Celebrate better

If I have to be fairly honest .. I’ll have to admit that I’m in love with Tony Crabbe’s words. His book ‘BUSY’ truly knocked some sense into me. His words demand attention, which is the exact reason I want to share them with you. Let me start by asking you a question: What do you think is a better predictor of a strong relationship?

The way you argue or the way you celebrate?

Tony thought the answer was obvious. According to him it had everything to do with ‘how’ we act in the heat of the moment. That particular moment when we put aside our respect for the other person in favor of a victory, and the unspeakables are spoken. He admits that he was wrong. Shelly Gable, professor of psychology at the University of California, has demonstrated that how we celebrate is a better predictor of relationship strenght.

The secret of a great celebration

Celebrating good things, succes, victory, achievements, friendships, health .. We all have moments of great news. But it’s about how you zoom in on them. Martin Seligman, an American psychologist, suggests that there are four basis types of response when you hear some great news.


I’ve been asked to be on the regional gymnastics team. The team is going to compete in Paris, next month, in an international competition.


A – That’s great news. You deserve it. They should have selected you years ago!

B – Oh ok, can you pass me the salt please?

C – That’s amazing. How did you react? Tell me more about the trip!

D – Ahh. Paris, is a long way away. Will you still have enough time for your homework?

My favorite kind of psychology

Simple, blinking obvious (once explained) and life-enhancing. As you might have noticed already, it all boils down to the ability of becoming TRULY involved. Fully engaged. I came to the conclusion that I’m used to, as in .. More familiar with, response A. Which is a PASSIVE response. Oh and ofcourse response D, which obviously is a destructive one.


Superficial and flatlined. Response A mostly is heartfelt and true but unsubstantial. Take a moment, and try to figure out the extent to which your responses are affected by being in a rush.  


In a world of too much, we’re basically always too busy to stop and drop into a celebration. When someone has good news, STOP .. And ask them how it feels. Ask them what happened. Try to extend the time you spend on that subject, because positivity arises from good news! Positivity is precious, especially when self-criticism and negativity are always lurking.

Just don’t default to a drive-by pat of congratulation

Bron: BUSY – Tony Crabbe