Heading Off Relationship Stress During a Crisis

Reviewed May 26, 2016

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Summary

  • Talk about your emotions.
  • Have supportive friends outside of your marriage.
  • End every conversation on an upbeat note.

Concerns about a crisis can cause relationship stress to increase. Our feelings of fear and uncertainty can affect how we see others and how we react to what they say and do.

Moodiness and worry may cause you to overreact, judge others too harshly, and agitate any relationship by “overloading” it with negative conversation. By staying aware of your emotions, sharing your feelings appropriately with others, and acting in positive ways, you can avoid hurting your marriage and other relationships.

Talk about your emotions

When we feel sad, we can easily “dump” tension on those we care about. It’s convenient to take our frustrations out on a spouse, child or co-worker who is a close friend. Why? We unfairly expect them to overlook our lack of grace because we know they truly care about us—bad moods and all.

Instead of “acting out” your frustrations, try talking honestly with others about your emotions. For example, let’s say that you’re a supervisor. Your company has been financially affected by a crisis. You’re not sleeping as well as you should. As a result, you’re snapping at others and finding it hard to listen to their problems.

When others around us can relate to our feelings, they usually want to be supportive.

Tips to cool tension between yourself and others

  • Learn to “speak” your emotions, instead of acting them out. For instance, you might tell your spouse, “I feel angry that you didn’t help with the housework on Saturday.” Use a non-threatening tone of voice.
  • Give the other person room to cooperate. Do this by asking for options on any sensitive situation. Say to your mate, “Can we work out a plan on the housework that we both feel good about?”
  • Be able to state another person’s problem as clearly as he can state it. This is the mature approach for managing conflict. For instance, if you say to a co-worker, “I know you’re upset that I haven’t finished this project. You’re getting extreme pressure from the boss yourself,” she will realize that you do see the true picture. If you promise to get the project moving toward completion, tension levels between you should go down.
  • Don’t “dump” emotions on other people about the crisis or other issues. If you do talk negatively a lot, you may wind up without any emotional support—just when you need it the most. Extended negative talk will only make others want to stay away from you.
  • End every conversation on an upbeat note. Even if you quarrel with someone, try this: “Maybe we’ll have a better day tomorrow.”
  • Help others around you succeed. Ask them what they need from you—especially if they seem moody and tense. For instance, if one of your friends has lost his job, offer to help him write a resume. Or, if he’s already written one, offer to help him make a list of companies to contact.

Nothing helps us find our own strengths more than offering to help other people. Helping our mates, our children, our local teachers—even in the smallest ways—helps us to create a “domino effect” of goodwill. We all help to create the emotional atmosphere we live in.

By Judi Light Hopson
Reviewed by Paulo Correa, MD, Associate Medical Director, Beacon Health Options

Summary

  • Talk about your emotions.
  • Have supportive friends outside of your marriage.
  • End every conversation on an upbeat note.

Concerns about a crisis can cause relationship stress to increase. Our feelings of fear and uncertainty can affect how we see others and how we react to what they say and do.

Moodiness and worry may cause you to overreact, judge others too harshly, and agitate any relationship by “overloading” it with negative conversation. By staying aware of your emotions, sharing your feelings appropriately with others, and acting in positive ways, you can avoid hurting your marriage and other relationships.

Talk about your emotions

When we feel sad, we can easily “dump” tension on those we care about. It’s convenient to take our frustrations out on a spouse, child or co-worker who is a close friend. Why? We unfairly expect them to overlook our lack of grace because we know they truly care about us—bad moods and all.

Instead of “acting out” your frustrations, try talking honestly with others about your emotions. For example, let’s say that you’re a supervisor. Your company has been financially affected by a crisis. You’re not sleeping as well as you should. As a result, you’re snapping at others and finding it hard to listen to their problems.

When others around us can relate to our feelings, they usually want to be supportive.

