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How to Handle Other People's Bad Moods Like a Pro

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.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

How to Handle Other People's Bad Moods Like a Pro

How to Handle Other People's Bad Moods Like a Pro

https://nickwignall.com/other-peoples-bad-moods/

nickwignall.com

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Key Ideas

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.

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.

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.

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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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Anger and Aggression
  • Anger: An emotion felt when we believe we have been wronged.
  • Aggression: is an act of expression of the anger, by our words our actions. Aggression can be insults, sarcas...
Validation and Boundaries
  • We can try and validate the anger felt by an individual by making them know that their anger is maybe justified while putting firm but respectful boundaries on their aggression.
  • We then need to be clear about what type of aggression we are willing to tolerate, setting boundaries on the unacceptable.
  • We may have to put our foot down and be ready to leave the conversation or escalate the issue, without falling into the trap of guilt and emotion.
  • If possible, we need to restart the conversation when things have cooled down, and diffuse the issue in a calm way.
Avoiding Speculative Self-Talk

Unchecked self-talk can easily turn into self-delusion. The stories we create almost always make you look like the good guy and cannot be termed as objective.

  • The way to get out of this speculative self-delusion is to avoid any speculation about other people's anger, at least initially.
  • Make sure to note down the facts of the situation. This can make the story less according to your gut instinct, and more towards the objective reality.

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See Relationships Like A Therapist

Relationships nowadays are regularly in the doldrums, with certain factors that tend to ruin them. These same factors can be ‘reverse-engineered’ to help us strengthen and improve these relations.

Validate, Not Solve

When someone talks about their problems, we are jumping in the problem-solving mode straight away. While dealing with people, this approach can backfire. A better approach is to just listen and validate their struggles, make them feel heard and understood.

Actions Have Underlying Functions

Many times, the external appearance of behaviour isn’t the full story and has underlying functions. It is just a symptom and not the problem.

Example: When a teenager is mad for no reason, it helps to understand the underlying problems they usually have in this age, and be compassionate.

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Two relationship complaints

The two worst things in a relationship are:

  • The thought of a partner leaving.  
  • The frustration of a partner not sharing their feelings.

If people are ill-e...

Offering vs obligated

Offering to share with your partner is intimate.  Being bullied into sharing is undercutting the very intimacy we think we're building.

Other people's emotions are theirs, not ours. Hearing them share their feelings is a privilege, not a right.

Correcting wrong views
  • “Sharing is caring!”. But care is about love and love is about respecting your partner's personal space.
  • “Yeah but if I don’t know what’s wrong, then how can I fix it?” Our partners are not our personal projects. Our relationship isn't a game of codependency.
  • “But I just want them to share!” Yet, we are not entitled to it.
  • "But why won’t they tell me?! Why is that so hard?” Because they don't want to. They may not be ready, or maybe nothing is wrong. You can't push it.

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