Happiness experts say that we can’t make anyone else happy (like our partners), but we can make ourselves happy. Our moods are contagious, so by making ourselves happy, our partner’s will (as a side effect) become happier. This is definitely true in my relationship. When I’m happy, my husband’s happy, but when I’m miserable, he’s miserable too. Maybe that’s where happy wife, happy life comes from.
In addition to mirroring our partners’ moods, couples who’ve been together for a long time mirror each other’s behaviours and opinions. Think about it, have you ever had a conversation with a friend, and then had the exact same conversation with their partner? It’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s just a bi-product of being around the same person all the time.
Glass Half Full or Half Empty?
Some couples (as a unit) are very positive. They’re the “glass half full” types, and others are the exact opposite, they’re the “glass half empty” ones. This latter group is terrible. They’re like leeches, sucking up all of your positive energy leaving you completely depleted.
In the same way that two people in a relationship can influence one another’s moods and behaviours, couples can influence other couples.
When Steve and I spend time with a negative, whiny and complainy* couple, we become whiny and complainy too. It’s shocking how even a short exposure to a couple like this (a dinner, for example) can drag our moods into the gutter.
We recently spent a weekend visiting a couple we adore – don’t worry, they’re the glass half full kind. This was our first overnight visit with friends since we’re very slowly expanding our social bubble. Spending time with this couple is always like a breath of fresh air. They’re easy to be around, they’re happy, they’re kind to each other, and they always look for the positive in tough situations. Steve and I always walk away from our interaction with them better for having had it.
Are You Saying I Need to Plaster a Permasmile on My Face?
No, you weirdo. There’s a big difference between confiding in your friends about a bad day, and being chronically negative. Of course you’re going to rant to your couple friends about something that’s bothering you – that’s what friends are for – so go ahead and get it off your chest, bounce ideas off each other, and learn from each other. Sharing your worries and troubles with your friends will only make them feel closer to you (and vice versa). But chronically walking around with a rain cloud over your head (like Eeyore from Winnie-the-Pooh) IS NOT OK. You can do it, but don’t be surprised when no one wants to spend time with you.**
As you open up your social circle, think carefully about the people you let back into it. Ditch the negative Nellys *wink wink* and keep the positive Pattys.
Use this time to clear some friendship clutter. Steve and I have used the coronavirus as an excuse to ditch a lot of our “glass half empty” couple friends. You know who you are.
We ditched them WAY before the pandemic hit 🙂
If you didn’t plan ahead (like we did) and find yourself trying to get rid of your negative couple friends mid-pandemic, you can always try Ricky Gervais’s approach.
That’s All For Today
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* Yes, I know “complainy” is not a real word. But it’s my blog and I’ll use fake words if I want to.
** The messaging in this post is not intended for those with mental health issues (whether diagnosed or not). It’s intended for chronically grumpy buttheads with no good reason to justify their grumpiness.