Active and Constructive Responding

Shelly Gable, assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of California, has examined the different types of responses we give to other people's good news.


How do you respond when people share good news with you? The manner in which you respond when others share triumph with you directly builds or undermines your relationships.  Research into couples and intimate relationships suggests that supporting partners when good things happen is as important in building a relationship as supporting when bad things happen.

You can learn how to build relationships by focusing on good news through a technique called ?active and constructive? responding.

The quadrants above utilise four possible ways to respond to someone?s good news about promotion and a pay-rise

Important Note:
When giving an active and constructive response you do not need to overdo the praise and positive feedback.  This can make people feel uncomfortable.  Some types of people find praise patronising.  Instead you can concentrate on asking questions which encourage the person to talk about their good news and thereby savour their positive emotions.  If this type of active and constructive response does not come easily to you try to ask at least three questions.