Strong emotions as a puzzle - Deepstash

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Strong emotions as a puzzle

Instead of viewing someone’s bad mood as a problem to be fixed, if your perspective slightly and try to see it as a puzzle.

When you shift from problem-thinking to puzzle-thinking, your mindset becomes driven by curiosity rather than morality. And it’s easier to be validating, understanding, and empathetic, which is what most people experiencing strong, painful emotions really need.

Get out of the “Fix-it Mode”

Most people struggling emotionally don’t want someone to fix their pain, they went to feel understood.

Use Reflective listening. It means that when someone tells you something, you simply reflect back to them what they said, either literally or with your own slight spin on it.

Validate your own emotions

One of the hardest things about other people’s bad moods is the emotions they tend to stir up in us.

The trouble is, once we’re deep into a spiral of our own negative emotion, it’s hard to have enough mental and emotional bandwidth to navigate our own mood and that of someone else. This is why we often react to other people’s bad moods in a way that ultimately isn’t helpful to them, us, or the relationship.

Reverse empathy

Rather than putting yourself in someone else’s shoes, try to remember a time when you wore the same shoe.

Try to recall a time when you struggled in a similar way and with a similar set of difficult emotions and moods. It's a powerful way to appreciate someone else struggle.

Clarify your responsibility

You can’t directly control how someone feels, thus you’re not responsible for it.

A common pitfall people make when trying to deal effectively with other people’s bad moods is to overextend their responsibility to that person to include how they feel.

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