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Secret to Health & Happiness: Share Good News

The sharing of good news, and giving positive responses to it among romantic partners boost one’s health and happiness, according to findings which are to be presented at the 2017 Society for Personality and Social Psychology Annual Convention.

Humans are social beings, gregarious by nature. Communication, therefore, plays a key role in our lives. Part of this interaction includes the sharing of good news with one another. The new study emphasises the importance thereof in couple relationships—more specifically, it takes into consideration the effects of having responsive partners among military couples.

“This study adds to a larger body of literature that supports how important it is to share with your partner when good things happen, as well as to respond positively to the sharing of good news,” says author Sarah Arpin, from Gonzaga University.

The participants, post-9/11 service members, were either active or recently separated. They had engaged in fighting abroad and in providing assistance in their local regions during natural calamities. Arpin and her team analysed the participants’ relationships in terms of perceived responsiveness to the sharing of good news (the terminology for this type of support is termed “capitalization”), loneliness, intimacy, and sleep. Capitalisation is known to be essential for those in a close relationship.

“Very few studies have examined daily relationship processes among military couples, who may be particularly vulnerable to relationship difficulties post-deployment,” says Arpin.

The findings show that the participants are able to deal with the difficulties at both the workplace and at home thanks to capitalisation. The researchers explain that their study points at the benefits of having supportive partners—being able to share good things with them boosts one’s performance, as one is apparently protected from the pangs of loneliness and from the negative outcomes of sleep deficits.

How is sharing good news linked with these positive effects? According to Arpin, the interaction involved – that is sharing something good while one’s partner responds positively to it – constitutes a constructive experience for both.

“When you share something good, and the recipient of information is actively happy for you, it heightens the positive experience for both parties,” says Arpin. “However, when someone ‘rains on your parade’ that can have negative consequences.”

So, if you want to reap these benefits for your health and general well-being, share good news with your partner, and respond positively yourself to his/hers!


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