How To Handle Other People’s Bad Moods Like a Pro

如何像专业人士一样处理别人的坏情绪

Step 1: Treat difficult emotions like a puzzle, not a problem

第一步: 把困难的情绪当作一个谜题,而不是一个问题

Here’s a question I get asked a lot as a therapist:
How do you sit there and listen to people’s problems all day? Don’t you get depressed?
To be honest, not really.

以下是我作为治疗师经常被问到的一个问题:
你怎么能整天坐在那里听别人的问题? 你不会感到沮丧吗?
老实说,并不会。

You might imagine that all the sadness, frustration, anxiety, and shame my clients tell me about would start to rub off on a guy after a while. But, if anything, I feel like I’m a little better at managing both my own emotions and other peoples’ because I get to practice all day long.

你可以想象,我的客户告诉我的所有的悲伤、沮丧、焦虑和羞耻,都会在一段时间后开始感染我,但是,如果说我和其他人有什么区别的话,我觉得就是我能更好地管理自己和他人的情绪,因为我可以整天练习。

The ability to manage other people’s bad moods and difficult emotions well is an ability that can be practiced and strengthened.What follows are 5 specific skills I’ve learned that help me to effectively and respectfully handle other people’s difficult emotions.

管理他人不良情绪和困难情绪的能力是一种可以练习和加强的能力。
以下是我学到的5种特殊技能,它们能帮助我有效且尊重地处理别人的困难情绪。


1. Treat Strong Emotion as a Puzzle, Not a Problem

1. 把强烈的情绪当作一个谜题,而不是一个问题


But as I’m sure you’ve come to learn, giving advice to someone in the throes of a bad mood is typically unhelpful at best and often counterproductive.

但是我相信你已经有过经验教训了,给心情不好的人提供建议通常是无益的,而且往往适得其反。

Instead of viewing someone’s bad mood as a problem to be fixed, what if you shifted your perspective and saw it as a puzzle instead?

与其把别人的坏情绪看作是一个需要解决的问题,不如换个角度,把它看作是一个难题,会怎么样呢?




If only they knew how much they impacted other people, they’d never be like this.

如果他们知道自己对别人的影响有多大,他们就不会这样了。


When you shift from problem-thinking to puzzle-thinking, your mindset becomes driven by curiosity rather than morality, which is far more helpful in an emotionally-intense situation, both for you and the person across from you.

当你从思考问题转向思考谜题时,你的心态就会由好奇心而不是道德感所驱使,这在情绪紧张的情况下对你和你对面的人都更有帮助。

When someone you care about is in a bad mood, try to understand how and why they’re feeling the way they are rather than how it can be fixed.

当你关心的人心情不好的时候,试着去理解他们是如何以及为什么会有这种感觉,而不是怎样才能解决。

2. Try Some Reverse Empathy

2. 尝试一些反向同理心


And while empathy is obviously an important skill to cultivate for all sorts of reasons, there’s a version of it that’s especially helpful for managing other people’s bad moods. I call it reverse empathy.

同理心显然是一种需要培养的重要技能,出于各种原因,有一种类型的同理心对管理别人的坏情绪特别有帮助,我称之为反向同理心。

Reverse empathy: rather than putting yourself in someone else’s shoes, try to remember a time when you wore the same shoe.

反向同理心:与其设身处地的从别人的角度着想,不如试着去回忆你曾经和在同一情况是何种状态。

In other words, try to recall a time when you struggled in a similar way and with a similar set of difficult emotions and mood.

换句话说,试着回忆一段你以类似的方式,与类似的困难情绪和情感挣扎的经历。


Often, reverse empathy can be a more powerful way to appreciate someone else struggle because it’s based on your own experiences rather than hypothetical ones.

通常,反向同理心是一种观察别人因何挣扎更有力的方式,因为它是基于你自己的亲身经历,而不是假设的经历。

And the more you can relate yourself to what they’re going through, the better your odds of being genuinely helpful and supportive to the person next to you, not to mention being less reactive and emotional yourself.

你越能把自己的经历和他们的经历联系起来,你就越有可能真正地帮助和支持你旁边的人,你自己也不那么被动和情绪化。

3. Be a Mirror, Not a Mechanic

3. 做一面镜子,而不是一个机械师

Without a doubt, the number one mistake I see people (especially couples) make in their communication with each other is that they get stuck in “Fix-it Mode.”

毫无疑问,我看到人们 ( 尤其是夫妻 ) 在交流中犯的第一个错误就是他们陷入了“修复模式”

Bob feels bad and starts describing how he feels and why he thinks he feels that way to Shelly. Because she sees that Bob is in pain and struggling, Shelly’s natural reaction is to try and alleviate or eliminate Bob’s suffering.

