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This trait could be key to a lasting romance

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Passion and commitment are widely believed to be the foundation of strong romantic relationships.

But a relationship is made of two unique individuals, and personality traits these individuals possess or lack can often make a relationship more likely to endure.

In a recent study, we found that one trait in particular – humility – is an important indicator of successful relationships.

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An honest view of shortcomings

Humility can sometimes be confused with low self-esteem, low confidence or meekness.

But researchers have come to realize that being humble generally indicates the presence of deeply admirable personal qualities. It means you have the ability to accurately assess your deficiencies without denying your skills and strengths.

For example, you might recognize that you’re smart but realize it would be absurd to call yourself all-knowing – especially when the scope of human knowledge is so vast. This is an honest and sober view of your shortcomings.

As the philosopher Jason Baehr has argued, “To be humble is to be attentive to and disposed to ‘own’ one’s limitations, weaknesses, and mistakes. A humble person does not ignore, avoid, or try to deny her limits or deficiencies.”

If you’re humble, you lack a host of negative qualities, such as arrogance and overconfidence. It means you can acknowledge mistakes, see value in things that are riddled with imperfections and identify areas for improvement.

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The link between humility and forgiveness

Humility appears to be a huge asset to relationships. One study found that people tend to rate this quality highly in their significant other. It also found that someone who is humble is more likely to initiate a romantic relationship, perhaps because they’re less likely to see themselves as “too good” for someone else.

But in our study, we wanted to explore the link between humility and forgiveness in couples.

Humility is tricky to measure; we worried that people who were arrogant might presumptuously declare their humility, while people who were actually humble would, as a sign of their humility, downplay this trait.

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So we approached this question by asking each partner in a romantic relationship about their own and their partner’s humility. We hoped that even if a truly humble person didn’t consider themselves humble, at least their partner would recognize this trait.

We asked 284 couples from the Detroit metropolitan area questions about how humble they were, how humble they thought their partner was and if they were likely to forgive their partner if they did something that was hurtful, like insulting them.

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We found that people who felt their partner or spouse was humble were more likely to forgive them following a hurtful situation. This wasn’t true, however, of those who felt their partner or spouse was arrogant. Many of our respondents with arrogant partners indicated that because their partners were less likely to admit to any personal failings, they were less likely forgive them.

Interestingly, the strength of an individual’s social network can play a role too. If someone has a humble partner, they’re more likely to forgive that person. If someone has a lot of close, supportive friends and a humble partner, they’ll be even more likely to forgive that partner after he or she has screwed up. But if your partner is arrogant, it doesn’t matter how many great friends the couple has, they’ll still be less likely to be forgiven.

The ability to forgive is so important because pain is an inevitable part of any relationship. People mess up. They might say something they don’t mean, be unknowingly inconsiderate or forget an important event. So when looking for a partner, it’s probably a good idea to find someone who recognizes that making mistakes is part of being human.The Conversation

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Toni Antonucci, Elizabeth M. Douvan Collegiate Professor of Psychology, University of Michigan; Kristine J. Ajrouch, Adjunct Research Professor, Survey Research Center, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan, and Noah J. Webster, Assistant Research Scientist, Survey Research Center, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.


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Arkansas church vows to continue services: ‘Jesus died with COVID-19 so that you didn’t have to bear it’

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An Arkansas church intends to hold church services despite recommendations from state officials to limit gatherings as part of the fight against the coronavirus.

Awaken Church, in Jonesboro, vowed in a Facebook post to continue holding services in defiance of a Health Department directive banning gatherings of 10 or more, and after churches in other parts of the country were the source of community outbreaks, reported Newsweek.

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2020 Election

Trump’s path to re-election ‘smashed to splinters’ as his only achievement is swallowed up by the pandemic: report

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In a piece for Politico, Ben White writes that Donald Trump was going into November's election with only one achievement under his belt -- a healthy economy -- and now he has nothing left to run if he wants to be re-elected.

With all of the gains made in the stock market long gone due to the coronavirus pandemic and the collapse of oil prices, White claims that the president's campaign strategy lies in tatters.

"The fundamental pillars of Donald Trump’s presidency — a hot economy, strong job growth and a rocking stock market — are all being smashed to splinters by the ravaging coronavirus, which has shuttered much of the nation and now officially ended a streak of 113 months of job gains dating back to the end of the Great Recession a decade ago," he wrote before noting the explosion of unemployment claims -- over ten million so far -- that has the country reeling.

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Top South Dakota Republicans face investigation for appearing to be drunk during crucial coronavirus session

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Lawmakers in South Dakota are investigating whether or not Senate Majority Leader Kris Langer (R) was drunk during a meeting earlier this week -- a meeting that dealt with new legislation regarding the coronavirus outbreak, the Rapid City Journal reports.

Another South Dakota Republican, Brock Greenfield, is also under investigation for his conduct during the meeting.

"Langer and Greenfield oversaw the Senate proceedings from a conference room in the Capitol as lawmakers convened through teleconference to decide on a series of emergency bills for the coronavirus outbreak," the Journal reports. "As the Senate prepared to adjourn Tuesday morning, Sen. Phil Jensen, a Rapid City Republican, said he had heard Langer was intoxicated and had interrupted meetings in the House and Senate. He then attempted to move to create a disciplinary committee."

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