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It’s a sad truth that it’s much easier for an unhappy person to drag someone down than it is for a happy person to pull someone up.
But, even though it might be more work, it’s not impossible.
We’re our most vulnerable selves in romantic relationships, and that can make it hard to draw a line and protect ourselves when it becomes necessary — or to even know when it’s necessary.
But there are times when it’s critical to keep those boundaries strong.
Given the choice, I’d rather be down in the dumps myself than have my partner be blue — and it’s not because I’m so altruistic that I want to spare him from emotional pain.
It’s because hanging out with someone who’s in a bad mood is a serious bummer.
Sure, you can listen to him vent, suggest an activity that might make him feel better, and do all the other things on this list.
Maintaining strong boundaries with the people we’re most intimate with can be difficult.
While you don’t want to try to leap to the rescue and fix your person’s bad mood, you can be empathetic and offer commiseration.
Empathy is different than sympathy: when you’re empathetic, you put yourself in someone’s shoes. If they’re willing to talk about what’s wrong, try to see things from your partner’s point of view.
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A few weeks ago, I missed a half-day of work, transfixed by what looked like two clear Gummi Bears on my computer screen.
Often, we tune out because we think we already know what someone is going to say, and we’re thinking of what we’re going to say next.