26 Jun Using Positive Psychology to Building Positive Relationships
Happiness is not ever a solo pursuit but rather, one that depends at least partially on our relationships with others. As I’ve noted many times, happiness is not just about feeling good it’s just as much about doing good. Other people matter for our happiness which is why this article by Linsay Lyon is so relevant…
Close relationships is one area of life where using positive psychology can make a big difference. According to Shelly Gable, associate professor of psychology at the University of California-Santa Barbara, an important key to understanding a relationship’s strength is how it works in good times, not just whether it withstands the bad. Gable has been researching what goes right in close relationships for years. By studying hundreds of couples, she’s found that when romantic partners disclose positive news, how the other reacts matters-a lot. In fact, partners’ reactions to each other’s good news can better predict the quality of a relationship-and whether it will endure-than can partners’ reactions to bad news, says Gable.
“Reacting in a positive way not only reinforces bonds, but it also shows that person that in negative times you’ll be there,” says Gable. Positive reactions also magnify the uplifting effects of the good news for the partner who’s doing the sharing, she notes. A negative or semi-positive response to a partner’s good news, however, can undercut all the benefits derived from disclosing in the first place, such as fostering trust, intimacy, and satisfaction with the relationship, she says. Surprisingly, Gable has found that out of four possible ways to respond to a partner’s positive news, only one-an “active constructive response”-is good. Couples whose partners respond in any of three less positive ways are at greater risk of calling it quits down the line.
To read more, especially about positive responses – click here