I was relating to a friend some good news I had received about a pay raise.
“Yeah, I remember the year I got a $5000 raise” and preceded to tell me about that year.
What a downer for me! My news was just glossed over and I never got to express my excitement!
This made me feel rather squishy about this person, so I did a little research and I found this:
Our relationships with people are affected by their response when we share a positive experience with them.
Turns out, responses fall into four categories:
The Conversation Killer – the other party is distracted and understates any support, so the conversation just fizzles out. In my example, my friend would be on their smartphone and respond to my news with a “Hmmm, that’s nice” and kept on scrolling.
The Conversation Hijacker – the other party ignores the event or changes the topic of conversation to something they want to talk about. This is what my friend did.
The Joy Thief – squashing the good news with a negative focus. Had my friend said “Wow that’s great! Is that going to kick you into the next higher tax bracket?”, they would have stolen my joy at the raise.
The Joy Multiplier – the other party displays genuine interest and elaborates the experience with questions. My family member could have said “Wow! That’s great! What are your plans for the extra money?”, which would have kept my enthusiasm going.