Journal of Happiness Studies

, Volume 17, Issue 1, pp 41–57 | Cite as

We Can Make It Better: “We” Moderates the Relationship Between a Compromising Style in Interpersonal Conflict and Well-Being

  • Wei-Fang Lin
  • Yi-Cheng LinEmail author
  • Chin-Lan Huang
  • Lung Hung ChenEmail author
Research Paper


Compromising is considered a useful strategy for solving interpersonal conflicts. However, compromising, which includes accommodating and sacrificing, may also lead to anxiety and depression. Therefore, the current study focused on a moderating mechanism between compromising and psychological health. Based on self-expansion theory, we hypothesized that the more individuals have a relational focus (i.e., a greater use of “we”) while narrating their compromising experiences, the better psychological health they will experience. Two hundred sixty-one participants from National Taiwan University (mean age = 20.40, 53.26 % male, 46.74 % female), wrote about an experience of conflict with their parents and completed a package of questionnaires to measure their conflict management style and psychological health. The frequency of the “we” pronoun was considered an index of relational focus. As predicted, the results from a hierarchical multiple regression demonstrated that “we” moderated the effect of compromising style on well-being. Specifically, the relationship between compromising and psychological well-being were strengthened for individuals who had more relational focus. Thus, although a compromising style helps solve interpersonal conflicts, it does not necessarily increase individuals’ well-being. How individuals anchor their experiences are more important.


Compromise Conflict Linguistic inquiry and word count (LIWC) Pronoun “we” Self-expansion Well-being 



This study was supported in part by National Science Council, Taiwan, NSC 99-2410-H-002-082 to Yi-Cheng Lin and NSC 100-2410-H-011-012 to Chin-Lan Huang. In addition, Lung Hung Chen was supported by Ministry of Education, Taiwan (2012 project of elastic salary for outstanding scholar).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyNational Taiwan UniversityTaipei CityTaiwan
  2. 2.Department of Humanities and Social SciencesNational Taiwan University of Science and TechnologyTaipei CityTaiwan
  3. 3.Department of Recreation and Leisure Industry ManagementNational Taiwan Sport UniversityTaoyuan CountyTaiwan

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