Happy Couples Do This to End an Argument—and Science Says It Works

Updated 10/10/18
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When you're in the middle of a spat with your significant other, the last thing you probably want to do is give them a big hug. However, according to a  published in the journal PLOS One, hugging it out may be the key to ending an argument in a healthy way.

Researchers interviewed a sample of 404 adults every night for 14 consecutive days about their conflicts and relationships. They asked about social activities, partners, interpersonal conflict, whether participants received a hug, and their mood. Unsurprisingly, the researchers determined that being hugged was associated with an increase in positive mood markers and a decrease in negative ones.

When subjects dealt with conflict but also received hugs, they reported fewer negative feelings and more positive ones than on days when they experienced conflict but were not hugged. This was true no matter the age, sex, race, marital status, or education of the participants.

This backs up the idea that interpersonal touch may play a large role in happiness and conflict resolution. "Hugs may be a simple yet effective method of providing support to both men and women experiencing interpersonal distress," the authors of the study concluded. Next time you find yourself arguing with a loved one, consider ending the conversation with a much-needed hug. 

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