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Positivity is Good for Relationships

by Beth on December 23rd, 2009

Most of us are fortunate enough to spend the holidays with friends and family.  I feel blessed to be writing this blog from my parent’s home!  Since many of us will be with others who are near and dear to us this season, I thought I would share with you some of the many benefits of positivity for relationships.

Positivity leads to high-quality relationships.  People feel closer and more connected to others when they experience positive emotions.  When people are in positive moods they make favorable judgments of others, which increases liking.  Liking leads people to be more sociable and to cooperate and help others more readily, all of which strengthen relationships.

Personal relationships benefit from positivity

Positive people have more close relationships and they have stronger marriages.  A psychologist named John Gottman videotaped 15-minute conversations between husbands and wives.  He then counted the number of positive and negative interactions and used the ratio of positive to negative interactions to predict whether each couple would stay together or divorce.  Ten years later he checked back with the couples and he had predicted divorce with 94% accuracy!

Work relationships benefit from positivity

Positivity at work leads to high-quality connections, which are related to personal growth, creativity, and motivation.  Closer relationships increase the exchange of information and the quality of interactions, leading to better coordination.  People’s positivity energizes those around them.  The relationships that result from positivity at work lead to increased effectiveness and to social support that can be turned to in times of need.

Increasing positivity to strengthen relationships

Why not make it a goal to increase your positivity ratio this holiday season?  Doing so can strengthen your personal and professional relationships.  Try the following strategies for increasing positivity:

  • Savor the moment – Positive emotions can be increased by savoring what is good in your life.  Take time to stop in the midst of the hustle and bustle of the season and just be.  Look around you and appreciate what is good in your life.
  • Express gratitude – Think of someone to whom you are thankful.  You can choose to either write a letter to that person to express your gratitude or tell them directly how thankful you are.  It will make you both feel great!

How has positivity strengthened your relationships?  Do you take time to savor the moment and express gratitude?