“Bad days” can open the window on unvoiced needs. Listen closely, value the window. Hear their true need.

Too often, we hear a loved one who is having a “bad day” or we are having a “bad day” and we write it off to just being tired, hungry, frustrated, etc. This time offers a wonderful window on the true needs of our loved ones or our own needs. More often than not, the words being said are from a place that is very tightly guarded on a “good day”. Be thankful for it – listen closely. It allows us to learn how we might better love that person.

High emotion may reveal true needs, wants, and desires. It may not be “out of character” at all. It may just be “out of the closet”. High emotion opens a door on needs that some are ashamed to express. It opens a view of self that some consider selfishness. It doesn’t just come out of nowhere… it comes from somewhere. Rather than being angry about it, value it for the breadcrumbs it provides to find the truth.

When a spouse expresses frustration, what is the truth in it? When a sibling expresses anger, what is the truth in it? When an employee expresses apathy, what is the truth in it? Rest assured, there is truth there. We can deny or we can look it in the eye.

This is not to say that people can’t say things they really don’t mean. The high emotion may lead to hurtful words that are over the top. Look for the emotion, the energy at the bottom… not the words on top. The energy will be loosely covered. This will be the truth.

We can choose to yell back, fight, demand our rights… and the wonderful window will close. Or we can choose to grab the glimpse while we can and, at a more opportune time, explore what we saw. It can lead to a whole new depth of understanding – of self or a loved one. Value the bad days and the windows they provide. 

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