27 Jul Behavioural Exchange Activity – for more positive relationships
The quality of any relationship (whether with an intimate partner such as a spouse or with a work colleague or friend) plays a significant role in your overall happiness and wellbeing. There’s no doubt that happy people have both more, and better quality relationships. High-quality relationships provide a buffer against stress, depression and other negative emotions, as well as promoting positive emotions such as happiness, and a more general positive sense of wellbeing.
Although a lot of people don’t realise this, even the best relationships have their difficulties and problems. Accordingly, the key to having a great relationship is not to eliminate disagreements (this is impossible) but to manage these as effectively as possible. In addition, however, it’s also important to build positivity into relationships and one of the best ways to do this is to engage in positive experiences together.
So, with this in mind, try this exercise with your partner or colleague or friend and obviously, adjust the way you go about things so as to ensure it’s appropriate and relevant to the context.
- Both of you make a list of all the things you’d like the other person to do for you (or at least 5 things); and at least for now, just keep this list to yourself
- Now, next to each item on your list, add next to each entry a score from 0 to 100 reflecting how much pleasure or satisfaction or happiness you would get if your partner actually did that for you
- Now, swap lists
- Review your partner’s tasks, and the accompanying ratings, and then score them from 0 to 100 with regard to how much effort it would take for you to actually complete each item or task
- Compare the two scores and subtract the ‘effort’ score from the ‘pleasure’ score to give a final, difference score; and note, this difference score reflects the degree to which one of you will gain from the other person’s efforts
- The items with the highest difference scores are the ones that will give the greatest pleasure for the least pain, so you both win. As such, start with the highest scores and work your way down the list