Tips to cool tension between yourself and others

  • Learn to “speak” your emotions, instead of acting them out. For instance, you might tell your spouse, “I feel angry that you didn’t help with the housework on Saturday.” Use a non-threatening tone of voice.
  • Give the other person room to cooperate. Do this by asking for options on any sensitive situation. Say to your mate, “Can we work out a plan on the housework that we both feel good about?”
  • Be able to state another person’s problem as clearly as he can state it. This is the mature approach for managing conflict. For instance, if you say to a co-worker, “I know you’re upset that I haven’t finished this project. You’re getting extreme pressure from the boss yourself,” she will realize that you do see the true picture. If you promise to get the project moving toward completion, tension levels between you should go down.
  • Don’t “dump” emotions on other people about the crisis or other issues. If you do talk negatively a lot, you may wind up without any emotional support—just when you need it the most. Extended negative talk will only make others want to stay away from you.
  • End every conversation on an upbeat note. Even if you quarrel with someone, try this: “Maybe we’ll have a better day tomorrow.”
  • Help others around you succeed. Ask them what they need from you—especially if they seem moody and tense. For instance, if one of your friends has lost his job, offer to help him write a resume. Or, if he’s already written one, offer to help him make a list of companies to contact.

Nothing helps us find our own strengths more than offering to help other people. Helping our mates, our children, our local teachers—even in the smallest ways—helps us to create a “domino effect” of goodwill. We all help to create the emotional atmosphere we live in.

By Judi Light Hopson
Reviewed by Paulo Correa, MD, Associate Medical Director, Beacon Health Options

Summary

  • Talk about your emotions.
  • Have supportive friends outside of your marriage.
  • End every conversation on an upbeat note.

Concerns about a crisis can cause relationship stress to increase. Our feelings of fear and uncertainty can affect how we see others and how we react to what they say and do.

Moodiness and worry may cause you to overreact, judge others too harshly, and agitate any relationship by “overloading” it with negative conversation. By staying aware of your emotions, sharing your feelings appropriately with others, and acting in positive ways, you can avoid hurting your marriage and other relationships.

Talk about your emotions

When we feel sad, we can easily “dump” tension on those we care about. It’s convenient to take our frustrations out on a spouse, child or co-worker who is a close friend. Why? We unfairly expect them to overlook our lack of grace because we know they truly care about us—bad moods and all.

Instead of “acting out” your frustrations, try talking honestly with others about your emotions. For example, let’s say that you’re a supervisor. Your company has been financially affected by a crisis. You’re not sleeping as well as you should. As a result, you’re snapping at others and finding it hard to listen to their problems.

When others around us can relate to our feelings, they usually want to be supportive.

Tips to cool tension between yourself and others

  • Learn to “speak” your emotions, instead of acting them out. For instance, you might tell your spouse, “I feel angry that you didn’t help with the housework on Saturday.” Use a non-threatening tone of voice.
  • Give the other person room to cooperate. Do this by asking for options on any sensitive situation. Say to your mate, “Can we work out a plan on the housework that we both feel good about?”
  • Be able to state another person’s problem as clearly as he can state it. This is the mature approach for managing conflict. For instance, if you say to a co-worker, “I know you’re upset that I haven’t finished this project. You’re getting extreme pressure from the boss yourself,” she will realize that you do see the true picture. If you promise to get the project moving toward completion, tension levels between you should go down.
  • Don’t “dump” emotions on other people about the crisis or other issues. If you do talk negatively a lot, you may wind up without any emotional support—just when you need it the most. Extended negative talk will only make others want to stay away from you.
  • End every conversation on an upbeat note. Even if you quarrel with someone, try this: “Maybe we’ll have a better day tomorrow.”
  • Help others around you succeed. Ask them what they need from you—especially if they seem moody and tense. For instance, if one of your friends has lost his job, offer to help him write a resume. Or, if he’s already written one, offer to help him make a list of companies to contact.

Nothing helps us find our own strengths more than offering to help other people. Helping our mates, our children, our local teachers—even in the smallest ways—helps us to create a “domino effect” of goodwill. We all help to create the emotional atmosphere we live in.

By Judi Light Hopson
Reviewed by Paulo Correa, MD, Associate Medical Director, Beacon Health Options

The information provided on the Achieve Solutions site, including, but not limited to, articles, quizzes, and other general information, is for informational purposes only and should not be treated as medical, health care, psychiatric, psychological or behavioral health care advice. Nothing contained on the Achieve Solutions site is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment or as a substitute for consultation with a qualified health care professional. Please direct questions regarding the operation of the Achieve Solutions site to Web Feedback. If you have concerns about your health, please contact your health care provider.  ©2017 Beacon Health Options, Inc.

 

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