The next time your partner comes home and wants to share some positive news, you might want to switch the TV off and pay attention.
It could just save your relationship.
According to research, the key to happy relationships is actually not the way people behave when times are bad, but the way our partners react when we have good news to share.
A study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that people who felt their partner reacted to their good news with enthusiasm were also more likely to be happy with their relationship overall.
When you think about it, it makes sense. We have all experienced that shitty feeling that comes after you’ve told someone something excellent and they’ve reacted in a less than excited way. Your mood is squashed and you’re left feeling pretty low.
Social Psychologist Amie Gordon explains on her blog Psychology Today that there are four ways in which a person may respond to the news from another.
Business Insider listed these as being:
An active-constructive response from him would be enthusiastic support: “That’s great, honey! I knew you could do it, you’ve been working so hard.”
A passive-constructive response would be understated support — a warm smile and a simple “That’s good news.”
An active-destructive response would be a statement that demeaned the event: “Does this mean you are going to be gone working even longer hours now? Are you sure you can handle it?”
Finally, a passive-destructive response would virtually ignore the good news: “Oh, really? Well you won’t believe what happened to me on the drive home today!”
According to the research, for both people to feel happy in a relationship their partner should react to their news in an “active constructive manner” which is both encouraging and supportive.
So next time your partner is excited to share an achievement with you, try and listen properly to what they're telling you. Celebrate with them and congratulate them on their win. Heck, even grab one of the wines for 'special occasions' out of the fridge.
It might just be the key to long lasting happiness for both of you.
Do you share all your news with your partner?