Arguing with a loved one (or anyone for that matter) is never a nice feeling. It can be draining and disheartening, and depending on how serious the disagreement is, it’s often hard to put your differences aside and solve the issue. But what if we told you there’s a simple trick that could make the aftermath of a fight a lot easier?
According to a new scientific study, a quick and easy way to feel better after a row is by hugging it out – yes, really. The study, published in the scientific journal, Plos One, was conducted by a team of researchers at Carnegie Mellon University in Pennsylvania led by psychology professor Dr Michael Murphy.
They looked at a total of 404 participants, who over the course of two weeks, were all interviewed about any arguments that they’d had and whether or not they’d hugged each other after the altercations. If so, they were asked how it felt.
At the end, their results showed that those who had decided to to comfort one another with a hug after their disagreement instantly felt better than those who hadn’t.
‘Non-sexual interpersonal touch is emerging as an important topic in the study of adult social relationships,’ the researchers said, speaking of the findings. ‘Interpersonal touch is associated with increased attachment security, greater perceived partner support, enhanced intimacy, higher relationships satisfaction, and easier conflict resolution.
‘Receiving a hug on the day of conflict was associated with improved concurrent negative and positive affect and improved next day negative affect compared to days when conflict occurred but no hug was received.’
Despite their findings, the scientists were aware that their study hadn’t taken all factors into consideration. For example, the severity of the argument and the relationship between the two people having the argument (whether they were a couple, friends or colleagues) were not recorded in the research. This means that although a post-argument hug is both useful and beneficial, the results may vary depending on the situation.