1) 40+ year old sharing about being pregnant
2) teacher returning from job fair sharing about a job offer in Dhaka, Bangladesh
3) successful person in 40s choosing to go to grad school to change career paths
- Pregnant and over 40? How amazing is that? This is the most exciting news I’ve heard in awhile. You are going to be an amazing parent. When are you due?
- Moving to Dhaka? Is that in Bangladesh? Oh man, I’ve seen a few cool documentaries about Bangladesh. It’s going to be such an adventure. When are you moving? What have you heard about the school?
- I just heard you got accepted into grad school. You’ve chosen the perfect field for you. I can’t wait to hear how you find your courses.
- So you’re pregnant. Hm.
- Dhaka will be interesting.
- Grad school will be a good challenge.
This person shows understated support without sharing the excitement.
- Are you nuts? I had my kids at 25 and couldn’t keep up. Brace yourself because you won’t sleep for the next few years and you are seriously going to age quickly.
- You clearly don’t know anything about that place. I’ve heard that Dhaka is not safe and you’ll be sick all of the time. Don’t you think you are a bit too sensitive to move there? Why would anyone move to Dhaka who has a choice?
- How do you think you are going to manage going to grad school while teaching full time? What’s worse, imagine the expense considering it’s a US university. It’s not like when you finish you are guaranteed more money. Seems like a waste of time and money to me.
- Did you know that I got a new bike yesterday? I can’t wait to do a biking/camping trip this summer.
- I almost forgot to tell you, my daughter lost a tooth yesterday.
- So, are we going for coffee tomorrow morning or not?
This person ignores the news and the feelings associated.
- fewer conflicts
- higher levels of satisfaction
- more intimacy and trust
- engaging in more relaxing and fun activities together
- feeling validated, understood, and cared for (Colman,2010).
Seek to share exciting news with the people in your life who respond in an active constructive way. Be mindful of your own responses to the news others share with you. Strive to be an active constructive responder and watch your relationships improve.
Colman, Jessica. "Active Constructive Responding." Optimal Functioning: A Positive Psychology Handbook. Revised ed. Booknook.biz, 2010. Print.