Entries in betrayal (3)


What Did I Do Wrong? Understanding Relationship Betrayal

By Dr. Dylan Selterman - University of Maryland

Photo Credit: www.coffeehousewriters.com

Think back to a time when you felt betrayed. What did the person do? Did they confess? How did you feel? Why do you think you felt that way?

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When Does Forgiving Make Us Feel Like A Doormat?

Forgiveness can be really good for our relationships. To name just a few benefits, forgiving a transgression reduces blood pressure for both victims and their wrongdoing partners,1 and increases the victim’s life satisfaction and positive mood.2 Researchers are also beginning to understand what it takes to forgive; for example, we are more likely to forgive our partners when they apologize (i.e., make amends) for bad behavior. But what happens when we forgive someone who hasn’t attempted to make up for their transgression? In a series of four studies, Laura Luchies and her colleagues found that forgiving a partner who does not make amends after wrongdoing erodes the victim’s self-respect and self-concept clarity (the extent to which we have a clear sense of ourselves).3 In other words, we seem to lose respect for ourselves and feel more confused about who we are if we forgive a partner who hasn’t apologized.

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What Payback Comes from Revenge?

Relationships are full of slings and arrows that can sometimes spark a deep desire to “pay back” perceived offenses. Whether someone has been betrayed by a friend or romantic partner, been offended by a boss or coworker, or been a victim of a crime, the desire for revenge can be very strong. Until recently, however, researchers have known very little about this powerful, volatile experience.

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