As the Houston marriage counselor, I like to follow news and stories on how people relate and interact. For the most part, I try to focus on romantic relationship issues between adults but, from time to time, I’ll come across something that was intended for a different audience but seems to fit what I do perfectly.

Such is the case with this gem of a story on the NY Times Parenting Blog. The gist of the article is that a mother is trying to get her kids to understand that when they approach her and they’re angry, cranky, or otherwise demanding, she’s far more likely to respond in kind than if they had simply asked for something calmly and kindly.

Basically, she unintentionally lets herself get caught up in their mood and what should be a simple request or conversation quickly escalates into a fight. Sound familiar?

Our Partners “Infect” Us with the Way They Feel, Says Houston Marriage Counselor

What this means for you and your significant other is that you really do need to try to wait until you’re calm and collected before approaching him or her with a problem. Moreover, if you know that your spouse the type to lose control and get upset quickly, you have to prepare yourself for that emotionally before you enter the conversation. Maintaining calm, positive energy can prevent a situation from getting worse and causing further relationship issues.

On the flip side, it’s possible to transfer your positive feelings to your partner, too, so never underestimate the power of smiling, laughing, and having a good time—just make sure that it doesn’t look like you’re laughing at your partner or not taking a situation seriously!

The Houston Marriage Counselor Can Help You Keep Your Cool

If you and your partner still find that you are infecting each other with bad moods and allowing what should be simple problems to feel bigger than they are, don’t hesitate to seek out help. A professional Houston marriage counselor will know all kinds of tips and trick to assist you in maintaining your mood—even in the face of someone with a truly strong personality.