So we chat a lot about how to help people through tough times and what to say when someone’s struggling, but there’s also great power in how we respond to someone’s good news too!
Professor Shelly Gable, from the University of California, undertook some research to learn more about how we respond when someone shares their good news with us, and how our responses to that good news can improve (or impede) our relationships.
Gable found there are four ways to respond to good news – but only one way of responding, makes a positive contribution to the relationship.
“That’s awesome! I’m happy that you’re taking some time off from work to do something for yourself. Where are you travelling to?”
This is an example of the most positive type of response. As you can see, it is active and constructive. It shows you’re engaged, supportive, and interested. Good news responses such as this boost relationships, and make it clear that you’re the type of person who’s there to celebrate somebodies wins (no matter how big or small!)
Now for the not-so-good responses…
A passive acknowledgement was found to be just as harmful to the relationship as blatantly negative ones…
“I’m surprised to hear you’re travelling, I thought you were supposed to be saving up to buy a house?”
However, the most destructive response was one where you ignore the good news entirely.
“I am so busy at work at the moment.”
Ouch. That’s savage, dude.
Gable’s studies show how active-constructive responses enhance relationship investment & satisfaction, and make people feel valued, heard and cared for during a conversation. The world’s already chockful of bad news – when good news comes along, make sure you meet it with joy, interest and enthusiasm. (And hopefully the good karma comes back your way too…)
Because we wanna help you celebrate all your big and little wins, we’ve included our kick-ass ‘Music To Quit Your Job To‘ playlist – a carefully curated selection of impassioned, dynamic tunes, perfect to stick it to the man and mosh around in your pjs. Listen below or follow the playlist on Spotify here.