, and figure things out on your own. You don't want that person always up in your business, but knowing that they are still there for you when you're ready for that support is nice. With no support, you can feel worthless, so having that balance is ideal.
I found the first article's topic on the importance of having visible and non visible support to be very true. I tend to give visible support more often but after reading this article I will defiantly begin to give more non visible support as well. I didn't realize how doing little things such as vacuuming can make such a positive difference. I think for a lot of people they automatically use the visible support because it just feels natural to compliment someone and tell them that it will be okay. In reality there are a lot of times that all the person needs is for someone to listen to what they have to say and show that they understand. I liked the author's story about when he provided invisible support for his wife and the difference it made when she was auditioning for the play. I thought it was the perfect example to show how important invisible support can be because even though she didn't get the role that she auditioned for, she still came back proud of herself for doing the best she could. The second article took a completely different approach of support. The basic idea of the second article was that many times support can have negative effects. For the most part I have found this to not be true in my life. Something that i really value in my friendships is the support that they give me when I need it. I think if anything support encourages me to do better and makes me less stressed. An example of why I don't agree that support leads to negative effects is because being on the swim team all through high school supporting each other is what allowed us to push ourselves to do the best that we can. When I would take a breath during a race I would get a quick glimpse of my teammates and coach cheering, just the quick view pushed me to go even faster then I thought i could. Though I think overall support is helpful and positive I see where the author is coming from in times that is not. One of the situations where I see where it is not always helpful is when trying to help one to quit smoking. When someone is trying to quit smoking a friend or partner that is trying to help them can at times just become annoying. Because of this it could lead to the person being less motivated to accomplish their goal because it may seem as their support system doesn't understand.
The first article was fun for me to read. I never thought much about support, and the fact that there are two different types of it. After reading and thinking about it though, I realize that in my daily life it's important for me to feel both types of support, visible and invisible. I think that it's pretty difficult to do things and receive no recognition or positive feedback, and this is why Lutz struggled with invisible support. If you're doing something nice for a person, you feel more accomplished if they notice. I believe that almost all of the time, true invisible support is unrecognized by both the giver and the receiver. It is a nice gesture and something to help people cope in times of stress, but it generally would go undetected.
In the second article, one line that interested me was, "Supportive, enthusiastic responses to positive events provide increased personal well-being and relationship satisfaction." People like to celebrate together. When one person is ecstatic and the other is emotionless, it really brings down the excitement. Whenever I experience anything that I think is great and I'm excited about, I feel so much better when everyone around me is happy also. It makes the mood that much better.
Another interesting point in this article was that thinking someone is supportive of you is more helpful that someone offering their support through saying something or advice. Also, "cheering up" is unhelpful. When someone is down, I generally try to listen and sympathize with them and occasionally I will give them a piece of advice. It was interesting to find out that the best type of support here is really just being there and doing nothing. In a way, I suppose it makes sense because a lot of time, if someone is having a problem, they really just want to be able to talk to someone. They need someone to listen to them, not someone to solve their problems.
The first article was really fun to read! I always knew it was important to be there for your partner, but I never knew there were two ways to do it. I never would have thought that invisible support could be so important. It seems like a lot of people have a hard time doing something nice for someone like their partner without getting recognition for it. You would think that your relationship would improve if your partner always knew about the nice things you did for them, because they can see those thing and then do nice things in return. Also next time they get mad at you they might let it go or be less mad because they think of the nice things you did for them. But it's also important to do those nice things for your partner with no recognition, because then you can feel good about yourself, and help your partner feel less stressed too. Then they might feel good and not know why, and both of you will still reap the benefits. It makes sense that men have a harder time giving invisible support, because they are always trying to fix problems. Women need to appreciate that they are trying to help the best they can.
I think what this next article is saying is that support is better when the person in need of support doesn't actually seek it out, but they know it's there if they do need it. This also kind of goes with what we learned about last week, how when people thought about how their partner helped them with a goal they were less likely to say they were going to spend time on that goal. Too much support can make the person receiving the support not self-sufficient enough. Sometime support like they said to quit smoking may make the partner more annoyed, quitting smoking is something they have to do on their own. It makes sense that advice giving, minimization of feeling, identification of feelings, and encouragement of recovery are also not helpful. Someone doesn't want to hear how to fix their problems, they don't want to know you went through something similar, they don't want to be told its ok, and they don't want to be told it will be over soon. In reality they feel like crap, they don't care how you solved your problem, because theirs isn't going to work out the same way. It may not always be this bad, but it is now so shut up. It's weird that trying to cheer someone up doesn't work, because sometimes it helps me if someone just makes me laugh. I can see this when I talk to my best friend on the phone, and I'm upset about something and I want to talk to her about it, but instead we talk about other things and I never bring it up. At the end of the conversation I feel better even though I didn't talk about my problem. What we talked about got my mind off of my problem and I feel better.
