Moodism and Lasting Relationships

This is a little break from the standard blog post, to talk about Moodism, a simple idea with great potential to help relationships last.  Moodism is the brainchild of my friend Jay Geier.  You can go to to find out what Moodism is all about.

The goal of Moodism is to provide individuals with skills enabling them to be more effective and efficient in managing their emotions.  Jay believes that often we are not in the right mood to maximize our chances of success in a particular situation. As an easy example, imagine how different you would want your mood to be when you are a) beginning a business meeting with a difficult client versus b) taking your family to the zoo.

Before we can decide if we are in the “right” mood for a situation, where the right mood is the one that will give us the best chance for success, we have to know what mood we’re in. And years of research in psychology has demonstrated that we are not often conscious of our internal states.  So Moodism starts with the process of taking our emotional temperature, something Jay suggests we get in the habit of doing every morning when we wake up. Further, we should take our temperature throughout the day, as we go from situation to situation.

Instead of letting our mood control us, we can manage and control our moods so we put unhelpful moods behind us and generate moods that allow us to be successful. Jay calls the process of changing our mood moodification. We might want to change from the cheerful mood we gained from talking with our children to a tough-minded mood for our upcoming business meeting. Moodism is about intentionally changing our mood so we are in the right mood for the situation.

Finally, Jay realizes how much we impact others and others impact us.  So he describes the process of reading others’ moods and “righting” them.  That is, helping others undergo moodification so they can use their moods to help them be successful.

OK, so you came here to learn something about lasting relationships and, instead, got an earful about changing moods.  But I hope you can see how being a moodist might impact lasting relationships.  Two months ago, my blog post was about stress resilience in lasting relationships. In that post I described situations in which stressful events can spill-over, threatening the quality of our relationship. Moodists who take their emotional temperature to ensure they are in the right mood for every situation can eliminate the spill-over of a negative mood.  Doing so can prevent stressful business meetings from turning into stressful dinners with our family.

Check out and see if it is something that might help your relationship last.

About Alan Strathman

Alan has spent 24 years as a professor of psychology at the University of Missouri. He is the founder of and contributes content regularly through blog posts and e-books that communicates the findings of psychological research on relationships. If you would like more information about Alan, please visit