These 2 Character Traits Can Majorly Impact Your Relationship

Illustrated by Anna Sudit.
By Sarah Stanton

Have you ever had the urge to read a significant other's journal? We already know that people are more likely to engage in intrusive behavior, such as spying on a partner, if they don't trust that person. But, high levels of trust may not be all you need if you want to avoid snooping around. Non-snoopers may simply have high levels of self-control, a.k.a. the ability to override or inhibit impulses and adjust behavior in order to effectively achieve goals.
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Some scholars have argued recently that snooping and other intrusive behaviors occur when someone puts his or her own self-interest and need for reassurance above a partner’s need for privacy. So, how can you put a stop to snooping? With trust, self-control, or both? To answer this question, researchers recruited 189 heterosexual married couples and asked them to fill out questionnaires over three study sessions, each one year apart. The couples reported their trust, self-control, and intrusive behaviors using well-validated measures. 
The researchers found that the key to putting the brakes on intrusive behavior in relationships was neither trust nor self-control alone, but the combination of both. For people who didn't have much trust in their partners, self-control didn’t matter. Similarly, those with low self-control engaged in the same amount of snooping no matter how much they trusted their partners. People with high levels of both trust and self-control were the least likely to snoop over time.

This means that trusting your partner may not be enough to keep away those occasional (or not-so-occasional) urges to snoop. You'll also need the self-control necessary to keep impulses to intrude in check. How do you increase self control? We've got a few hacks you can try.
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