It pays to accentuate the negative (at least for guys): Alternately, appearances matter. This study looked at the role of empathy for couples in committed relationships. One of the things it found was it's more important to look like you care than to get things right. In research jargon, that's "The perception of empathic effort by one's partner was more strongly linked with both men's and women's relationship satisfaction than empathic accuracy." There was a difference between the sexes: men were happiest when they connected with their partner's positive emotions, but women had the most satisfaction in their relationship when the guys accurately recognized their negative emotions. Sounds like a recipe for disappointment.