Putting Positive Psychology into Practice – Become a Joy Multiplier

For those who read me regularly, you are aware that I’ve been fascinated with the area of Positive Psychology.  I recently completed another psychology class via Coursera – the fourth in a series; this one on Resilience (link here).   Resilience in this course was defined as the ability to bounce back from negative emotional experiences/adversity & flexible adaptation (growth) to changing demands of stressful/challenging situations.  Like all the courses in this Coursera Positive Psychology sequence, the focus on practices and developing skills to be more positive is something I appreciate.  

In my last blog (I Hear Voices) I talked about Thinking Traps of the inner voice and skills to quiet them.   This blog post captures a couple of the other insights into this space of Putting Positive Psychology into Practice.


“What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself.” Abraham Maslow

This course had a great summation of all the aspects of awareness:

  • Notice your thoughts – become aware of your inner voices and your deeply rooted self-limiting beliefs. (discussed here – I Hear Voices – and also here in Cultivating a Positive Mindset – link to guest post)
  • Know your emotions – have a broad lexicon! (discussed in this Blog Link)
  • Understand your “natural reactions” – what are your habitual responses and are they harmful (or helpful). This was also discussed in the I Hear Voices blog referenced above – your Thinking Traps.
  • Know how to manage your physiology (stress management, deep breathing, mindfulness, meditation). 
  • Know your Signature Strengths and leverage them. (Blog Link)

I appreciate this summation of being self-aware…the first step of personal change.

Become a Joy Multiplier

The course also shared a significant tool to strengthen relationships.  Supportive relationships (good connections with others) is a critical element of happiness, well-being, and longevity.   Taking a slightly different approach to talking about active listening, the focus here is on understanding your Communication Response Style when someone shares something good with you (something they enjoyed, are proud of, or are excited about) – the quick conversation of “let me share this good news” you might have with a friend, a spouse, a child, a student.  Only ONE of these response styles builds a relationship!  (hint – Joy Multiplier)

  • Joy Multiplier – authentically engage, shine the light on their positive experience, mirror the excitement, ask for more details, “that’s great, tell me more
  • Conversation Killer – distracted response, lack of attention/no eye contact, too tired, uninterested, “that’s good”,  “uh-huh”, “yes dear”, “whatever
  • Conversation Hijacker – shifting conversation away from their situation, one-upmanship, “by the way, that reminds me….
  • Joy Thief – point out all the potential negatives/what’s wrong/downsides, raise concerns, “have you thought about….”.

This was mind opening.   How many times do I have a distracted response?  Shift the conversation to something else?  Point out what could go wrong with the new idea? Whew.  

What about you?  Are you a regular Joy Multiplier?

From this recent course the skills/practices I’m focusing on this month for Putting Positive Psychology into Practice are:  continuing to practice an Attitude of Gratitude, continuing to leverage my Signature Strengths, increase my awareness of my Thinking Traps, and work on being a Joy Multiplier!

Picture Credit: Pixabay

17 thoughts on “Putting Positive Psychology into Practice – Become a Joy Multiplier

  1. I hope I’m a joy multiplier. I certainly try to be one – especially when faced with a joy thief. I call those people dementors (like in Harry Potter) because they can suck all the good out of anything.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love that term “joy multiplier.” At first I was thinking of it in terms of oneself, multiplying your own joy, but then you pointed out how we can use active listening to multiply another’s joy. What a great concept to grasp. I think I tend toward that naturally, but there are times when I allow myself to be distracted or even point out a negative. I’m going to be more aware of that now. Thank you. Cultivating strong relationships is key to resilience. It sounds like an interesting course.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Christie, it really is about being more aware and these terms made it very real, didn’t it? And yes, I really did enjoy this whole sequence of courses. I’m considering what to take next!


  3. What an interesting course Pat! I can certainly relate to the terms conversation hijackers and conversation killers. I certainly try to be a joy multiplier and your post gave me some things to think about. Thanks for sharing your thought provoking posts. #lifethisweek

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Deb, It was very interesting and I enjoyed sharing tidbits with folks. These descriptions were so compelling… and I’ve noticed how I can be a conversation killer so often! It’s made me stop and pat attention more, for sure.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Okay… I don’t think I got through the first paragraph before I had to stop reading the post and head straight to the Coursera website! When COVID first became a global issue, I registered for my first Coursera class: The Science of Well-Being. I LOVED it!! I now want to attend the classes you mention so I can return here and begin a meaningful dialogue 🙂 Positive Psychology sounds like something I NEED to investigate. It is one piece of the puzzle that will help me become the authentic me.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Molly, I audited all the classes, which you can do for free. (The audit button is small but there!) It also means I didn’t do most of the assignments nor take any of the quizzes. It’s not how I learn, and this was about learning for me.

      The sequence was good… Courses 1, 2 and 4 were best for me. It’s similar concepts to the Science of Well-being but also brings in some more approaches and different insights – like the latest “Be A Joy Multiplier” . I’ve summarized alone the way in the blog – I think it’s been about 6 months as I didn’t rush through the series, and took a detour into Enneagram for a month. Look for Putting Positive Psychology into Practice titles if you’re interested!

      Will enjoy a meaningful dialogue with you as you go through – either here or directly!


  5. I love this one. Very interesting food for thought and a simple concept to work on. Be a joy multiplier. I plan on taking this and trying to employ it every conversation that I have (should be easier to work on right now since I’m not having that many conversations! LOL). When I think about this, it reminds me that the people I enjoy the most are the ones that are the Joy Multipliers. Anyway, great goal for me to work on! Become a joy multiplier!!!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Candyse, You’re the second person to comment on so few conversations these days and I totally agree! Looking forward to days of more conversations. I find that with friends I’m better (not great, but better) at being a Joy Multiplier than I am with Tim. With him, I’m at my worst…. conversation killer, conversation hijacker. That’s my big focus with this.


    1. Hello Judith, I am glad you are finding the summaries interesting. Doing them actually helps me learn the material better myself. And I am working on many of the elements I put in my blogs – a bit of accountability! Thanks for joining in the conversation.


  6. Pat – your Coursera courses sound very interesting. So glad you’re getting so much out of them. I love the way you summarized the aspects of awareness and the Communication Response Styles – I feel like I’ve taken the course with you just from your notes! I hope that I’m a Joy Multiplier, but alas, I fear sometimes I might lean heavily on the Conversation Hijacker — although I have so few conversations these days, who knows. At least I’ll be more aware in the future. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Janet, I am so glad you appreciate these summaries! One of the things I’ve realized I like to do is synthesize things and find the “so what”. When working I did it often with the latest business books and my colleagues loved my “Cliff Notes”. I chuckled about your comment of having so few conversations these days – ain’t that the truth! And with my hubby & being around him 24/7 now, I tend to be a huge conversation killer… something I really need to work on.


  7. Hi Pat – that was really intersting and I truly hope I’m a Joy Multiplier. I’ve been very good friends with my SIL for decades, but I’ve come to notice that she’s become Conversation Hijacker – she always has a reply that is an example of how she is doing something the same or better. And it feels like she’s listening only long enough to be able to jump in with her example. I’ve been finding it a little iritating lately but not sure how to respond without sounding like a joy thief…..such a dilemma!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Leanne, You made me realize that no-where in the course discussion was anything on how do you deal with the “bad” types of conversationalist! The course focused more on self-development. My hubby can be a conversation killer…. having him read my blog was one way I’m hoping to make him more aware of it. Maybe share this blog with her and have a conversation about how you want to try and be a Joy Multiplier more and want her help…. of course, she might completely hijack the conversation!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s