The Key To A Happy Relationship? Supporting Your SO During Times Of Success (Not Just Failure)
What's the best part of success? The answer may be the key to a happier relationship. For some, it's the self-confidence boost; for others, it's the well-deserved and often sought-after sense of achievement. If you're like me, it's the promise of rewarding myself with red velvet cake. But many would claim that the very best part of success is the ability to share that triumph with the people we love, basking in communal accomplishment like it's nobody's business.
That's why, according to a study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, it may be just as important to provide support when a partner experiences happiness and success as it is to be there for them when they're down. This behavior is associated with happier relationships.
Consider this: You've been working toward a goal for months and the day finally comes that you reach it. You're frolicking around your living room (your movements best described as the mutant child of both a rain dance and the twerk), hands up in the air as imaginary celebratory confetti is falling down on you, when your partner walks in the room.
"Why so excited? You're sweating all over the new carpet," he or she says.
You spit out the good news in a frenzy. They congratulate you in lackluster passing, exiting the room as your rain of imaginary confetti disappears unceremoniously, leaving you with a bit of sadness and a bad taste in your mouth.
It sucks when our partners don't acknowledge our successes. So in that way, it's no surprise that matching one another in excitement and exuberance is so vital. The term is "capitalization," and it's the interaction of sharing great news with a friend or mate and receiving a positive response that we feel reflects the importance of that news. Capitalization is highly associated with happier relationships.
As reported by Jana Lembke of ScienceOfRelationships.com:
Active and constructive capitalization responses (i.e., those characterized by attentiveness, encouragement, and enthusiasm) are associated with more intimacy, higher marital satisfaction, and a lower likelihood of breaking up. In fact, capitalization is more strongly associated with relationship well-being and stability than is providing support in the face of negative events.
Of course, every couple is different. Some would prefer heavy emotional reinforcement when failure strikes over their significant other dancing around the room with them, that imaginary confetti all over the new carpet.
I can say from personal experience, though, a distinct lack of empathy and inability to mirror excitement over successes has led to more than one of my breakups.
So let's just all be happy for each other, shall we?
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