I can totally understand that there needs to be a balance between invisible and visible support. Sometimes it is important that your partner notices the kind things you do for them, but like the article said, you don't want to go too far and make your partner feel useless. That is why invisible support is needed. I really love doing little things for my boyfriend that I know will make him happy. I also really like doing it secretly, except after awhile, I want him to notice. So, I can definitely relate to John Lutz's problem with subtly and wanting recognition. I don't really think that is a problem that only men have, though I might agree that it is more prominent for them.
I agree that support is not always helpful. But I wouldn't have guessed that being supportive could reduce trust in a relationship or that getting support is often associated as being destructive rather helpful more times than not. That's a sad thought! I found the Great Britain study that showed how perceived support decreased mortality risk while actual support increased mortality risk to be interesting. It is good to know that thinking about your supportive partner can be beneficial, yet depressing that actually getting help from them tends to be harmful. I think it is odd reading about how support either does no good or harms the recipient when I find support to be very comforting, and seek it out in times of stress. With this said, I can understand that advice giving might not be the most effective way of showing support. It could easily come off as offensive or dumbing down the recipient. People are too proud sometimes.
This article seems to oppose the last one we read. The previous one said that when we thought about our partner (our support) we would conserve energy for future tasks (not stress out) and rely on them. It also said that this shows a relationship that is more committed. This week's article says that students who received support prior to a public speech freaked out, and those who didn't receive support were less anxious. I think these two ideas contradict each other. I hope that I am not one of the people causing higher mortality rates because of the support I try to give!
The first article was entertaining and I enjoyed reading it. It made sense about the different types of support there are. To me personally, I think I do both visible and invisible support. Though invisible support is easier. Like stated in the article though, visible support can be forced sometimes which I totally agree with. I feel like sometimes when I'm giving visible support I'm just saying things that I hope or think will make the other person feel better. I'm really good at listening to others though and it's nice to know that that can be a form of support. I also do little things without being asked to cheer someone up. Yet, like in the article where he points out the good deeds he's done, I do that too. The article says that men tend to apply competitive thinking with invisible support. I'm very competitive in nature so it makes sense.
The second article was slightly difficult just to get into but it wasn't too hard to read. A lot of the citing got in the way though at times. It's interesting how the harm of support outweighs the benefits a lot of the time. I wouldn't have really thought of this before. After reading the article though it makes sense. When people offer me support sometimes I can feel it just stressing me out more. They said that advice and identification with what someone is feeling are some of the most unhelpful and I agree. Unless I want advice I don't really want someone giving it to me. And when people try to relate, most of the time I just feel like they have no idea what's going on. One of the negative effects of giving support they mentioned was how receiving support can lead to a feeling of being indebted to your partner. With my boyfriend this is how I feel a lot sometimes! When he tries to help me out and relieve my stress he's really sweet about it, but it stresses me out more because I'm only thinking of how I'm going to have to repay him for this, on top of what I'm already stressed out about.
A pep talk is a source of support. What, if any, are the effects of pep talking and supporting yourself?
Article 1: i had to laugh when I clicked on the link and women and men's underwear appeared on my computer screen. When the man in the article adds the right amount of salt, he says "being right doesn't always feel good." I agree with this 100%, being right is not as important as many make it out to be. It's interesting to find out that there are two different types of support; visible and invisible. It's good to have a balance of the two but personally, I see myself as more the invisible support. Many times, we are giving support to our partners and friends without really realizing it. I find this true with my roommate. Sometimes she will say things that make me feel better, and I don't think she even realizes it. A question I have is in the article we read where people will mindlessly eat because others are, do you think the same effect is true for support? Do people give support subconsciously if their partner does? Also, if you really love someone, does giving support come naturally?
