In order to make any close relationship work in the long run it must be active-constructive.
I first came across this term in Martin Segilman’s book Flourish. It’s is from research that Shelly Gable has made as a Professor of Psychology at the University of California.
There are 4 ways we can respond when someone is telling us something. It probably sounds obvious what way to respond but if you observe yourself you will see that it is not always so.
1. An active constructive response. We communicate positively and with interest about what we just have been told.
2. A passive constructive response. We say things like: “That’s great” or “Good for you” and then don’t talk more about it.
3. An active destructive response. We star analyzing the news and will try to find all that can go wrong.
4. A passive destructive response. We ignore the news altogether and starts talking about something else.
So what can you do to improve your relations?
1. You can start by paying attention to how you respond to when someone close to you tells you some good news.
2. Then you can start practicing giving Active – Constructive responses. Say something positive to the news.
3. Ask follow-up questions. Fill in with information that shows that you are interested.
4. Last you can celebrate the event in some way. Be creative!
This is also a big part in in Positive Emotions and Relationships in PERMA
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