Share It! (It’s Good For You)

Everything Tastes Better Shared

“Happiness quite unshared can scarcely be called happiness; it has no taste.”  ~ Charlotte Brontë

I am taking a four week class with the VIA Institute on Character.  The VIA Institute is one of the leaders in the field of positive psychology and in interpreting and using the results of the VIA Survey to help individuals, teams and organizations understand and align their personal character strengths to their highest and best use.

In my class we are learning how to use the VIA PRO report and how to apply some of the most recent research around effectively using signature character strengths.  One piece of research that I have been especially interested to learn about was how capitalizing on a positive event increases its impact.*

What exactly does capitalizing on a positive event mean?

When people share the news of a positive event with others or celebrate the event in some way, they experience greater positive affect—that is capitalizing on a positive event.   Similarly, other research has found that when people savor a positive event they experience greater well-being.   And when we share in a partner’s success we experience more relationship satisfaction.

What do you do when things go right?  We know what works when things go wrong:  Social support relieves stress and close relationships help us cope with negative events.  But what about when things go right?  This is a piece of the puzzle that until recently has been overlooked.  It turns out that sharing the positives also creates a kind of social support that is as helpful as it is in negative events.

How sharing a positive event enhances your well-being:

  1. When you share, you retell, which is an opportunity to relive and reexperience the positive event.
  2. When you retell, you rehearse and elaborate, which prolongs and enhances the experience and makes it more present in our minds.
  3. When rehearsed, we remember events more positively than events that we haven’t talked about.
  4. Sharing fosters positive social interactions, which are reinforcing in and of themselves.
  5. The response others give when good news is shared boosts self-esteem because we experience that others are pleased.

Coaching Questions to Ask Yourself:

Who can you share a positive event with?  Who can you ask to share a positive event with you where you appreciatively listen to their share?  At work can you support your team in sharing their positive personal or professional events?  How can you savor a positive event?  How can you share in your partner’s successes?

If you would you to take the VIA PRO or be coached on how to apply your strengths at work and in your life, contact Dr. Lynn K. Jones for a free exploratory session.

P.S.  Since everything is better shared, please share this blog link with your friends!

Dr. Lynn K. Jones is a Board Certified Coach and an Advanced Certified Personal and Executive Coach based in Santa Barbara, California and a sought after coach and consultant for organizations and individuals across the US.   Her doctoral work completed at the Wurzweiler School of Social Work, Yeshiva University concerned organizational culture; she coaches, consults and trains organizations on what they need to do to create organizational cultures that are aligned with their vision and values using a process of Appreciative Inquiry.  She coaches individuals on achieving their reflected best selves.  A MSW@USC faculty member, Dr. Lynn K. Jones, MSW, DSW, CSWM, teaches Human Behavior and Social Environment and Leadership to social work students at the University of Southern California.

*Research for this blog post can be found in the article by Gable, Impett, Reis, Asher, “What do you do when things go right?  The intrapersonal and Interpersonal benefits of sharing positive events,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 2004.

BCC Board Certified Coach #1487


  1. Earle Airey III on July 31, 2012 at 10:57 am

    Hi, I took the VIA Pro a few months back and found it of great benefit. I’m definately a VIA avocate. Another excellent resource is the Kolb learning style inventory administered by the Hay Group. I had the privledge of studying under Dr. Kolb before he retired from Case. Between the VIA Pro and the Kolb LSI I have found these tools to have been invaluable not only in my personal growth, but in assisting others especially working together in a group environment.

    • Executive Coach on July 31, 2012 at 11:26 am

      Hi Earle,
      Thanks for sharing your experience with the VIA PRO and the Kolb. What has been your experience CAPITALIZING on your strengths?

      • Earle Airey III on July 31, 2012 at 1:17 pm

        Lynn, I have been better equipped to be more mindful about myself, others, and the environment around me. I can better empathize with others and what they are going through because I am better aware of my own strengths and what they can represent in my life, and more importantly, how I can use them to help others. This entire experience has been a magnificent journey of continuous enlightenment.


        • Executive Coach on July 31, 2012 at 3:06 pm

          How wonderful Earle! There is research by Barbara Frederickson that positivity “broadens and builds.” It seems to me that you describe that really well when you say it has been “a magnificent journey of continuous enlightenment.”

  2. KymberlyFunFit on July 31, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    Loved the advice backed by research. I had not thought of how to expand positive events, so am glad to have these steps, which I will start implementing today! Hope you are enjoying your training! Keep more scoop coming please!

