Why you should wait to share exciting news
Plus, the role of humor in happy relationships
“The nice thing about removing all requirements for quality is that quantity rises”
–Psychologist Adam Alter
I’ll tell you later. When something exciting happens — you land your dream job, maybe — you probably get the urge to tell someone immediately. But a study suggests that you might benefit from keeping the news to yourself for a while. In a series of experiments, people were given happy news (they won a hypothetical math tournament, for example) and were asked to either tell others immediately or wait to share the good news. Researchers then measured how happy people were throughout the week. The people who delayed sharing the news reported higher overall happiness than those who shared immediately, and “the strength of their desire to disclose mediated this effect,” the researchers reported. “Practically, our research provides a simple and costless strategy that can boost happiness,” the study concluded. Next time something exciting happens, maybe take a moment or two to savor the good news before you share it.
Lol! Laughter is good for relationships, but does it depend on the joke? In a new study, researchers analyzed sense of humor in relationships, asking each member of a couple to describe both their sense of humor and their partner’s sense of humor. The findings were interesting. Generally, couples were pretty good at judging their partner’s sense of humor. But people in more satisfying relationships showed a “similarity bias” — a tendency to think their partner’s sense of humor was similar to their own, even if that wasn’t the case. “Maybe being similar doesn’t matter too much, but thinking that you’re similar does,” said study author Mariah F. Purol. The study also found that people in less satisfying relationships reported that their partner had a more aggressive sense of humor, relying on sarcasm and put-downs of others. In contrast, people in happier relationships reported having partners with more “adaptive” humor — that is, humor that creates social bonds and brings people closer together. Whatever your style, just don’t fall off the humor cliff.
Oops! We hate to break it to you, but it’s guaranteed that at some point in life, you’ll make a mistake. Many of us find failures to be uncomfortable, so we try our best to ignore them and move on. But what if there was a way to turn that discomfort into an opportunity? Listen to learn more.
ON THE HIDDEN BRAIN PODCAST
You 2.0: How to Break out of a Rut: There are times in life when the challenges we face feel insurmountable. Authors succumb to writer's block. Athletes and artists hit a plateau. People of a certain age call it a midlife crisis. But they are all different ways of saying: I’m stuck. This week, psychologist Adam Alter shares his research on why we get stuck — and how to break free.
ON THE MY UNSUNG HERO PODCAST
Adrianne Drazin’s story: Adrianne is on a long overseas flight with her baby and two young children. After she exits the plane, she notices a family nearby, waiting for something.
Don’t forget to send us the story of your unsung hero! Record a voice memo on your phone and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
ON HIDDEN BRAIN+
Your Questions Answered: Kevin Cokley on the Imposter Phenomenon: Many of us have moments in our lives where we feel like we don’t belong, even though we have the skills or credentials required to succeed. Psychologist Kevin Cokley describes this feeling as the “imposter phenomenon.” We recently featured his work in an episode called “Success 2.0: The Psychology of Self-Doubt,” and he joins us again, exclusively on Hidden Brain+, to answer listener questions.
Have you tried out Hidden Brain+ yet? You can find it by searching for our show in the Apple Podcasts app, or by going to apple.co/hiddenbrain.
FROM OUR LISTENERS
A man got into a ship and could see more than four continents at the same time. How is this possible?
LAST WEEK’S PUZZLE
What can travel around the world while staying in a corner?
The answer: A stamp
A MOMENT OF JOY
We hope your week is going as well as it is for this duck.