Be Responsive To Others

Perceived partner responsiveness is a core feature of close, satisfying relationships,” begins the abstract for a study by Amy Canevello and Jennifer Crocker. If you are going to have a good relationship with someone, you must be responsive to what is important to them. If someone tells that they love mango ice cream, they are going to be thrilled that you remember their favourite ice create the next time you have a discussion about it. It isn’t because they get a bowl of ice-cream, they will feel special because you listened to what they said and internalized it. Your action of talking about the ice cream that they like is your response to something they said. It shows that what they said is important to you. 

If you want to build strong relationships, you must be responsive to people. If you don’t pay attention to your kids because you are working all the time, you won’t have a good relationship. It isn’t because you aren’t caring for your kids; it is because they don’t perceive that they are important to you at all. If you are at work all the time, you are paying attention to them. They may even feel that your job, which you respond to all the time, is more important than them. 

You can create intentional responsiveness. Spend time to listen to your spouse. You can do the same thing for your customers. If you find ways to show that you are listening, even if you don’t have much room to make changes, you will be perceived as responsive. 

You use perceived responsiveness as a manipulative technique. Like a sleazy guy who knows exactly what to say to make someone feel special as they are sitting at the bar. But hopefully, you will use this concept for good. If you want to build good relationships, respond to people where they are. You will be surprised at how good a responsive connection is for both them and you. 

Some other studies about responsiveness and good relationships: