Friday, June 8, 2012

Rejoicing With Others--The Glue in Relationships

All of us know the importance of reaching out to support and encourage others when they are going through adversity or hard times. But there is a growing body of new psychological research that shows that  supporting others in good times impacts the quality of a relationship much more than when we support them in bad times.

However, how we respond to other people's good news makes a big difference. A psychologist at the University of California, Shelly Gable, found that people respond to good news in four ways. (1) They ignore the news. (2) They give a luke warm response such as, "That's nice." (3) They give a negative response such as "That surprises me. I didn't think you were qualified for the job." and (4) They respond positively and enthusiastically and ask follow-up questions and comments such as, "It's about time someone realized how vital you are to the organization."

Responding in the first three ways actually damages a relationship. Responding in the fourth way with enthusiasm and positive comments and questions bonds a relationship even more than helping people when in need.

As Romans 12:15 says, "Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep." So today find someone to rejoice with, and watch as your relationship with that person grows stronger and more satisfying. 

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