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How Not to Ruin Your Relationships When You’re In a Rotten Mood

How Not to Ruin Your Relationships When You’re In a Rotten Mood

You know that yucky feeling when you can’t even look at yourself in the mirror, when you want to turn your phone on silent, pull the covers over your head and hide from the world.

You can do that if you live by yourself, never leave your house, and live in the remote mountains of Mt. Kilimanjaro. But if you’re like the rest of us and have a job, go to the grocery and stop at Starbucks every morning, you have to face people every day- no matter what mood you’re in.

Bad moods are a part of life. They come on fast and hard. They happen without warning. Everything is fine and then BAM! Before you know it, you’re yelling at your cat for walking between your legs, you’re eating a pint of ice cream, or your thoughts are dark and your words disappear. Unfortunately, rotten moods are a reality you must learn to live with.

During that time, here are 12 tips to help you cope with your gloomy thoughts and not hurt people you love, live with or work with.

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1. Admit to yourself that you’re in a bad mood.

Deceiving yourself by going into denial will only prolong and deepen the darkness. Identify your crankiness, even if you can’t find the source of it. Waking up after a restless nightmare-filled night makes you snap at everyone who comes near you. Be gentle with yourself, especially when you feel out of sync.

2. Ask for a time-out.

Be considerate of the people in your orbit. Tell them you need some time alone. You may not know what’s going on but you know it’s best to be alone for an hour. Remove yourself to either a bathroom, a car, the local deli, or Starbucks. Go for a walk, get some fresh air. Breathe and give yourself time to reframe your negative thinking or physical discomfort.

3. Cry like a baby.

Crying is cleansing. Listen to a sad song or turn on The Notebook, bring those tears out from your soul. Let it all out. Yes, guys can cry too.

4. Tell someone else.

Be honest it might make you feel better. If you can, tell whomever you come in contact with so they don’t think you’re mad at them. Share your worries with someone you trust. Someone who won’t judge you, but will stand beside you with a shoulder to lean on.

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5. Beware of your stress levels.

if you have an appointment, get ready 30 minutes earlier, text them and tell them you’ll be a little late. Don’t make it worse, by adding more stress to your already stressed-out state of mind.

6. Have a sense of humor.

LOL. Laugh if you can. Try to joke about how crummy you feel. Just be sure to make fun of yourself (not anyone else).

7. Silence is a good thing.

Pause before you speak. When your thoughts in a negative space, your words often match. You end up saying things you soon regret. During your darkness, it is especially important to watch your words.

8. Break the silence.

After you’ve had a good cry, gone out for a walk, and had a chance to reframe your mood, share your thoughts with someone who loves you. If no one understands, hire a therapist who will listen and help you through your abyss.

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9. Realize you don’t live in a bubble.

Bad moods make us self-absorbed. No one else exists but you. Everything is about you. Give yourself a gentle slap and realize that people who love you are close to you. They don’t know how to handle you. They don’t know what to say. You may not be able to communicate what you feel, but just look at them and see how much they love you.

10. Understand yourself.

Take a personal inventory. Don’t get lost in over-analyzing yourself but just take a step back (if you can) and think about what is upsetting you? Are your feelings hurt from something your boss said? Are you holding in anger? Is there a decision you need to make but don’t want to make? Give yourself time to process what you feel. Think lovingly of yourself. Be your own best friend.

11. Look for the message.

After the darkness clears and the sun comes out, see if there is a lesson to be learned. Often in your hardest moments, the greatest wisdom comes to you. Maybe not immediately, but soon after. Keep your mind open to the possiblity that your bad mood might be filled with wisdom you need to have about yourself.

12. Write it, if you cannot speak about it.

The words in your head are often hard to verbally process. Writing is an excellent method of communicating the thoughts you cannot speak. Write about what you feel. Writing is private. Writing is an expression of your soul.