鲍勃感觉很糟糕,并开始向雪莉描述他的感受,以及为什么他认为他有这种感觉,她看到鲍勃在痛苦和挣扎,雪莉的自然反应是试图减轻或消除鲍勃的痛苦。

But here’s the thing:

但问题是:

Most people struggling emotionally don’t want someone to fix their pain, they went to feel understood.

大多数在情感上挣扎的人不希望别人来解决他们的痛苦,他们需要被感受、被理解。

Bake that into your brain, because it’s one of the most counterintuitive but universally true laws of human psychology I can think of. And once you really believe it and start acting accordingly, everybody starts feeling better.

把这一点深刻进你的大脑,因为这是我能想到的最违反直觉但却是普遍真实的人类心理学定律之一, 一旦你真明白了这一点,并开始相应地行动,每个人都能感觉更好。

So, how do we get out of a Fix-it mindset and start helping people feel understood? The best way is to practice a technique called Reflective Listening.

那么,我们如何摆脱固执己见的修复心态,开始帮助人们感到被理解呢 ?
最好的方法是练习一种叫做“反射式倾听”的技巧。

Reflective Listening means that when someone tells you something, you simply reflect back to them what they said, either literally or with your own slight spin on it.

反思性倾听意味着当有人告诉你一些事情时,你只需简单地把他们所说的“反射”给他们,可以是原话,也可以是你自己微调过的话。

For example:
Your boss: I can’t believe Teddy embarrassed me like that in front of the whole staff! You: Sounds like you were really embarrassed.
Your husband: You never listen, you’re always just giving me advice. You: It seems like you feel as though I tend to just give advice without really listening to what you’re saying.

例如:
你的老板:
我真不敢相信泰迪在全体员工面前让我难堪!
你:听起来真的很尴尬。
你丈夫:你从来不听,你总是给我建议。
你:你似乎觉得我只是在给建议,而没有真正听你说什么。

Now, I know this might sound silly or condescending at first blush, but I promise you it works.
The reason is, it’s not about the content of what they’re saying, it’s about how they feel. Yes, they know and you know that they were really embarrassed at work. The real value of your reflecting back what they just said is that it helps them feel like you are with them, that you’re connected and understanding and on their side.

我知道这听起来可能很愚蠢,甚至有些居高临下,但是我向你保证这是有效的。
原因是,这与他们所说的内容无关,而是他们的感受。
是的,他们知道,你也知道,他们在工作中遭遇了尴尬,你回顾他们刚才所说的话的真正价值在于,它能帮助他们感觉到你和他们在一起,你和他们联系在一起,理解他们,站在他们一边。

By mirroring another person’s experience you’re giving them something far more valuable than advice — you’re giving them a genuine connection.

通过“模仿”别人的经历,你给了他们比建议更有价值的东西——你给了他们一种真正的联系。

4. Validate Your Own Emotions
One of the hardest things about other people’s bad moods is the emotions they tend to stir up in us.
Our spouse is sad and melancholic, and we get frustrated.
Our boss is anxious and overbearing, and which makes us feel anxious too.
Our parent is angry and irritable, and we respond with annoyance and sarcasm.

4. 确认自己的情绪
处理别人的坏情绪,最困难的事情之一就是他们往往会激起我们的情绪。
· 我们的配偶悲伤忧郁,我们感到沮丧。
· 我们的老板焦虑而专横,这也让我们感到焦虑。
· 我们的父母生气、易怒的,我们以烦恼和讽刺作为回应。

The trouble is, once we’re deep into a spiral of our own negative emotion, it’s hard to have enough mental and emotional bandwidth to navigate our own mood and that of someone else. This is why we often react to other people’s bad moods in a way that ultimately isn’t helpful to them, us, or the relationship.

问题是,一旦我们陷入自己消极情绪的漩涡,就很难有足够的精神和情感“带宽”来驾驭我们自己和他人的情绪。
这就是为什么我们经常对别人的坏心情做出反应,而这种反应最终对他们、我们或这段关系都没有帮助。

The solution is to get better at noticing and managing our own emotional responses early so that they don’t balloon out of control. And the best way I know of to do that is through a process called validation.

解决的办法是更好地注意到并及早管理我们自己的情绪反应,这样它们就不会失控膨胀,我所知道的最好的方法就是通过一个叫做“确认”的过程来应对。

Validation simply means acknowledging our own emotions and reminding ourselves that they’re okay and reasonable.

