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It wasn’t a mid-afternoon blood sugar crash; I was contemplating photos of a mouse brain and embryo turned transparent after soaking in Scale—a cheap “clearing agent” that can be used to peer into normally opaque biological tissue.
Discovered last year by researchers at Japan’s Riken Brain Science Institute, Scale is made from compounds commonly found in the biology lab, like urea and the detergent Triton X.
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.
When someone’s in a bad mood, it can be even harder to really listen to them. Tune in, get curious, keep your mouth shut, and listen to your partner without guessing what they’re going to say, or having an agenda for how they can feel better.
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.
But don’t take on responsibility for trying to “fix” your partner’s bad mood.
If you’re a people-pleaser or struggle with codependent behavior, you’ll be tempted to try and make it all better. Sometimes, when you’re in a bad mood, what you really need is some time alone to recalibrate.
Guys tend to need their space, anyway — so if your partner seems to be backing away and closing off when he’s grumpy, take the hint and let him have some time to himself. Wanting to be alone doesn’t equal not loving someone.
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.
In the case of a partner, sometimes you just need to stand on the shore and watch the tide go in and out, knowing that this, too, shall pass.
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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.
Unless you actually know that you did something to directly cause your partner’s bad mood — lied to him, cheated on him, or let him down in some way, just for example —don’t assume it has anything to do with you. There’s a fine line between being codependent and looking out for your person.