Article 2: I found this article to be a lot easier to read than last week's. It mentions that positive support from a big event results positively. I can see this true when I was little. I always tried to please my parents with good grades, and their praise just urged me to continue to work hard. I find it funny that if you think of your pet you will relieve stress. This theory is definitely proven to be true within my family. I miss my dog so much, and recently I skyped with her. It made me and my roommate laugh instantly. Also, this article mentions that if you have support before a big speech you will do worse. In highschool I had to give a big speech and all my friends and family knew about it and gave me enormous amounts of support. After I gave the speech (it wasn't great), everyone had asked me how I did. I think this could've made me perform worse because I didn't want to let anyone down.
So next week we'll be continuing our conversation on giving and receiving social support from our partners, and it's impact on our health.
We are going to have you read 2 articles this week.
The first is from Men's Health, and is written by the guy who plays Lutz on 30 Rock--funny!
The second is a little more "heady", so take it slow! Read it twice if you have to! One time when I was in college i had to read an entire book twice because I missed too much the first time around!
NOTE: YOU ONLY HAVE TO READ THROUGH PAGE 23 (finish the section on "costs of support").
See you next Monday! Come ready to chat about these ideas, please.
I thought that this article had some interesting findings. At first, I didn't think it seemed accurate, but after thinking about it, it made sense. When you're too dependent on someone else, you're not as focused on what you want to accomplish. In addition, if you think that your partner is going to help you, then you're more likely to do less work and count on them to get you into gear. If they don't get you motivated, you won't do it. Today I got to spend time with my brother's girlfriend, Nikki. She's 35, divorced, and has two kids. My brother wasn't around, so it was just Nikki, her kids, and me. We started talking about school, life, and relationships. She told me about how her exhusband had an affair while she was pregnant with her youngest son. She gave me some advice, "Don't get married until you're 30." Nikki said that she got married and hadn't gotten her masters degree yet, which was always one of her goals. She said that you think that once you get married you'll stick with your goals and keep going to school, but in all acuality, you don't. You get too involved with that one person, and if they aren't pushing you to do it, it doesn't happen. She assured me that if you're in love, that one guy can wait, and you should leave your 20s to exploring and schooling. I've always thought I wanted to get married young, but after hearing this it made sense to me. Now, will if I find that person and want to get married, will i say, "Yes, but I have to wait until I'm 30"? Probably not, but it's a good thing to consider. Nikki enforces her rule of not marrying until you're 30 to her kids who are only three and five. She's somewhat joking, but what she's saying has logic to it. Maybe if some people waited a little longer before they got married and accomplished some of the goals they had before getting married, then they would have more successful marriages. In the words of Nikki, "Don't get married until you're 30."
This research took me by surprise, because when we discuss relationships and their affects, we either look at all the benefits or those areas where your significant other is obviously dragging you down, such as abusive relationships. We don't typically focus on goals and a person's affect on them. I was surprised when I read the abstract for this research, because initially it was opposite of what I would be expecting. After looking at the situations a bit more carefully though, it does make some sense.
After thinking about the statement in the introduction highlighting the fact that if you feel your partner can help you in any specific area, you are less likely to exert effort in that area, I found this to be accurate. I had an exam on Monday, and my boyfriend was coming to visit that weekend. He had taken the class already and told me he would help me study for my exam. Instead of taking time to study that week, I ended up putting it off, even though I knew I wasn't understanding a large concept of the material - because he could help me with it, I did end up putting less effort in on my own. Another example I can think of is in response to the part stating "individuals tend not to exert as much effort when they can make goal progress through more than one route". I remember in high school when we needed to do a research paper and needed 'scholarly articles'. We'd all go to the library and find books - it was a lengthy process. However, writing a term paper for one of my classes here has been a different story. Instead of working on them ahead of time, it is very easy to put things off, because I have access to all the articles online through the library site.
One thing that I questioned about this study was it's lack of gender consistency in the different experiments it conducted. In all but one experiment, they consulted only women. Would having a panel of men have produced a different result? Also, these were conducted online - does that impact how truthful the individuals were when answering? I also found it interesting in the notes that they said "Although we studied romantic relationships, such effects should hold for all interdependent relationships". Would the strength of the effects change as the types of relationships changed? I think that statement should've been backed up with a bit more research before it could be made.