“确认”意味着承认我们自己的情绪,并提醒自己这些情绪是可以接受的和合理的。

For example, suppose your spouse or partner has been worked up all evening about some incident at work. They’re frustrated, angry, a little bit anxious, and there’s no sign of it letting up. While you’ve been able to tolerate it for the past couple hours, you feel yourself starting to get annoyed with them.

例如,假设你的配偶或伴侣整个晚上都在为工作中发生的一些事情而烦躁不安,他们感到沮丧,愤怒,焦虑,而且没有任何停止的迹象,虽然在过去的几个小时里你能够忍受它,但是你觉得自己开始对它们感到厌烦。

Rather than a) acting on this annoyance and saying something unhelpful to your spouse, or b) becoming judgmental of yourself for feeling annoyed with them, you could validate your own annoyance.

与其:A. 对这种厌烦采取行动,对你的配偶说一些无益的话 或者 B. 因为对他们厌烦而对自己进行评判
不如:“确认”自己的厌烦。

You could pause for a few seconds, acknowledge that you’re feeling annoyed and frustrated with your spouse, remind yourself that it’s okay and natural to feel that way, and then ask yourself what the most helpful way to move forward might be.

你可以停顿几秒钟,承认你对配偶感到烦躁和沮丧,提醒自己这种感觉是可以的,也是很自然的,然后问自己最有用的解决方式可能是什么。

5. Clarify Your Responsibility

5. 明确你的责任

A common pitfall I see people make when trying to deal effectively with other people’s bad moods is to overextend their responsibility to that person to include how they feel.

我看到人们在试图有效地处理别人的坏情绪,经常落入的一个陷阱就是把他们的责任过度扩展到包括他们的感受。

Let me unpack that a bit:

让我稍稍解释一下:

We can only be responsible for things that we can control.

· 我们只能对我们能控制的事情负责。

Emotions, by their very nature, are not directly under our control.

· 情绪,就其本质而言,是不受我们直接控制的。

Because we can’t control emotions directly, we’re not responsible for them — either our own or those of other people.

· 因为我们不能直接控制情绪,所以我们不需要对情绪负责——无论是我们自己的还是别人的。

However, we are responsible for our actions — for how we choose to behave and think.

然而,我们要对我们的行为负责——对我们如何选择行为和思考方式负责。

When we assume responsibility for things beyond our control, we set ourselves up for unnecessary frustration, disappointment, and resentment.

当我们为自己无法控制的事情承担责任时,我们就会让自己陷入不必要的沮丧、失望和怨恨之中。

On the other hand, when we are clear about what we actually have control over — and therefore responsibility for — we’re able to deploy our efforts and resources as effectively as possible.

另一方面,当我们清楚地知道我们实际上能够控制什么——因此也知道我们对什么负有责任——我们就能够尽可能有效地安排我们的努力方向和资源。

In short, because you can’t directly control how someone feels, you’re not responsible for it.

简而言之,因为你不能直接控制别人的感受,所以你不需要对此负责。

So much unnecessary struggle, conflict, and wasted energy comes from a fundamental misunderstandingabout what’s really under our control.

这么多不必要的挣扎、冲突和浪费的精力都源于对“什么是我们真正能控制的”的根本性误解。

On the other hand, it’s amazing how much genuinely helpful energy gets freed up when you remove the burden of excess responsibility from yourself.

另一方面,当你从自己身上卸下过多的责任时,你会惊奇地发现自己释放出了多少真正有益的能量。

When you stop expecting to be able to make someone feel better, you can start taking real steps to connect with them in a heartfelt way and become genuinely supportive.

当你不再期待能够让别人感觉更好时,你可以开始采取真正的步骤,以衷心的方式与他们产生联系,并真诚地支持他们。

All You Need to Know

你需要知道的是:

Bad moods and painful emotions are hard to handle — both in ourselves and also in the people we work and live with. While it’s not possible to “fix” another person’s emotional struggles, there are a handful of practical skills you can learn to help you be more genuinely supportive and helpful in the face of other people’s bad moods.

不良的情绪和痛苦的情感是很难处理的——既包括我们自己,也包括与我们一起工作和生活的人。
虽然不可能 "解决 "别人的情绪挣扎,但你可以学习一些实用的技能,帮助你在面对别人的不良情绪时,更加真诚地支持和帮助别人。

And even if you fail completely to help the other person — or have no interest in doing so — skills like self-validation and reflective listening will help you stay calm and effective instead of reactive and impulsive in the face of other people’s bad moods.

即使你完全没有帮助他人,或者没有兴趣帮助他人,自我肯定和反向倾听等技巧也会帮助你在面对别人的坏心情时保持冷静和高效,而不是反应过度和冲动。