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Being in a bad mood is certainly unpleasant but it doesn’t have to become a monstrous event that destroys your relationships, or gets you fired. Yes, it can have a huge affect on your day but it happens to everyone. We all know life can be tough but the good thing is that we all know it. It’s what bonds us together.

Everyone will understand; if you are true to yourself, your feelings and the people around you.

It’s okay if you need a little time to be alone and cry but when you’re finished, share your feelings with that one special someone who will love you, wait for you, and be there for you in your darkest hour, no matter what.

We’ve all been there before. Remember… you’re never alone. Somebody loves you.

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June Silny

ADHD Coach, Writer, ADDitude Magazine featured contributor

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Last Updated on January 24, 2021

How to Say No When You Know You Say Yes Too Often

How to Say No When You Know You Say Yes Too Often

Do you say yes so often that you no longer feel that your own needs are being met? Are you wondering how to say no to people?

For years, I was a serial people pleaser[1]. Known as someone who would step up, I would gladly make time, especially when it came to volunteering for certain causes. I proudly carried this role all through grade school, college, even through law school. For years, I thought saying “no” meant I would disappoint a good friend or someone I respected.

But somewhere along the way, I noticed I wasn’t quite living my life. Instead, I seem to have created a schedule that was a strange combination of meeting the expectations of others, what I thought I should be doing, and some of what I actually wanted to do. The result? I had a packed schedule that left me overwhelmed and unfulfilled.

It took a long while, but I learned the art of saying no. Saying no meant I no longer catered fully to everyone else’s needs and could make more room for what I really wanted to do. Instead of cramming too much in, I chose to pursue what really mattered. When that happened, I became a lot happier.

And guess what? I hardly disappointed anyone.

The Importance of Saying No

When you learn the art of saying no, you begin to look at the world differently. Rather than seeing all of the things you could or should be doing (and aren’t doing), you start to look at how to say yes to what’s important.

In other words, you aren’t just reacting to what life throws at you. You seek the opportunities that move you to where you want to be.

Successful people aren’t afraid to say no. Oprah Winfrey, considered one of the most successful women in the world, confessed that it was much later in life when she learned how to say no. Even after she had become internationally famous, she felt she had to say yes to virtually everything.

Being able to say no also helps you manage your time better.

Warren Buffett views “no” as essential to his success. He said:

“The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.”

When I made “no” a part of my toolbox, I drove more of my own success, focusing on fewer things and doing them well.

How We Are Pressured to Say Yes

It’s no wonder a lot of us find it hard to say no.

From an early age, we are conditioned to say yes. We said yes probably hundreds of times in order to graduate from high school and then get into college. We said yes to find work, to get a promotion, to find love and then yes again to stay in a relationship. We said yes to find and keep friends.

We say yes because we feel good when we help someone, because it can seem like the right thing to do, because we think that is key to success, and because the request might come from someone who is hard to resist.

And that’s not all. The pressure to say yes doesn’t just come from others. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves.

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At work, we say yes because we compare ourselves to others who seem to be doing more than we are. Outside of work, we say yes because we are feeling bad that we aren’t doing enough to spend time with family or friends.

The message, no matter where we turn, is nearly always, “You really could be doing more.” The result? When people ask us for our time, we are heavily conditioned to say yes.

How Do You Say No Without Feeling Guilty?

Deciding to add the word “no” to your toolbox is no small thing. Perhaps you already say no, but not as much as you would like. Maybe you have an instinct that if you were to learn the art of no that you could finally create more time for things you care about.

But let’s be honest, using the word “no” doesn’t come easily for many people.

3 Rules of Thumbs for Saying No

1. You Need to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

Let’s face it. It is hard to say no. Setting boundaries around your time, especially you haven’t done it much in the past, will feel awkward. Your comfort zone is “yes,” so it’s time to challenge that and step outside that.

If you need help getting out of your comfort zone, check out this article.

2. You Are the Air Traffic Controller of Your Time

When you want to learn how to say no, remember that you are the only one who understands the demands for your time. Think about it: who else knows about all of the demands in your life? No one.

