“You seem like you’re in a good mood today,” I say. Because you do. You’re smiling. There’s a happiness – a lightness about your spirit that I love to see. I can see it in your body language, the way you’re holding yourself, your facial expressions.
But I instantly regret pointing it out.
Because it’s at that moment that everything shifts. “Meh,” you say. “I’m okay.” And I can tell looking at you that you’re no longer happy. Before that moment, you’d forgotten about yourself, your problems, your insecurities, your fears. You were just you, existing.
But when I called attention to your emotions was when your focus shifted to them and you instantly became critical of them – and of yourself.
This happens every time I point out that you’re in a good mood.
I can’t remember ever telling you that you seemed like you were in a good mood, and you responding, “You’re right. I am.”
Come to think of it, I don’t think you’ve ever independently volunteered that you’re in a good mood either. Said something like, “I’m having a good day. I’m in a good mood.”
Instead, you’ve only had times when you looked like you were happy.
Perhaps there’s something about saying the words that makes it less real for you. Perhaps for you a good mood is like a moment of silence – and the moment we speak of it, it’s over.
For me it’s different, I’m always saying, “I’m having a good day. I’m in a good mood today.” Sometimes it’s true; other times I’m trying to convince myself it is because I aspire to be in a good mood that day, even though I’m not.
Anyway, I’ll try to remember that – that pointing out that you’re in a good mood puts you in a neutral or bad one.