When reading a lot of the blog posts, I noticed that most people seemed concerned with the idea that relying on a partner in a relationship influenced them to work less hard. I disagree with this take on the findings and see it as not quite as much of a negative effect. When looked at from a purely individualistic approach, it is true that a person may not work as hard at a given task if they know their partner will help. However, if you view the issue as being dealt with by two people as a group, the problem can be solved more efficiently under this group system, leaving more energy for other things. By working together, people in a relationship are able to accomplish more than by themselves. This reminded me a lot of a recent topic we learned about in my economics class. In a system of trade involving two groups, the two people are able to put in time to create two different things. If they work separately and put in time for making a few of each of these things by themselves, they can make a few. However, if each group specializes in what they're good at and trade with each other, they can both enjoy more of whatever it is they're each making. This idea is that people working together can collectively accomplish more than those working alone. So I don't find these results quite as alarming as my fellow classmates. if anything it seems like a good thing that we are able to subconsciously save our effort for tasks we really need it for.
At first when I read this article I was pretty surprised to find out that your romantic partners actually interfere with you accomplishing your goals. Based on previous discussions, I thought that our partners would help us to complete our goals because of relieving stress. I figured that most people don't accomplish their goals because of stress, mostly because of my personal experience. Then when I thought about it more when you are stressed about completing a goal you usually vent to your partners. Your partners aren't going to tell you that you need to crack down and get stuff done because you're behind.. they're going to tell you that everything will be okay and possibly tell you not to worry about it for a while and relax. I know that advice would give me an excuse to not really do anything.
The first semester of college is extremely difficult for partners going to different schools. A lot of people that I know have broken it off because of being overwhelmed and that having a partner is a lot of extra work. Before reading this article, I thought that this was just an excuse to dump someone because I thought that the support from a partner would be beneficial. I now understand that it actually has a negative effect on productivity.
The article mentioned that it may be because the partner who is trying to accomplish a goal is exerting less effort because they know that they have a support system. I had a hard time understanding why this was.. mostly because of the complicated jargon of the article. But towards the end they said that a shared self-regulatory system may actually still be beneficial which leaves hope for those of us who enjoy having a romantic partner.
Reading this article I found myself reflecting on my own motivation when I have been in relationships compared to when I am not. Thinking about it, the research makes sense. Most people already try to find ways to exert the least amount of energy and effort. Therefore, it makes sense that when you have someone you feel you can rely on or that you feel can help you in achieving a goal, you may be less likely to put forth the same amount of effort you would have if you thought you could only accomplish the goal on your own. If we can have someone else pitch in their effort too, why should we be exerting the same amount of effort we would is solo? Looking back, I can find times when this proved true in my life, even though I consider myself to be a self-motivated person and a hard worker, and I'm sure everyone has done this at some point. Additionally, I the research made a lot of sense to me when it talked about the likelihood of someone to spend less time and effort on task A when if they feel it will take away from their time and or ability to perform task B. I find that I do this. For example, if I know I have a paper to right for a class due the next day but also have some reading to do that isn't due for a couple days, its pretty likely that I'm going to be doing little to none of that reading before working on my paper.
While reading this article, I see that if we rely on our romantic partner too much than we become lazy to reach our goals independently. That seems really sad in my point because what will happen to oneself when their romantic partner isn't their romantic partner anymore? From the past readings, I find this ironic because it goes against other readings about a romantic partner influence on ones self. The article says that it enhances relationship commitment? How? If my boyfriend kept depending on me for things all the time when he could have done it himself, I would have been really irritated. I would be irritated at the fact that he is too lazy to complete any of his goals by himself. But there is one thing I do agree on. The influence to complete ones own goal in academic success. My boyfriend does not let me talk with him at all unless both of us are done with homework, other wise we don't get to talk at all for the rest of the day. I wouldn't say this is me depending on him but in some form, it is depending on ones significant other to reach ones goal.
But other than a romantic partner, I think a really good friend works just as well. I have a friend that I always ask for help with my writing papers and he will always come through for me. Yes I want to continue having a good friendship with him so I too will help[ him with what ever he needs help with. In a way I am making a good commitment to my friend by being a good friend to keep getting help from him in the near future. If there is no romance involved, than I think it would benefit better because we wouldn't get lazy when we try to complete our on goals.
I found it extremely interesting that having a partner can cause you to actually become lazier. I would think that the opposite would be true: It seems that having another person to support you would spur one on to accomplish more with greater efficiency. I do see how this makes sense though. When my dad is on a business trip, my mom does the dishes at some point during the day. When he's home, she doesn't do the dishes because she assumes he will do them per usual. That's a perfect example of the outsourcing effect. I also thought it was interesting that partners who outsource more have a stronger relationship. Logically, it makes sense: if one person is better at a task than another, the stronger one should step up and do the task they are better at. Some of the statistics got a bit tiresome to read through, and I didn't fully understand them all, but I was able to comprehend the majority of the paper despite the slight number issues.
