• Catherine Hansen

Re-kindle the spark in your relationship with ACR



"Active constructive responding (ACR) is a skill that helps you genuinely react to someone else's good news. The goal of ACR is to share in their joy and help them leave the conversation as—or even more—excited." (Human Performance Resources).


Responding enthusiastically to someone's good news may not be second nature to you—you could have the urge to share you own good news or are distracted and not in the headspace to respond whole-heartedly. Responding passively or in a destructive manner (learn more about those response styles here) is easy to do when we're in our busy and task-oriented everyday lives. A good way to evolve the way you respond to good news is to think about the last time you shared good news with someone (a co-worker, spouse or friend). How did that person respond? Were they enthusiastic and genuinely happy for you? Remember how that response made you feel supported and happy. Or were they distracted and dismissive of your good news? Think back to how that response probably deflated your good mood. Putting yourself in the sharer's shoes will help you be more intentional when responding to someone else's good news. In my experience facilitating couple's therapy, I've seen that when implemented by two willing and motivated partners, this communication "tool" has the potential to save a marriage. Over the years, I've seen vivid examples of how improved communication can bring intimacy back into a relationship. "In Gable et al’s (2004) paper, four studies were completed. They examined the effects of ACR for people in intimate relationships of longer than three months, as well as married couples." Here is a summary of those results: Personal benefits

  • Increased positive emotions

  • Increased subjective well-being

  • Increased self-esteem– Decreased loneliness

Relationship benefits

  • Increased relationship/marital satisfaction

  • Increased intimacy

  • Increased commitment

  • Increased trust, liking, closeness– Increased stability

So if you're trying to be a supportive co-worker, a better friend, or want to reconnect with your partner and show them you care, try implementing ACR. It may seem like a simple tool, but when used intentionally, it has the power to increase the overall wellbeing in your relationships. If you need guidance reigniting the spark and passion in your intimate partner relationship, get on the waitlist for my 5-week online workshop A Journey to Rediscover Intimacy. Click here to lean more.