As social animals forming close and lasting relationships is important. Positive relationships is one of the five categories covered in the PERMA theory of wellbeing. This blog post is the third in the series covering this theory. For the first one click here.
We have many relationships in our lives, connections with other people. We have professional relationships at work, relationships with parents, siblings, children and other family as well as friends and romantic partners. We really do have a lot of relationships that we are required to navigate. It is possible that not all of the relationships in your life are positive?! Perhaps a colleague or boss, or even a family member. That’s okay, we can’t like everyone but strengthening the positive relationships we do have can increase our happiness and help build resilience because we develop a support network.
So I want you to consider right now what are your five most positive relationships and whether you could do more to strengthen them.
There has been lots of research done with couples to understand what strengthens a romantic relationship and one of the most simple ideas has come out of research conducted by Shelley Gable.
We must show genuine excitement and enthusiasm
in our partner's good news.
Perhaps you already naturally do this, but you will see many couples that do not. Gable found that some couples would react with indifference, imagine a casual “that’s nice” and then turn back to what they were doing. Others completely ignored it and the worst reaction was to actually break down the good news by highlighting the bad points about it.
Now, of course, it might depend on the magnitude of the good news and whether it is good news for you or not, but I believe this idea of sharing and being excited for someone else extends beyond good news. It works every day. Being genuinely interested and excited to hear about your partners day, something they have done, or even bought. This goes a long way. And it doesn’t just apply to romantic partners. This is great with family, colleagues and friends. It works because it creates a bond, you are sharing in some of their happiness and as a result, you get a little bit more yourself.
Be the person who is always excited for and
interested in someone else's good news.
Clare Martin is a the founder of the Positive Teacher Network who specialises in helping teachers to find the ultimate Work Life Balance and supports them with many of the difficulties teachers face today.
The Positive Teacher Network provides practical tips and strategies to busy, tired teachers to help them improve their lives allowing them to focus on being great teachers.