The hypothesis in this article threw me off at first. I sat there thinking, "Why would the feeling that your partner was helping you make you perform at a lower level?" As I though about it, it made more and more sense. I mean, I don't know if this is the way they want us to think about it, but whenever I would try and do homework and my boyfriend would be with me, I would think "Oh, I bet i can focus more if I spend some time just with him and just relaxing before I get right into it." If i thought he would give me positive feedback, I wouldn't try as hard as I would if I was trying to impress someone I had never met before. It kind of reminded me of women who are married who say they "try less" to look good each day because they already know that their husbands love them so they don't have to wear 8 pounds of make up to impress them. I think that in an academic and career based aspect, this effect is a negative thing. But as for a social aspect, I feel like it could be a positive thing.
This study was very interesting, but also very confusing. I'm hoping I understood most of it, since I couldn't tell what it was saying at points. I was surprised at first when I read the "hypothesis" that having a partner can make you try less to achieve your goals. Once I thought about it, though, I actually agreed with it. I think if you are factoring someone else into your life, you obviously want to try and please them. People may try to pursue goals that seem more attainable so that they don't fail. They also may end up relying on their partner over themselves, so they put less effort into their goals because they have something to fall back on.
The different experiments were very interesting. It was cool to see that this hypothesis worked on different ideas. With a weight-loss goal, career or academic goal, or the goal of committing to the relationship, a significant other lowered the amount of effort put into the goal. It makes sense that a partner would have this much influence, because they do affect your entire life. You should be talking about goals with your partner, so obviously they would affect the outcome of these goals. Having a significant other affects your health more than just adapting your lifestyle to their needs as well; it also affects your health decisions and goals subconsciously because you want to do what will make them happy. If you know you have someone to help you with your work, you probably will procrastinate more because you have that to fall back on if need be. These things will also probably bring you closer together, because you are making more decisions together related to your goals and your future, just like experiment 3 showed. These studies showed a different side to how relationships affect your future.
Throughout our class this year we have had a lot of discussions leading to the conclusions that relationships are generally good for our health. This article was interesting because it contradicted that conclusion by stating that our partners actually demotivate us. It makes a lot of sense that when we are so comfortable with someone we would begin relying on them for help with things and expend less effort ourselves. However I think it would be great to set a common goal and work together to reach that goal. In some cases it is easier to achieve a goal if we have someone to take the steps to meeting the goal beside us. Although the article proves a partner could make us less motivated, I completely believe in the theory that if we rely heavily on our partner it provides us with a closer bond. When I read about this I immediately thought about my parents, and how they work together as a team. They rely on each other one hundred percent to run a household and to raise children. Without each other and relying heavily on one another, they would be stressed out and it would negatively affect their health.
This article was great to read but at times it did get confusing. The experiments got difficult to read, and I'm looking forward to discussing it in class tomorrow.
Although the statistics and processes of how this data and conclusions were found were a little dry and hard to follow, the results were interesting. The way that they are suggesting that couples have a "shared system of encoding and retrieving information in
which they rely on each other's memories" reminds me of sitcoms and romcoms where couples finish each other's sentences. Without their partners they are sometimes less able to express themselves. Also, the idea that people in a romantic relationship will procrastinate more because they think that they can rely on their partner to help them accomplish their goals is very interesting. Outsourcing, as they called it in the articles could be dangerous and puts a whole new spin on how someone could be dependent on their partner.
I found this reading to be interesting but defiantly confusing to follow at times. The experiments were all interesting, except the majority of the conclusions did not make sense with all the formulas. I was surprised by the hypothesis "that such thoughts are motivationally undermining, causing individuals to make less ambitious goalpursuit plans and to spend less time pursuing their goals" I think that this hypothesis is true in some relationships but not in all. This is a very over estimated hypothesis because there are so many relationship dynamics that are positive and negative and this only seems to capture a negative one. Though i could see where the hypothesis was coming from and the results to back it up, I did not think there was a large enough experimental group to be able to have a reliable conclusion. For example, experiment one only consisted of 56 women. I think to have a stronger experiment at the very minimum 150 women should be tested.
