Your Game Plan for Her Bad Mood
If she’s not happy, you’re not getting anything: attention, dinner, or—most importantly—YOU KNOW WHAT! Time to help her bad mood. According to a Harvard University study, it’s not that tough: Women are happier in a relationship when their partner understands when they’re upset. How come? Researchers believe being in tune with her emotions shows your investment and engagement in a relationship.
But how do you “show you understand?” Follow these three tips.
Thou Shalt Not Solve
It’s a well-known male trait: You like to fix things. Broken window? I’ll fix it right now. But if she starts talking about her bad day, don’t treat her like a broken window. “Women are more interested in expressing the problem than hearing the solution,” says Marc Salem, Ph.D., a behavioral psychologist and the Men’s Health resident expert on nonverbal behavior. Listen with open ears and a closed mouth. If asked for solutions, come to the rescue. Remember: Simply expressing her problem to you can relieve her anxiety, he adds.
Use a Parallel Situation
Here’s where we’re similar: Both men and women are sensitive to nonverbal cues—if you have a feeling that she’s acting absent or cold, you’re probably right. The trick? Don’t try to warm her up, says Salem.
Instead, use a parallel situation. If you have a hunch her bad day has to do with Karen at work, talk about some of your coworkers’ annoyances, and then ask her about her day. She may be more likely to tell you what’s up if she knows you can relate.
Magic Number Three
“Women are bakers and men are chefs,” says Salem. You want the instant gratification—flipping a burger, or knowing she feels better right now. She will set something in the oven, wait, and feel better after some time.
Ask three times what’s going on. If she doesn’t budge, then drop it. “Space is a form of nonverbal communication,” says Salem. Use it wisely. Asking too many questions can push her deeper into a well of denial or depression. She might defer talking until a later time. Let her. She’ll appreciate you waiting to talk when she wants to.