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The dark side of supportive relationships - Neuroscience News

In our study, we found that empathetic and caring partners were more likely to agree with their loved ones’ negative views of their adversary and blame the adversary for the conflict. We also found that people whose relationship partners responded this way ended up being far more motivated to avoid their adversaries, tended to view them as bad and immoral, and were less interested in reconciliation. In fact, a full 56% of those who had received this type of empathy reported avoiding their adversaries, which can harm conflict resolution and often involves cutting off the relationship. On the other hand, among the participants who didn’t receive this sort of support from their partners, only 19% reported avoiding their adversaries.