Another theory that i think was over estimated was the depletion theory. At times i see how it could be true. People are more comfortable with themselves when they have a significant other because they no longer have to always be at their best to find a romantic companion. At the same time it can go a completely other way. If one's partner is extremely successful in their career and in very good shape, this can motivate the person to be able to be as successful as their partner. Also the couple can motivate each other to be the best they can be. An example of this is sharing a common goal of being healthier so they work out together and eat healthier meals.
Throughout reading this article, I found a few things difficult to understand. First of all, it seemed like not many people were used for this study. They originally had about 6 people, but in most cases people were thrown out that didn't fit the criteria. This makes me wonder how accurate the data is. Also, just a question, what do all the numbers mean? For example, F(1, 48) = 1.44, p = .24,. I found these to be very confusing.
As for the topic discussed, I found it very interesting to look at what they found, as I would never think to do a study such as this one. Personally, I see the opposite effect. For me, when I feel lonely is when I get stressed out and sad. When I know someone's there for me and supporting me I feel like I can do almost anything. For example, my friend Molly and I did a mini triathalon this summer, and towards the end we began to get really tired. When our canoe turned the corner I saw my mom and sister standing there at the finish line cheering us on. It immediately made us row faster and finish strong.
I do, however, agree with the part of the article that stated if you know a partner will help you out, you're more likely to spend less effort on it. I see this proven true in college. When a friend and I do homework together and I don't understand something, they will always explain it to me. If I'm doing homework by myself though, I really have to concentrate and try my best to get it right.
As the article states, even though relying heavily on your partner to accomplish tasks may hurt you, it still may benefit you in the future. On the flip side, I don't think it'd be very healthy to not rely on your partner either. I guess I'd be willing to put myself on hold for a little while and rely on my partner, that after a little while we will be great together. I think that will all pay off in the end.
Initially reading the article I was kind of surprised at their hypotheses and the data that they found from their experiments which backed it up. It's strange to think that having a significant other you believe can help you actually causes you to slack off. But after really thinking about it and finishing the article it makes sense. When you have someone you can depend on and you know who will support no matter what, it's easy to let that go to your head. You don't need to worry as much about trying to impress them and achieve your goal because you realize that they're already there for you. Not only that but they can help you achieve those goals. This thinking can lead you to do less because you might think that they'd be there to pick up the slack if really needed.
I agree completely with the fact that having a significant other who you believe can help you makes you more committed to them. Putting trust into someone to help you means that you have faith they're going to be there for you. I would be committed to someone too if I put trust into them.
In the general discussion section it says research has suggested romantic partners have a shared system of encoding and retrieving information in which they rely on each other's memories. This just seems really interesting and it'd be nice to read further on that.
It'd be interesting to see this effect on men of it still happens in different types of relationships such as long distance, or how long they've been together.
When I first read that thinking about a loved one demotivates us I was a little surprised. It almost goes against everything we have learned about so far in this class, that relationships are good for health. Of course I don't think this study goes so far as to say you are way better off without strong relationships, you will get way more done and be more motivated. Obviously there are times when relationships are key to motivating us and helping us with our goals.
It is interesting to see how the high depletion participants in the experimental group had much less planned pursuit of their focal goal compared to low depletion. In the control group the level of depletion didn't really matter, so it really shows how relying on your partner demotivates you.
I thought that I was really interesting that in the second experiment the depleted and the non-depleted participants spend almost equal time on the procrastinating task, and so much time on it. It really shows that thinking about how your partner can help you demotivated you and makes you not conserve your resources as well. Then in both the control groups the depleting participants spent much less time on the procrastination task.
The third experiment was a lot like the first one. It shows that when participants thought of how their partner helps with a fitness goal they are less motivated to spend time on that fitness goal. That's very interesting; it shows how people lower self-motivation when they can replace it with peer motivation, essentially doing less work themselves. If your partner is a dependable person and will actually motivate you to work on your fitness goals this is good, but if they don't then you won't be getting very far on your fitness goals. If your partner relies on you to motivate them, and you rely on them, then neither of you are going to get very far. It shows you should be self-motivated if you want to accomplish a goal. My conclusion from this is that partners are good for relieving stress, but when we need to be motivated which is pretty much the opposite of being stress-relieved they can be bad. This, however is only if you think about how they are going to help you, because in the end they probably won't. I think that partners can be good motivators in other ways, like if you want to get in better shape to impress your partner you may be more inclined to have high fitness goals. This is different because you aren't relying on them for motivation, you are more motivated by the thought of impressing them. This can be seen in other relationships like wanting to do good in school to make dad proud vs. thinking about how dad helps you do good in school.