  3. Executive Coach on July 31, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    Glad you liked the scoop, Kymberly Fun and Fit– and thanks for the encouragement to keep them coming. Speaking of the physical fitness world, I was thinking about how the Olympics is such a great way to capitalize on those athletes’ achievements. They get to retell their story over and over again and they see so poignantly the impact that their achievement has on their loved ones and the rest of the world.

  4. Ingrid Sarrat on July 31, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    Great blog, Lynn! I love the picture! It’s a great representation of how we savor those joyous “snapshot” moments of sharing and tasting the benefits! I think we as coaches have a very privileged role in bringing that shared positivity into our our clients’ experiences.

    • Executive Coach on July 31, 2012 at 4:40 pm

      Glad you liked it Ingrid. I think “savor” is such a great description of what we want to accomplish with capitalization. When we savor something, we really take a moment to appreciate it and pay attention to it. I know when I do that it does make a more salient impression on me and I am able to call up the good feeling associated with it easily. I remember when I was student in Oxford and I was sad to leave. I can remember savoring everything before I left because I wanted to be sure to remember it. I really didn’t want to leave because I forgot my passport, so as it turned out I returned a few hours later from the airport. When I returned I had this eerie perception that felt like I had been gone for years rather than hours. I think that is the impact of savoring a memory. To this day, I can call up the details of the streets and neighborhoods that I focused my attention on that day.

  5. Calla Gold on July 31, 2012 at 8:11 pm

    Dr. Lynn,
    I loved what you got out of your training. And that you shared it with us.
    I thought of the friends that I share my good news with and how happy we all get when we share our good news. You have given me the impetus to decide that seeing my girlfriends isn’t just a frivolous thing, but a truly healing thing to do.
    Thanks for this really wonderful post Dr. Lynn!
    Calla Gold

    • Executive Coach on July 31, 2012 at 8:40 pm

      Sharing your good news with friends is wonderful. I am so glad that you have a circle of friends to do that with and even happier that you now realize that it is not a frivolous past time. And thanks for sharing with me that you appreciated my post!

  6. Gloria M. Miele, Ph.D. on August 1, 2012 at 6:45 am

    What an excellent article. Thanks for sharing. I actually do something on my Facebook page called “What Went Well Wednesday” where I encourage my followers to share a win for the week in an effort to increase their focus on the positive and, in turn, their continuing success. I shared the link to your blog on my page today, as a great background for why this is so important. I’m also curious to know more about how you’re liking the VIA training. I use the VIA as well and have wondered about the more intensive course. Have a great day!!

  7. Executive Coach on August 1, 2012 at 10:19 am

    Hi Gloria,
    Glad you liked the article and THANKS for sharing it on your Facebook page!! I love the idea of What Went Well Wednesday and will let my followers know to check in on that.

  8. Laurie Hurley on August 1, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    All I can say is – sharing is caring. I so believe in focusing on the positive and keeping the negative in check. That’s why I like Wx4 and posts like this.

    • Executive Coach on August 1, 2012 at 7:08 pm

      Thanks for caring to share, Laurie!

      • PatriciaDugan on August 12, 2012 at 7:28 am

         Lynn K. Jones Sharing is caring, as Laurie Hurley mentioned!

  9. Alison on August 5, 2012 at 10:49 am

    Capitalizing on a positive event and the ways to achieve that sounds like a really good way to enhance my relationships and my own personal experience of positive events. I’ll remember those excellent points.

    • Executive Coach on August 7, 2012 at 10:34 am

      Glad you liked the ideas of capitalizing on positive events, Alison. Let me know how it works out when you try it!

  10. wendy merron on August 6, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    Great article! And especially timely now that the Summer Olympics are going on.
    Anytime we are chatting about how great our gymnasts are, how much we admire the persistence and strength of our athletes, it’s no wonder our pride makes us happy!
    Last weekend 6 of us were watching the Olympics together and sharing this positive experience was awesome.
    (Heck, even if an athlete doesn’t get a gold medal – they qualified!)
    I’m enjoying your blogs and finally got the chance to say thank you :-)

  11. Executive Coach on August 7, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    Thanks for sharing Sharon! Glad you have been enjoying my blog.I too have been thinking about all the opportunities for capitalization at the Olympics and so true how good it makes us feel to be sharing in their achievements and pride for their country with them.

  12. BoDana on December 20, 2012 at 6:03 pm

    I like very much your explanation of how sharing a positive event enhances our well-being. All opportunities to make these positive events last longer in our minds and help us stay focused on the positive.

  13. Random Acts of Kindness on December 21, 2012 at 9:21 am

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    […] I wrote about the importance of capitalizing on good events.  (If you missed it, you can read, Share It: It’s Good for You […]

  16. […] I wrote about the importance of capitalizing on good events.  (If you missed it, you can read, Share It: It’s Good for You […]

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