When you love someone, seeing them upset makes you upset. That is why you jump into action whenever they show the slightest hint of sadness. You want to make them feel better. You want to be the reason why they smile again.
Even though your intentions are pure, sometimes you have to accept your powerlessness. Sometimes, no amount of pep talks or forehead kisses or surprise presents are going to make them feel better. Sometimes they will need to wallow in their sadness for a little while before they feel okay again.
That does not mean you need to distance yourself whenever they grow emotional. You shouldn’t leave the room as soon as tears come. You should let them know you are there for them. You should see if there is anything they need. You should give them your shoulder to cry on.
But if you have done everything you possibly can to make them feel better and they are still in a sour mood for a reason that has nothing to do with you, you should take a few steps back. Let them breathe. Let them rant. Let them feel.
Whatever you do, do not get frustrated with them, tell them to calm down, or accuse them of overreacting. Do not act offended about how they are still moping around when you have put in so much effort to make them feel better. Do not make them feel guilty about their sadness because they are allowed to have emotions and they are allowed to express those emotions — especially to you.
If you come across as annoyed when they are unable to snap directly from upset to upbeat, then they are going to start faking smiles in front of you. They are going to lie to protect your feelings and to avoid disappointing you. They are going to feel like they cannot trust you with their truth because you only want them around when they are in a good mood
When you love someone, you have to resist the urge to ‘fix’ them because there are some things out of your control. Besides, sometimes they will not want your advice. They will not want to know what you would do in their situation. They just want you to sit beside them and hold them close. They just want reassurance that you are there for them and that you love them.
As much as you hate seeing your person upset, you have to give them permission to be sad. You have to let them know it’s okay to be real and raw in front of you. You have to love them when there is a smile on their face and when there are tears in their eyes.
When you love someone, seeing them hurt hurts you, but you have to accept there are some things you cannot change. You cannot magically take away their sadness. You just have to be there for them when that sadness arrives and stay patient with them until it leaves.