Resilience Series Posted by Nicola Maxwell

Happy Talk

Do you sometimes get a compliment only to brush it off as if it’s not important?
Do you sometimes forget to mention the positives you have noticed in others only to focus on the negatives?

If so – join the club of millions who every day miss a crucial opportunity to spread the joy and live happier lives.

A lot of people say they don’t really expect or need positive strokes. ‘I just get on with it’ is a common phrase, almost as if praise and recognition are somehow for the emotionally needy and not required by the tough and resilient who soldier on regardless.

It doesn’t work that way. On the contrary.
To all the hard nuts out there – you are more likely than anyone to crack.

In fact, the less you give and receive positive strokes, the more likely you are to break down, fall over, give up, crash and burn when the going gets tough.

Groundbreaking work by psychologist Barbara Fredrickson has shown that the key to resilience and the ability to bounce back in teams at work can be traced directly to the level of positivity expressed between team members. The teams with a ratio of at least 3:1 positive to negative expressions (words/feedback) are significantly more able to overcome difficult times and problem solve.

The same was found for married couples! Yes indeed, couples with more happy talk between them were significantly more likely to stay together in the long term, reporting higher levels of happiness and wellbeing.

At this point the cynics usually tut and ask if they need to become a happy clappy, tree hugging kind of person and just ignore the negatives. Yes and No.
NO because it’s both fine and important to voice the negatives – as long as you find and voice the positives 3 times as much. YES because building positivity in teams and relationships during good time deposits ‘happiness credits’ you can cash during difficult times. In other words, the more positivity you have stored, the more you can use it to overcome crises, recover from setbacks and confront harsh realities.

So remember, it is always worth finding the positives and whenever possible, allow those to outweigh the negatives in what we say and do. If you manage to do this, you are likely to develop a healthy bank balance of positivity that will come in handy when you need resilience and stamina to take you through life’s twists and turns.

Why not start using the power of happy talk today?
How about a simple exercise that will take only a few minutes?
All you need to do is think about 3 people you can offer some positive feedback today.
It could be a friend (or even a stranger), a work colleague or someone in your family (or your partner). Decide what you will say and how you will deliver the feedback.

< Back to edoBuzz