Capitalization of Emotional Responses

Disclosures are pretty important when developing intimacy, and the way to do so most effectively/ capitalize on good emotions and feelings means, active-constructive responses are best. There are four types of responses.

Imagine you have really good news from work, you've just been promoted. These are the four example responses that fit accordingly.

Active-constructive responses: Wow that's amazing, honey!! Your boss gave you a promotion and he gave you a new office space? That's crazy!! Let me see the note she left you-- wow it says that you're the best employee she's EVER had, that's insane. Walk me through it, what did she say when she promoted you??

Passive-constructive response: Wow, nice. What projects are you assigned to?

Active-destructive response: Oh nice, that was a way faster promotion compared to your last job. Don't mean to be a negative nancy but they didn't give you that corner room did they? It has a pretty bad view of that street gutter.

Passive-destructive response: Man, I haven't been promoted since two years ago. Does your company have any new openings?
Maybe I should apply.


  • i dont think active-constructive is the best for everyone, i tend to veer away from those types of responses tbh because they overwhelm me. i give and tend to prefer passive-constructive responses, some of the most stabilizing conversations ive held included this type of back and forth. destructive sounds like my mom lol.
  • Just want to clarify that when I mean intimate relationships, I mean those with a close partnership of disclosing emotional and physical intimacy, like married/pairbond couples.
    I'm not saying everyone should do this btw!!
    When positive experiences happen, the best thing is to capitalize as theorized in the broaden and build theory, which 1. expands our thinking and reaction to positive events and 2. compiling resources to maintain well being.
    The reason why capitalization is good is because that way you can sharing the good event together, which is better than just experiencing the event. Just sharing a good experience doesn't benefit the person who's disclosing.
    Partners with primarily "active-constructive" responses have higher levels of intimacy in the relationship, and people with destructive responses have lower levels of intimacy. And even in the passive-constructive responses correlate with lower levels of intimacy.

    I think the point of this enthusiastic active-constructive responses is bc for intimate relationships when you enthusiastically share a good experience you get closer.
  • I like how you capitalized Emotional Responses, the double meaning made me laugh on the inside. :)
  • would you say that what separates active- and passive-constructive responses is more whether the response creates sense that the experience is being shared by both parties?

    im having trouble thinking of a strong example thats ostensibly passive while still creating a shared experience, but such a thing might include giving your partner a pedicure while they expound on their new responsibilities
  • Definitely shared experience is what sets it apart!
  • What's a job
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