We all know what it’s like to get into an argument. Heck that infamous line “Nothing in life is certain except for death and taxes” should include arguing in there. Everyone being the free thinkers they are, will undoubtedly run into someone that will have an adverse way of thinking about some topic. Though more commonly your number one argument partner is going to be your significant other.
Now I’m sure we can all recall our last fight and go through our minds what we felt during said fight, if not go ahead and strike one up now we shall wait for you (just kidding!).However, have you thought about what you are actually experiencing biologically and its effects more long-term (other than being single again)? No? Let’s delve then.
In an argument, especially one that is emotion driven (which are the most common between a couple), a few things happen within the body. You’ll find an increased heartbeat, tunnel vision, nausea, body tension and perspiration. When the body senses conflict the heart rate increases due to the increased output of adrenaline. What comes next is the infamous fight or flight mode response which excites the body and can lead to nausea. When the adrenaline is pumping headaches and nausea can definitely follow. This is a response to your body being nervous or angry and could possibly lead to more gastric juices being produced.
As you start to get into the thick of things you might start experiencing tunnel vision which makes it extremely difficult to think clearly and is also the “walk away” moment.
You might experience your muscles tightening causing small flurries of pain in your extremities. Cortisol, also known as the stress hormone, is being created in excess amounts leading to these pains along with rising blood pressure.
Now if the argument is really getting heated you can get to the point of perspiring. As your body temperature rises you might start to feel sweaty palms, armpits and forehead. Theres nothing wrong with this but goes hand in hand with body tension and could be the gateway to tunnel vision so it might be time to think about walking away and logically coming back to the argument later.
Now there are some emotional positives and negatives to arguments. Some positives include problem identification and resolvement, raise in cohesion, supporting individuality and ideas, and developing emotional stability. Adversely, there are definite negatives to conflict like loss of self-esteem, loss of trust or reliability, and increase of hostility and resentment.
Everyone has a different style of “fighting”. Some are the strong silent type while others need hardly any motivation to get riled up and yelling. While you may think this has no real effect later on there has been some studies done to prove otherwise.
“In men, keeping quiet during a fight didn’t have any measurable effect on health. But women who didn’t speak their minds in those fights were four times as likely to die during the 10-year study period as women who always told their husbands how they felt“, according to the July report in Psychosomatic Medicine.
Another study conducted by Professor Tim Smith and others from the University of Utah says,“Women who are hostile are more likely to have atherosclerosis [hardening of the coronary arteries], especially if their husbands are hostile too. The levels of dominance or control in women or their husbands are not related to women’s heart health.”
“In men, the hostility – their own or their wives hostility during the interaction – wasn’t related to atherosclerosis,” he adds. “But their dominance or controlling behavior – or their wives dominance – was related to atherosclerosis in husbands.”
These studies show the relation of arguing and their negative capabilities but nothing is for set in stone. Could be worse or better depending on the people of course but one thing does seem to ring true and in lieu of another metaphor we agree with “happy wife, happy life”. But more along the lines of “less fight, more life” or something else catchy you can think of.