You could be putting your interpersonal relationships at risk by worrying too much, new studies indicate.
A new research study, led by a Case Western Reserve University faculty member in psychology, showed that worrying could be so intrusive and obsessive that it interferes in the person's life and damages social relationships.
According to Case Western Reserve psychologist Amy Przeworski, such individuals suffer from generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).
Individuals with GAD frequently put social relationships with family, friends, or co-workers at the top of their lists of worries, but the negative methods they use to cope-from over nurturing to extreme detachment-may be destructive.
Przeworski and colleagues at Penn State University observed that people in therapy for GAD manifested their worries in different ways based on how they interact with other people.
In two studies the researchers found four distinct interactive styles prominent among people with GAD-intrusive, cold, non-assertive and exploitable.
Both studies supported the presence of these four interpersonal styles and their significant role in how people with GAD manifested their worrying.
"All individuals with these styles worried to the same extent and extreme, but manifested those worries in different ways," said Przeworski.
The study has been published in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology.