Many people ask me how to cope when they experience moodiness or introversion from their loved ones. I often respond with same basic tips that may be helpful for you.
- Recognize that the “not-so-good” mood may not be about us, BUT even if it were, allowing others to process what they are feeling is important to any good relationship. Not everyone is ready to talk about their feelings or thoughts when WE want them to. When we try to force conversation by asking incessantly if they are ok, we can irritate people.
- Give your partner or friend space. This is a difficult one for most people to do because oftentimes we’re left feeling “uncomfortable” with our friend’s more introverted mood. And, that discomfort then becomes more about us than them. We begin making assumptions and even feel neglected or not know where we stand with them, so to speak. Most people are uncomfortable with being uncomfortable- they want assurance and certainty that everything is right with the world. However, it’s a good practice to just allow things to flow and allow yourself to feel your own feelings without berating yourself or blaming your partner for making you feel uncomfortable with their mood. Nobody can make us feel anything. We always have a choice. Instead employ healthy coping questions. Ask yourself what your assumptions are about? What expectations do you have when you experience another’s moodiness or introversion? What do your feelings (e.g. neglect, discomfort) remind you of? How is your neediness for attention disempowering you?
- Don’t ask too may questions. If you have a healthy relationship with someone there is no need to pry. They’ll come around. You can only let them know that you’re a support if needed. If you ask once how they are and they respond with they’re handling it, then accept their repsonse for what it is.
- This may come to a surprise, but sometimes people don’t have anything to say. It’s simple! Just understand that people may need or like their quite time. Keep in mind that it takes a lot of energy to engage with the world all the time, especially when you use social media for work. Give your partner or friend a day or two off. It’s ok. Recharging their biological batteries is important to anyone’s health.
- Don’t take things personally. In his book “The Four Agreements” Don Miguel Ruiz gives compelling reasons to not take things personally and this suggestion piggybacks on the #2 suggestion above. Don Miguel states that we can be entrapped with what he calls “personal importance”. Personal importance is an expression of selfishness because we make an assumption that other person’s moods, behaviors, opinions are all about us. Personal importance sets you up for emotional suffering.
When we experience our partner’s short-term mood as a problem or dilemma it is because what we perceive most likely taps into our insecurities we have not been aware of, or have not yet resolved for personal development growth.
We are not here to be perfect and to know everything. I believe we are here to experience life, which means experience other people, quite literally. It means we grow and expand our awareness so that we can be ourselves and allow others to also be who they are, expectation-free … even when in the moment we might not know the why.
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