Every cloud has a silver lining. We hate to rain on your parade, but it seems the opposite is true, too. Here are five allegedly good things that aren’t all they’re cracked up to be.
1. Being Forgiving
Forgiveness is a virtue of the brave, so accepting an apology and moving on must be the best thing to do, right? Science says no — you should take the hard line every single time. A study of 135 newlywed couples found that those who had the most forgiving spouses were twice as likely to repeat their previous bad behavior, sometimes as quickly as the next day. And waffling between forgiveness and anger made the transgressive spouse up to six times more likely to repeat their bad behavior.
2. Being in Love
It turns out the same hormone that tells you you’re in love also makes you full of negative emotions. In 2009, scientists discovered that oxytocin, long associated with evoking positive feelings like love and altruism, also makes people much more likely to be envious or jealous. While this might seem obvious (the jealous lover is no new concept), it extends to all situations, even those beyond relationships. Smitten people are more likely to get irrationally angry at the guy who got the last blueberry muffin at Starbucks, or to be jealous of someone who earns more money. Even worse than the fact that being loved up makes you a veritable green-eyed monster, scientists had hoped oxytocin could be used to treat autism, but the emotional side-effects mean it’s probably not a viable treatment.
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