One evening after completing my office work, when I finally wanted to relax, my son came up and told me about how his presentation in school went well and that everyone was in praise of his research. While listening to him, I kept on focusing on the messages in my phone without giving full attention to his excitement. My son finished what he wanted to share and left quietly. As he moved out, I realised that I actually stole away his joy, I was a joy thief. Even if his small achievement looked like a little pie in the sky, it was his joy which I stole. Many a times our self-focus, moodiness and concern can get in our way of being a joy multiplier and can impact someone in a negative way.
Dr. Shelly Gable’s research shows that it is only that one style, being authentically engaged with another person in the moment that person wants to share his or her good news with you, that strengthens relationships.
The good news is that we can use some strategies and move from being a joy thief to a joy multiplier.
First, if we recognize that we are getting into that mode, we can do deliberate breathing to bring our mood back into place. We can remind ourselves to focus on the other person and not on ourselves.
Second way would be tapping into gratitude. When we view these conversations through the lens of gratitude, we are grateful that people want to share their news with us, it helps to settle down, and be more engaged in whatever they are sharing.
Third, it is important to notice that person as they are talking to you. Look for his or her nonverbals. What is the person communicating to you with things other than words? This helps you to stay focused on the other person.
Fourth, another strategy is to simply ask questions, get involved in their joy. Well, what did it mean to you when that happened? What did you learn? Anything to kindle the conversation so that the fire grows, and the joy multiplies.
Lastly, think about, how do you express positive emotion. Let your emotions show more as a way to help that person to tap into your positive emotion to further build his or her positive emotion.
To be a joy multiplier, all it takes is to lend yourself to another person for a little while and this is the foundation of building meaningful relationships.