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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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Last Updated on May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

Example 1

You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

Example 2

You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

Example 4

You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

  • Understand your own communication style
  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
  • Communicate with precision and care
  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

1. Understand Your Communication Style

To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

2. Learn Others Communication Styles

Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

“How do you prefer to receive information?”

This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

3. Exercise Precision and Care

A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

The Bottom Line

When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

Reference

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