November 7, 2010

Sharing positive events with others provides personal and interpersonal benefits

Are you happy for me? How sharing positive events with others provides personal and interpersonal benefits.

By Reis, Smith, Carmichael, Caprariello, Tsai, Rodrigues, & Maniaci,. - Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol 99(2), Aug 2010, 311-329.

Abstract: Sharing good news with others is one way that people can savor those experiences while building personal and interpersonal resources. Although prior research has established the benefits of this process, called capitalization, there has been little research and no experiments to examine the underlying mechanisms. In this article, we report results from 4 experiments and 1 daily diary study conducted to examine 2 mechanisms relevant to capitalization: that sharing good news with others increases the perceived value of those events, especially when others respond enthusiastically, and that enthusiastic responses to shared good news promote the development of trust and a prosocial orientation toward the other. These studies found consistent support for these effects across both interactions with strangers and in everyday close relationships. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved)


Solution-focused facilitation offers many opportunities for clients to share positive events. Solution-focused coaches invite their clients to talk about situations in which they have been able to accomplish certain things. For instance, in group facilitation we often invite group members to exchange stories about situations they have experienced that were fulfilling to them. In accordance with the results of the Reis e.a. study, these participants often afterwards say  1) that they really liked to share these positive events (AND to listen to the other person sharing his or her positive event), 2) that talking about the event was significant in the sense that it makes them more aware of what gives them fulfillment which knowledge they can apply in the future, and 3) that sharing the event brings them closer to the other person, because they have learned something important about him or her and because they often say they can identify with what the other person has shared.

I invite you to share a positive event you have recently experienced.

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