Active Constructive Responding (ACR) Worksheet

In general, when someone shares good news with you, there are 4 ways you might respond. When you use Active Constructive Responding (ACR) to react, you magnify the excitement the person is sharing. ACR builds trust, connection, intimacy, and satisfaction in your relationships. It also boosts your own overall well-being and reduces conflict. But when stress is high, you’re more likely to fall into one of 3 other patterns that can damage your relationships over time. Luckily, taking a few minutes to apply ACR can help you experience positive emotions, lower your stress, and build strong, supportive relationships.

Review page 1 of the handout below to find out about the different ways people tend to respond when someone shares their good news. Next, use the worksheet on page 2 to evaluate how you tend to react to those who mean the most to you.

Finally, notice any trends overall. Are there certain situations or events that make it difficult for you to practice ACR? Write down what gets in your way—and identify how you can practice ACR more often to build your relationships with others.


CHAMP wants to know:

Did this information help change your opinion or perspective?

Gable, S. L., Gonzaga, G. C., & Strachman, A. (2006). Will you be there for me when things go right? Supportive responses to positive event disclosures. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 91(5), 904–917. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.91.5.904

Gable, S. L., & Reis, H. T. (2010). Good news! Capitalizing on positive events in an interpersonal context. In M. P. Zanna (Ed.), Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, Volume 42 (pp. 195–257). San Diego, CA: Elsevier. doi:10.1016/s0065-2601(10)42004-3

Gable, S. L., Reis, H. T., Impett, E. A., & Asher, E. R. (2004). What do you do when things go right? The intrapersonal and interpersonal benefits of sharing positive events. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 87(2), 228–245. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.87.2.228

Lambert, N. M., Gwinn, A. M., Baumeister, R. F., Strachman, A., Washburn, I. J., Gable, S. L., & Fincham, F. D. (2012). A boost of positive affect. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 30(1), 24–43. doi:10.1177/0265407512449400