Respond well to good news. It can make your relationships stronger and help them last longer. Research by Gable and team has shown that our happiness is magnified when we can share it with others, and magnified even further if the other person had a positive and enthusiastic response to our happiness. They also found that how your partner responds to good news is a better predictor of the longevity of the relationship than how he or she responds to bad news. Celebrating small wins is ideally something you encounter daily, or at least much more often than you encounter hard times. Sharing small wins with the people who are close to us increases our level of happiness associated with those wins. When others share with us, it is important to respond positively and enthusiastically. We can often dampen their level of happiness by responding negatively or even by responding in a neutral manner.
The responses you can have to someone’s good news fall into four categories:
- Positive and participatory–you acknowledge their excitement and engage in positive discussion to share their good news. (active-constructive)
- Positive and not participatory–you acknowledge their happiness but don’t engage. (passive-constructive)
- Negative and participatory–you find and point out the negative impact of their news. (active-destructive)
- Negative and not participatory–you ignore or barely acknowledge their good news. (passive-destructive)
Partners who regularly receive responses that are positive and participatory “are happier, more satisfied with their relationships, experience fewer conflicts, and have more fun with their partners than people who receive the other types of responses” according to Gable and team.
Get excited about good news. It will improve your relationships and your happiness.