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When a friend or family member shares good news with you:
Being there for someone when they share good news can be a gateway conversation in the relationship. If the person trusts you to celebrate good news with them, they may also trust you when they need to talk about something more difficult.
One strategy you can use to implement new skills is to reflect on how you typically react when someone shares good news and become aware of some of the pitfalls when responding to your friends and family. Here are some of those pitfalls:
It may be helpful to spend some time thinking about the last week. Were there times when you squashed, shut down, or stole your friend’s good news? What was the circumstance? What did the person say? How did you respond? Looking back, what could you have said or done differently? After this reflection, try a new behavior next time such as asking questions or showing authentic support. Compare how you felt when celebrating good news versus squashing, shutting down, or stealing.
For one day, track how you respond to posts on social media. Are you supportive? Do you celebrate good news? Then, reflect on how it makes you feel about social media. Do you feel like you connect with people in a real way? Then, challenge yourself for one week to respond to posts on social media in a different manner by showing authentic support to others when they post about good news. Reflect on the impact this has on your social media experience. Did it change?
Challenge yourself by asking open-ended questions when someone shares good news with you. Even though asking closed-ended questions such as “Was it fun?” is better than squashing, shutting down, or stealing, it is still limiting how much authentic support you are showing. Instead of asking “Was it fun?” challenge yourself to ask open-ended questions such as:
By asking open-ended questions, you spark more conversation, and most importantly, the other person senses genuine interest and support.
W(RAP) It Up: Create a plan to move forward.
You’ve learned how celebrating good news can help strengthen your relationships and build your social support network, which is important for resilience. Click on the link below, print it out and think about: what should you stop doing, continue doing, and start doing.