Friday, September 11, 2009

Moodiness Is Infectious

Dear Danielle,

My girlfriend and I are both moody people. We're in good moods most of the time, but both she and I "downshift" into darker moods. We end up bringing the other one down. I wondered if you thought it's best to try to "manage" those times when your partner "downshifts" -- like, wait the bad moods out (and they can last a day or two, sometimes). Or, should both she and I learn to manage our own moods for the sake of the other one?

"Black and Blue in Timbuktu"

Dear "Black and Blue in Timbuktu,"

It can be incredibly draining to continually anticipate and be on guard for the bad moods of one's partner, and conversely, it is stressful and unproductive for you to frequently fall into "darker moods"of your own. Not only do I think that you and your partner should learn how to manage your own moods, but I actually think it can be very detrimental to create a relationship which revolves around each of you avoiding each other when bad moods arise. That's living in a constant state of negativity. The real question is why you and her tend to get into bad moods that can last for days at a time? It is one thing to be annoyed once in awhile and need a few hours to blow off steam. Moods lasting days are not healthy or normal if they occur frequently. I suggest you seek out a therapist to help you understand why you are falling into a cycle of moodiness that spreads between the two of you like an infection. Stop bringing each other down and work together to enhance both of your existences. If there is not a mutual consensus to get help, then I would get help for yourself alone. This might cause a distance in your relationship as you progress, and she may still be in her old moody ways. This will be the true test to the strength of your relationship - can you succeed as a unit in improving your life? If not, find someone else who bring positivity into your life.

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