A new study conducted at the Washington University suggests that we misinterpret our partner’s cues more often than not. No matter how well we think we understand our partners, more often we misinterpret their emotional cues so heavily than these misinterpretations can change into misunderstanding anytime. Cue misinterpretation could be a recipe for misunderstanding.
Lameese Eldesouky, one of the doctoral students in Washington University followed a set of 120 heterosexual couples. Her study suggested that we tend to underestimate the power of our partner in suppressing their negative emotions and overestimate their ability to see the brighter side of an issue that might otherwise elicit negative responses.
The study reveals that we fail in our ability to perceive our partner’s emotional cues in the right way. We aren’t in a sync we could be if we could only pay more attention to them. Almost all of us tend to control or suppress/hide our negative emotions and try to look at the positive side of the situation to play it cool. We don’t want to admit something offended us. Things get worse when we overestimate our partner to understand our dire situation and respond accordingly. Our partners may not be conscious of our trying to play cool so badly. This messes up things.
So, suppression is easier to pick out because it involves noticing the partner’s stoic expressions while reappraisal in a little hard to detect. Reappraisal is considered a positive trait because it sorts things out but suppression is considered a negative trait because it makes things worse if mishandled.
Besides, women are able to notice their respective partners’ cues more easily and assume people are able to hide their feelings. So, the next time you find the stoic face of your partner or suspect that the argument last week is still pinching him up, don’t take his “I am okay” at the face value. Dig deeper and find a solution to the problem than just overlooking the cue.