Sunday, June 15, 2014

Are Secure Relationships the Key to an Exciting Life? (Psychology Today article)

"Across three studies, psychologist Michelle Luke, of the University of Southampton, recruited hundreds of participants from websites, such as psychology forums, Linked in, and online communities with a psychology theme. All were asked to imagine a relationship in which they felt secure, insecure or “neutral,” using as series of guiding questions, like “Please think about a relationship you’ve had in which you found it relatively easy to get close to the other person…and didn’t worry about being abandoned..." (a secure prompt) They were then asked to picture this person and how they felt in their presence, and given separate scales to describe how secure and how “alive", "energetic", "vital", etc. they felt.

"The first study confirmed what Luke suspected: people who imagined a secure relationship felt more energy than those who didn’t. But the next studies were arguably even more important. They offered the first evidence that feeling secure might create a sense of vitality over and above just being in a great mood. People asked to imagine hilarious moments from their favorite movie or TV show didn’t experience the same charge that securely prompted subjects did. They were happy. But they weren’t excited. And as for people prompted with the insecure or neutral visualizations, once again, they missed out on the secure energy boost. The author’s conclusion? People who anxiously cling to, or push away, their closest connections are drained, enervated by their lack of security. They’re simply too wrapped up in bad feelings to embark on new adventures."

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