UTAH FAMIlIES: Words can make us sick

Monday , November 19, 2012 - 4:24 PM

Daniel Hubler

Something that always catches me off guard is when I hear someone say to his or her partner, “You make me sick!”

However, for many of us in romantic relationships, this frightening statement may hold true.

Recent research from scholars such as Dr. Janice Kiecolt-Glaser has shown that how we talk as couples may affect how we feel emotionally and physically.

For instance, research has shown that couples who have more hostile interactions (or moments of high conflict) are much more likely to get sick and have weaker immune systems. In fact, when we are very hostile during conversations with our partners, we literally slow down how quickly we can heal and recover from simple flesh wounds.

How do we know when we are being hostile to our partner, and how do we stop or prevent these types of interactions?

Following are some tips that may help you recognize and stop conversations with your partner that may be detrimental to your health:

• First, make time for quality interactions such as taking a walk or playing a board game together. Approximately 20 percent of men and women with jobs are satisfied with the time they spend with their immediate family. What does that mean? It means that the majority of us aren’t spending enough time with our spouses.

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