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We all get in bad moods from time to time, but let’s face it – it can be uncomfortable when someone around you is having a bad day or in a bad mood. We often don’t know what to say or we say maybe the wrong thing.  So how can we help someone in a bad mood?

I heard this great advice – treat someone’s bad mood as a puzzle, not a problem.  When we treat someone’s emotions or bad day as a problem, we go into fix it mode.  They are now a problem that needs to be fixed.

When we treat someone’s emotions more like a puzzle, we approach them more with a desire to understand them.  We want to know more about how they are feeling.  We can empathize with them more.  We are more understanding. When people are feeling strongly about something, they need understanding, empathy and validation, more than advice.

Yes – it stinks when someone around us is angry or sad and our natural inclination is to figure out a way get them out of their bad mood. Try to approach their situation more like a puzzle, than a problem. Meaning – try to understand how and why they’re feeling that way, rather than how it can be fixed.  You’ll actually be way more helpful when someone you care about is in a bad mood.  


**Eric has his Masters in Counseling and when he’s not on the radio, he works as a private practice therapist.**


Photo Credit: Getty Images/Vladimir Floyd