Research has shown that taking a step back from the situation, can be a positive strategy for reconciliation of relationship issues. For example, people are able to reason more wisely over issues of infidelity when they are asked to do so from a third-person perspective. Maybe similar benefits in reasoning and relationship well-being can be induced by simply stepping back and thinking about the future.
Researchers have found that thinking about the future affects both focus on feelings and reasoning strategies. As a result, people are more positive about their relationship altogether. In particular, when thinking about relationships a year into the future, people would be able to show more forgiveness and reinterpret the event in a more reasoned and positive light.
The way people respond to conflict is an essential component for relationship maintenance, say the researchers.
“Our study demonstrates that adopting a future-oriented perspective in the context of a relationship conflict – reflecting on how one might feel a year from now – may be a valuable coping tool for one’s psychological happiness and relationship well-being”.
An understanding of how future-thinking can be a beneficial strategy for a variety of conflicts people experience in their everyday lives, could be the key to relationship harmony.