Initially when reading that supportive partners make you less motivated, I thought of social loafing. The idea makes sense, because when you feel like you have another trustworthy and competent person to rely on, you expect them to carry the weight in various situations. You know that they're there for you, and therefore you expect that they are also able to help you. The idea that surprised me was that if you rely on your partner heavily, you will develop a closer bond. Although I understand that if you feel comfortable together and can rely on each other you'll ultimately be closer, but I would think that if you rely so much on your significant other and look to them for many things, they would get annoyed and irritated at you and this would weaken your bond.
The experiments were a little difficult to follow because there was just so much information included (and various other things were cited). In experiment one, I know that it said women were only taken into account because they prioritize health and fitness goals more than men do, but this also seems to be an unfair representation. It seems like you would want at least a little male perspective so the study is not so biased.
The two greatest health goals that I have are exercising regularly and eating healthily. Having a supportive partner would help if they also had the same goals as I did. We would be able to motivate each other and work as a team to make the goals happen. I wouldn't expect that having a supportive partner would bring me down in achieving these goals unless they held much different values than I do.
When I began reading the article, my initial thought was that it does not make sense that thinking of a significant other would decrease performance. If anything, it should be a motivator to do well. After reading into it a little more however, it makes total sense that the hypothesis of outsourcing would work. If I thought about how a significant other, or even if it was just a friend, would help me in a future task, I would probably expend less effort. Knowing that their support and effort would help me complete it may cause me to try less. This is essentially what they predicted. The findings on the other hypotheses also made sense to me. If your brain is tired (depleted) from another task, it makes sense that you would be more likely to outsource and rely on your partner. Also the more a person relies on their partner would tend to show a higher commitment level. If someone is willing to put that much trust and reliance into their significant other, they should be fairly committed.
It is really unfortunate that by thinking of your wonderful, supportive partner, you perform worse on a task, even though it makes sense. It is good to hear the author's opinion that while this is bad for short term goals, it could end up helping the couple by using each other to focus on one goal each. We all have a limited amount of self-regulatory ability, like we talked about in an earlier class period with the cookie and vegetable study. So if one partner focused will power on one task, and the other partner focused on another, there is potential for much more to get done. This also relates to how being in a romantic relationship can help relieve stress by sharing an emotional bond with someone and having their support.
This makes a lot of sense! When we are comfortable with those around us and confident in the idea that they will help us, we will not work as hard. If you think about people who have achieved great things, many of them were told they would not make it or perhaps did not have many support systems at all. These people may even have pushed harder because they had something to prove.
The idea of self-regulatory out-sourcing makes me nervous, I want to be able to achieve the maximum while having an encouraging partner! Reading through the hypothesis, I found myself agreeing with everything the author suggested. When a partner is available for help and people achieve things together, a closer bond is made. I wonder if the outcome of the project with the partner is as well done as the outcome of the work of a person without a support system.
The experiment pools did not seem very great, particularly on the first experiment... I feel like there were not really enough subjects to be as conclusive as the author is. I found it frustrating to read the article with so many other articles being cited, I felt as though I needed to go read the others too!
It is a rather depressing idea that in order to be as effective as possible, we should not be thinking about how a partner would help us with the project... so much for positive thinking! However, I can see how in the long term, it is much more beneficial to have a partner with whom you can share goals and support each other than to go at it on your own and possibly deplete your resources prematurely.
Wow, can you believe we're over half way through the semester?!
We're going to take a new tack for the article this week (and apologies for being a couple of days late for posting it--we were debating if this was a good choice). We're going to read one highly relevant (and relatively readable) original piece of research. That is, this is a traditional psychology journal article with all the usual trappings--an intro, methods and results and a discussion section.
Read it slowly and carefully and come prepared with all of your questions. Please read all of the sections of the paper, even though certain parts of them might read like gibberish (like all of the statistics), and write out the questions you have about the research (why they did X as described in the methods section? What does it mean when they say Y?). I know you're all very intelligent readers, but this is my way of saying, prepare for jargon, and let's talk about that jargon on Monday.
In the mean time, have a great week and weekend, and think carefully about how our close friends/family/partners might help us achieve (or make it harder for us to achieve) our goals (specifically our health goals!).