Only you are at the center of all of these requests. You are the only one that understands what time you really have.

3. Saying No Means Saying Yes to Something That Matters

When we decide not to do something, it means we can say yes to something else that we may care more about. You have a unique opportunity to decide how you spend your precious time.

6 Ways to Start Saying No

Incorporating that little word “no” into your life can be transformational. Turning some things down will mean you can open doors to what really matters. Here are some essential tips to learn the art of no:

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1. Check in With Your Obligation Meter

One of the biggest challenges to saying no is a feeling of obligation. Do you feel you have a responsibility to say yes and worry that saying no will reflect poorly on you?

Ask yourself whether you truly have the duty to say yes. Check your assumptions or beliefs about whether you carry the responsibility to say yes. Turn it around and instead ask what duty you owe to yourself.

2. Resist the Fear of Missing out (FOMO)

Do you have a fear of missing out (FOMO)? FOMO can follow us around in so many ways. At work, we volunteer our time because we fear we won’t move ahead. In our personal lives, we agree to join the crowd because of FOMO, even while we ourselves aren’t enjoying the fun.

Check in with yourself. Are you saying yes because of FOMO or because you really want to say yes? More often than not, running after fear doesn’t make us feel better[2].

3. Check Your Assumptions About What It Means to Say No

Do you dread the reaction you will get if you say no? Often, we say yes because we worry about how others will respond or because of the consequences. We may be afraid to disappoint others or think we will lose their respect. We often forget how much we are disappointing ourselves along the way.

Keep in mind that saying no can be exactly what is needed to send the right message that you have limited time. In the tips below, you will see how to communicate your no in a gentle and loving way.

You might disappoint someone initially, but drawing a boundary can bring you the freedom you need so that you can give freely of yourself when you truly want to. And it will often help others have more respect for you and your boundaries, not less.

4. When the Request Comes in, Sit on It

Sometimes, when we are in the moment, we instinctively agree. The request might make sense at first. Or we typically have said yes to this request in the past.

Give yourself a little time to reflect on whether you really have the time or can do the task properly. You may decide the best option is to say no. There is no harm in giving yourself the time to decide.

5. Communicate Your “No” with Transparency and Kindness

When you are ready to tell someone no, communicate your decision clearly. The message can be open and honest[3] to ensure the recipient that your reasons have to do with your limited time.

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How do you say no? 9 Healthy Ways to Say “No”

    Resist the temptation not to respond or communicate all. But do not feel obligated to provide a lengthy account about why you are saying no.

    Clear communication with a short explanation is all that is needed. I have found it useful to tell people that I have many demands and need to be careful with how I allocate my time. I will sometimes say I really appreciate that they came to me and for them to check in again if the opportunity arises another time.

    6. Consider How to Use a Modified No

    If you are under pressure to say yes but want to say no, you may want to consider downgrading a “yes” to a “yes but…” as this will give you an opportunity to condition your agreement to what works best for you.

    Sometimes, the condition can be to do the task, but not in the time frame that was originally requested. Or perhaps you can do part of what has been asked.

    Final Thoughts

    Beginning right now, you can change how you respond to requests for your time. When the request comes in, take yourself off autopilot where you might normally say yes.

    Use the request as a way to draw a healthy boundary around your time. Pay particular attention to when you place certain demands on yourself.

    Try it now. Say no to a friend who continues to take advantage of your goodwill. Or, draw the line with a workaholic colleague and tell them you will complete the project, but not by working all weekend. You’ll find yourself much happier.

    More Tips on How to Say No

    Featured photo credit: Chris Ainsworth via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1] Science of People: 11 Expert Tips to Stop Being a People Pleaser and Start Doing You
    [2] Anxiety and Depression Association of America: Tips to Get Over Your FOMO, or Fear of Missing Out
    [3] Cooks Hill Counseling: 9 Healthy Ways to Say “No”

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