The Curse of Confirmation Bias

How We Look For Proof To Support Our Negative Stories

By Corinne Farago

Confirmation bias. We all have it. We experience it every day in the news, in our politics, in our workplace, and most directly in our relationships, where partners can suffer the consequences of confirmation bias on a daily basis.

Humans are wired to look for danger, and danger in relationships comes in the form of complaint and conflict. Conflict triggers threat and threat pumps Cortisol into our blood stream, preparing us for fight or flight.

When it comes to relationships, it makes sense then that our brains are far more skilled at noticing what’s wrong with our partner, than what’s right.

We all form biases in order to make sense of our experiences. Those biases then form stories we tell ourselves when we feel challenged by our partner. We look for the proof that supports the stories we already have formed in our minds.

If circumstances leave enough room for us to skew our interpretation of events, we’ll jump on the opportunity to be right, even if it makes us feel bad.

One of my couples is trying to heal from infidelity on the woman’s part. Even though the infidelity happened years ago, her partner’s negative bias of her remains firmly in place.

The story he formed from his bias is that she doesn’t love him, that he’s not a good lover, and that given the opportunity, she’ll betray his trust again, even though she repeatedly reassures him that none of those things are true.

If she has to work late, his bias leads him to imagine she’s lying about it. If she doesn’t want to have sex one night, his bias creates the story that she finds sex with him boring. If she doesn’t stop what she’s doing immediately when he needs attention, his bias is to feel that she no longer loves him.

You can see how his negative and fearful bias of her is his own worst enemy, and may very well lead to a self-fulfilling prophecy.

When our relationships are laden with negative biases, we’re on the constant look-out for proof that we’re right, and we’ll selectively overlook all the information that proves otherwise.

We’ll place great importance on the disappointing moments, and pay less attention to the positive ones.

By focusing on the negative encounters with your partner, you’ll live your relationship assuming the worst, and you’ll probably get what you’re looking for.

In other words, whatever you put our attention on will become your destiny.


Changing Your Mind

Start to steer your brain toward the positives by introducing some simple habits into your daily life. This is how we rewire our brains, and it’s scientifically proven to help change the lens through which we interpret our world.


  • Give positive feedback to your partner about the things they did that day

You can do this in two ways. Actively look for the things your partner does that you appreciate, and express your appreciation out loud regularly throughout the day.

Form a gratitude practice with your partner. At night before you go to sleep, take turns expressing 3 things you appreciated about each other that day.

“I appreciated you asking me what I needed in town before you came home.”

“I appreciated the way you handled the issue with the neighbors.”

“I appreciated you pulling me close to cuddle tonight while watching TV.”

When we point out what makes us feel cared for and loved, we’re not only training our brains to notice the positives, but we’re training our partners by affirming their positive actions. (yes, just like dog training :-)


  • Become a Positive Jedi

Get good at shifting from negative to positive. Think of this skill like a Jedi warrior. When you find yourself sinking into the dark world of complaint and disappointment, remind yourself that there’s a lighter, brighter world that’s just as (or even more) true.

Look for the positives with Jedi-like precision. As you work on this skill you’ll build the muscle of your positive intelligence, making it easier to shift from negative to positive with ease.


  • Seek resolution rather than sweeping conflict under the rug

We are particularly susceptible to selective memory if conflicts with our partner are left unresolved. Lack of resolution keeps a negative incident active in our brains. Once an argument feels resolved, our brain files that event away as a memory, relieving us of ongoing rumination, and the biases that are formed by keeping that negative event in the forefront of our memory.

Learn communication skills that lead you through conflict to resolution. This is the primary marker of a long-lasting happy relationship.


Since we’re the only ones in charge of creating our stories and forming our negative biases, why not consider adopting a positive bias, assuming the best of your partner. With every 1 complaint, look for 5 appreciations.

See how this impacts your daily exchanges as well as your mental state.

Loving better is learnable. If you know you could love better, relationship coaching is a path that will help you learn to question the truth of your biases, and build stories that support a secure and happy connection.


Schedule a Discovery Call and let’s talk about outgrowing old habits and negative biases.


You can schedule a complimentary 15 minute Discover Call by clicking here


Corinne Farago portrait waist up

Stay well and love deeply,


Nurturing Your Inner Child for Self-Compassion & Relationship Bliss.

By |March 23rd, 2023|Categories: Articles, Coaching|

We are, walking, talking memory machines. We draw information from old memories and apply it to our present-day decisions. Every pleasure we’re drawn to, every pain we avoid, every relationship dynamic or conflict is drawing from these memories to guide us in how we react to experiences, physically and emotionally, in the present moment. Interestingly, the memories that most impact our adult emotional state took place long ago, when challenging childhood experiences began to form our strategies for surviving in a dangerous world.

Rekindling Emotional and Physical Intimacy Through Tantra

By |March 15th, 2023|Categories: Articles, Coaching|

Tantra/Slow Sex is an antidote to porn-driven sexual style so often represented in adult entertainment. Making love in the Tantric way means to be fully present with your sex partner. It asks us to bring our full attention to each moment. In Tantric lovemaking, there is no goal to be reached, and no race toward orgasm. Instead, there is complete attention to each touch, each breath and each sensation. The ancient practice of Tantra is in many respects the foundation of what we now commonly refer to as mindfulness. Tantric love-making is mindful sex.

Breaking the Cycle of Defensive Behavior in Your Relationship

By |March 7th, 2023|Categories: Articles, Coaching|

We learned very young how to deflect, defend, and deny in order to save us from perceived danger. It all made sense at the time, but now as adults in relationships, that same defensiveness shuts down constructive communication with a defended word, or even just a look. As adults in relationships our defensiveness is just as transparent as our younger selves. Our vocabulary may have grown but the strategy is still pretty simple. Deflect and defend from attack.

How to Identify and Avoid Criticism in Relationships

By |March 2nd, 2023|Categories: Articles, Coaching|

One of the fundamental requirements of building intimacy in a relationship is safety. We want the feeling that our partner has our back, understands and supports us, and wants the best for us. When a couple allows criticism to seep into their communication, they have become domesticated adversaries. They are either bracing themselves for the next painful exchange, or they’re healing from yesterday’s wounds.


Leave A Comment

Go to Top