Male Coaches who say their female counterparts or gymnasts deliberately “pick fights” in the gym may be onto something.
A new study shows that in relationships, men feel best when they can tell that their partner is happy; women, on the other hand , are most content when their partners are upset or agitated, because the intensity of their emotions show they’re invested in the relationship. Researchers videotaped 156 married and unmarried couples discussing recent episodes that had upset them; then they had the couples watch the tape and answer questions about how they felt at different points. They discovered that “women tend to want to engage around conflict,” Massachusetts General Hospital psychologist Shiri Cohen tells NPR.
That’s because women feel most connected when they can tell that their partners are distressed- or when men understand that the women is suffering. Men, on the other hand, find conflict threatening, and feel best about their relationships when their partners are in a good mood.
How can both styles hope to coexist with out killing each other in the gym?
“The more men and women try to be empathetic to their partners feelings the happier they are”. Says Cohen.
That means that the women have to accept men when they are blithely happy (we’re pretty simple that way) while men must be willing to deal with women’s occasional need to be unhappy.