Social desaccordements, or the loss of a friendly relationship with someone, can causing psychological harm to all involved parties, even if severing the relationship was in their best interests. New research has found that some traits associated with borderline personality disorder are related to an increase in heterosexual relationships.
Humans are very social, and having many distant relationships can result in a worsening mood, anger, antisocial behavior, and, in severe situations, substance dependence.
This study was partly inspired by the experiences I encountered in my own social world. So I started contemplating this phenomenon from an evolutionary perspective, according to Glenn Geher, a psychologist and founding director of evolutionary studies at the State University of New York.
As our basic social psychology developed under such conditions, I started to think about how social estrangements would work in small-scale groups. My first thought was that: When human group sizes were very small relative to group sizes today, even a small number of estrangements might be extremely problematic in terms of survival and long-term reproductive possibilities.
The authors were particularly curious about whether impulsivity, risk-taking behavior, and borderline tendencies (i.e., traits that characterize borderline personality disorder, such as trouble maintaining interpersonal relationships and self-destructive behavior) are linked to the number of unranged relationships one has.
A person''s life history strategy (LHS) relates to their overall lifestyle survival choices, and how it might relate to estrangements. LHS is developed through childhood, and living through unpredictable and harsh conditions as a child can lead to a fast life history strategy, which includes a high number of sexual partners with little attachment, less parenting to offspring, and early maturation, according to the authors. Fast life history strategies have been shown to have negative impacts on interpersonal relationships and emotional functioning.
The authors included a final sample of 392 adult participants in a distributed online survey on a small college campus and on social media sites. Results indicated that borderline tendencies were related to the number of estrangements participants reported having. Specifically, more borderline tendencies were associated with more estrangements. Neither impulsivity, risk-taking, or life history strategy were involved in estrangements.
Because of the fact that borderline tendencies include black-and-white thinking and idealization and devaluation, these findings might indicate the number of derangements associated with borderline tendencies, according to the researchers. Although risk-taking and impulsivity are also associated with borderline tendencies, they alone may not cause cutoffs or derangements.
According to Geher, cutting someone out of his life makes sense under certain circumstances. In our research, we found that after being betrayed by a close stranger, estrangements are particularly likely and perhaps adaptive as well. However, we also found that the number of people from whom one is estranged, the greater difficult their life is both emotionally and socially. So Id say that people should consider cutting others out of their lives with extraordinary caution, thought, and care. Estrangements can make life extremely difficult for a wide range
The authors point out a few limitations to their work. Specifically, their sample was mostly from a small college campus, which might have limited the scope of variation in the appropriate measures. For example, the mean age of participants was 21. Perhaps a higher level of variation in the number of people involved would have sparked this trend.
If trust has been fully broken between two individuals, then estrangements are very likely, and such a strategy may outweigh costs, according to Geher. Several key topics on this topic, including: What factors determine the healing process in a relationshipgetting past estrangement toward mutual forgiveness? How do the work on the effects of lethal radiation affect people''s lives?
According to Geher, maintaining in the good graces of others can, for example, bring to mind oneself, ones relationships, and their communities. At the end of the day, maintaining important social connections is a fundamental goal in our evolved psychology. If people are concerned about that, they may start putting someone out of their life for the benefit of.
Predictors of Social Estrangements was written by A. Sung, G. Geher, and M. Wice.