Friday, June 29, 2007

Listen to your partner - for heart's sake

tension in couple
It is not always easy. For instance, you think all is okay with you but your partner says that you are angry. He or she may be right. It is not uncommon that people can judge others better than themselves. This is particularly true for negative traits such as anger or hostility.

The fact that a partner's view is often more accurate than one's own has recently been shown in an unexpected way, that is, in a medical study about personality and heart disease at the university of Utah. We all have heard that anger is bad for the heart, and this study has been undertaken to test it again because not all studies come to this conclusion. Three hundred married couples have been asked about how they rate anger and hostility traits in themselves and in their partners, and the calcification of their coronary arteries have been assessed.

The interesting point is that self-rated anger and hostility did not show any influence on the early sign of heart disease. But partner-rated anger and hostility was clearly linked to a higher degree of artery calcification.

This finding has much in common with one that I have reported earlier: Open hearts live longer. If you are open to accept your partner's view, you are likely to know yourself better and probably to overcome anger and hostility. First of all you will have a better marriage, but as a second effect you also will do your heart a favour.

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