Gratitude Sustains Relationships through Tough Times

One of 2012’s top 10 insights from science highlighted by Greater Good (UC Berkeley’s center for the Science of a Meaningful Life) is that gratitude sustains relationships through tough times.

In a study published in August 2012 in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, researchers synthesized the science of successful relationships and looked at one additional, critical component: the extent to which people feel appreciated by their partner.

From this work, they developed a new model for sustaining a good relationship. Feeling appreciated by our partner gives us a sense of safety that in turn allows us to focus on what we appreciate about our partner. Researchers recommend the upward spiral of appreciation and gratitude when hitting rough patches in our relationships.

“Cultivating appreciation may be just what we need to hold onto healthy, happy relationships that thrive.”