New Study Shows How Communication Behaviors Make a Difference In Our Well-Being and Happiness 

January 25, 2022by Vanessa Chapman

Summary of:

Mairivel , J. C. (2019). The Routledge Handbook of Positive Communication. Google Books. Retrieved January 20, 2022, from 

Background & Theory

This study correlates to how effective communication can impact us positively throughout our lives and can enhance our interpersonal relationships. Although we all face conflict at some point, this article relates to the positive psychology communication tactics and strategies on how to de-escalate conflict and create more peace within our lives. This furthermore explains how positive communication enhances behaviors to create moments of happiness, joy, and mutual understanding. 

Research Question(s)

Mairivel , J. C. (2019). The Routledge Handbook of Positive Communication. Google Books. Retrieved January 20, 2022, from 

  1. What communication skills constitute peak communication? 
  2. By using these positive psychology communication skills, how does this affect us long-term? 


Researchers interviewed several adults to speak around their “peak” conversations throughout their lives. They asked participants to describe what was said to them, the nature of the event, and their personal reflection of that particular experience. The methodology around this is divided into four approaches: asking open-ended questions, active listening tactics, complimenting others, and disclosing information about ourselves. 

Asking Questions 

The method included asking open ended questions versus one sided questions. There was a clear connection between the participants that asked open ended questions, and those who used compliments and reassurance when questions were answered by those individuals. By asking open ended questions we go into discovery mode which creates space for people to be their most authentic self.

Active Listening

When we listen deeply, we can transcend our perceived differences. By using active-listening tactics we are able to relate to one another free of judgment. We are able to enhance and deepen the relationship by coming from a place of empathy and understanding. When we are completely engaged with the other person we are able to connect thoroughly and foster a positive experience. 


Studies show that by complimenting others we are able to affect another person’s sense of self and raise their confidence. Genuine compliments create human connection and increase radiance in our relationships. In complimenting others we are choosing to impact those around us positively. Furthermore, complimenting others exudes that what is being stated truly matters. This creates validation and feelings of support to the other person. 


Although disclosing personal information can be quite vulnerable, when we take the leap of faith in confiding in someone we are able to enrich our relationships. This causes a ripple effect in others feeling as if they are able to share their own personal experiences. Through research the data shows that disclosing information  is the most dominant speech act in peak communication narratives. 


A concise report of the results includes that peak communication occurs when there is a conversation between two people that exude exemplary empathy and genuine curiosity with one another. Asking humans questions is the heart of human interaction. The data shows that by asking open-ended questions between participants, it allowed them to dig deep into their feelings and their belief systems to truly express their thought process and show vulnerability. This is what creates a multitude of peak communicative moments. Through showing this type of vulnerability, we are able to create trust amongst one another and truly understand one another. 

What This Means

  • By asking questions, listening attentively, showing vulnerability by disclosing personal information, and complementing one another, we are able to create a multitude of peak moments throughout our lives. 
  • Peak communication occurs when all of these methods are at play and will ultimately enrich our relationships to create genuine connections. 

Final Takeaway

For consultants: These methods are important for every consultant as they navigate high stress conflict with others. Using these methods will not only help consultants navigate conflict, but deepen their relationships with their clients. 

For everyone: Genuine relationships thrive when we are present, engaged, and open minded to hearing the perceptions and experiences of others. 


Vanessa Chapman

Vanessa has a background in Business, Psychology, and Mediation. She is currently Director of Client Services for Peaceful Leaders Academy. Some of her hobbies include continuous learning, reading, writing, and participating in yoga retreats!

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