Think back to a situation where someone told you about something that went really well for them. How did you respond? I will give you four options:
- That’s nice honey.
- That’s cool honey, so how did it happen? And then what? Why do you think that?
- Anyway what’s for dinner?
- Oh man, does that mean I will see you even less? Goodbye work-life balance.
Saying just “that’s nice” is what is known as a positive passive response. Often we think we said something nice but actually we deny the possibility that the happiness can be expanded and shared.
Asking further questions and allowing someone to elaborate on their happy event brings most happiness to both parties. If you are feeling brave you could try it today.
Negative passive means that you immediately distract and not even acknowledge the good thing. It makes people less likely to share things with you.
Active negative means that the event is immediately torpedoed. It’s the most destructive way of responding to someone. If you recognize yourself in this swapping an active negative for a positive response, even a passive positive one, could improve your relationships dramatically.
Take whatever possibility you have today to expand on other people’s successes.