Behavioral Psychology

Be Vocal When Things Are Going Right

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If you want to know the simplest yet most effective way to improve all your relationships it’s to be vocal when things are going right, to comment on behaviors you like at the moment they happen. This practice might feel forced at first but before long it will become just as natural to you as complaining about the things you don’t like, something most of us already do all the time.

And therein lies the problem. We have a tendency to get vocal when a situation is off but don’t feel that same pull to get vocal when a situation is on, allowing a sterling opportunity for a positive reinforcement to slip through our fingers that will surely make that desired behavior more likely to occur in the future while also making the person we direct our comment towards feel really good.

The narratives we spin about our lives are usually selective. We leave out a lot of data points that would drastically alter our perception, and a big reason why is that we just don’t notice these data points. Ten good things happen but we treat them all as normal, and then one bad thing happens and we can’t stop harping on it, letting this one bad thing overshadow all the good.

You can see then that deciding to be vocal about the things you like is not only reinforcing to your subject but also makes these things take center stage in your mind, so that you’re constantly focusing on and trying to cultivate the positives in your life instead of dwelling on the negatives. It’s a simple, easy to implement practice that can make a huge difference.