Whenever someone is upset or sad, our natural response may be to try and cheer that person up. But that can be problematic in a romantic relationship.The tricky part with empathy is that it isn’t about trying to lift your partner’s, or anyone’s, spirits. It’s about validating the emotions that they feel, and understanding why they feel the way they do.
So, if your partner is experiencing difficult emotions—anger, sadness, fear, disappointment—don’t try to cheer them up or calm them down. Instead, sit with them and offer words of understanding and support. Allow them to feel what they need to feel.
And don’t try to problem-solve, either, even though that can feel like the right thing to do at the moment. That can come later. The most important thing to do is to offer empathy, which will help your partner feel validated.