To Give or Not to Give?: Sacrificing for Avoidance Goals Is Not Costly for the Highly Interdependent

  • Impett E
  • Le B
  • Asyabi-Eshghi B
 et al. 
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Abstract

Is the suppression of negative emotions ever associated with beneficial outcomes in relationships? The study reported here drew on research and theory on emotion regulation, self-construal, and sacrifice to test the hypothesis that individual differences in interdependent self-construal moderate the association between negative-emotion suppression and the personal and interpersonal outcomes of sacrifice. In a 14-day daily-experience study of people in romantic relationships, people with higher levels of interdependence experienced boosts in personal well-being and relationship quality if they suppressed their negative emotions during sacrifice, whereas those who construed the self in less interdependent terms experienced lower well-being and relationship quality if they suppressed their negative emotions during sacrifice. Feelings of authenticity for the sacrifice mediated these associations. These findings identify a critical condition under which the suppression of negative emotions may be personally and interpersonally beneficial.

Author-supplied keywords

  • approach-avoidance motivation
  • close relationships
  • interdependence
  • sacrifice
  • self-construal

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