Sunday, 16 December 2012

How to be a best buddy.

Here's a thought. You know about Moodscope, obviously. Maybe you already track your mood with it, or maybe not, but I hope my posts over the past nine days have given you some insight into why I think it's a good idea to do so: to me, it's a sensible way of taking care of your own emotional wellbeing.

I hope you can also see that recruiting a buddy to help you make sense of your ups and downs can provide you with useful perspective, even if this is not a step you're comfortable with just at the moment.

Maybe, however, you could offer to be someone else's buddy? Perhaps you suspect that someone you know is having a hard time? (Those of us who suffer from periodic low mood tend to have pretty good antennae for this, on the basis of it takes one to know one.) It could be that they've not come across Moodscope - which wouldn't be surprising. We don't exactly have a multi-million dollar marketing budget.

So why not talk to them about Moodscope? Suggest that you could act as their buddy; or better still, that you could buddy each other. If you do so, it may be helpful to see a few of the tips and hints I've picked up through talking to other Moodscopers, and it seems an appropriate way to conclude our ten days of posts about getting the most out of Moodscope.

Here are five suggestions to get the ball rolling, then, when you want to be an effective Moodscope buddy:

1. Start as you mean to go on, being dependable and consistent about getting in touch after you receive the other person's score. Agree that, maybe, you'll only make contact if there's a sudden change in scores - or you may choose to exchange brief messages nearly every day. While the frequency may not matter too much, do try to stick to whatever you decide between you. (By the way, don't forget to let them know if you're going away - and they should do the same with you.)

2. Keep sight of the fact that not getting a score from the other person could potentially be a sign that things aren't right. If you don't hear from them for a couple of days, don't necessarily assume that they're just too busy to use Moodscope. Consider emailing or calling them to check that things are OK.

3. When people are down, they may say things they might later regret. If this happens, try not to take it personally. If they snap at you, it's likely to be the depression talking, not them.

4. Your job is definitely not to somehow try and psycho-analyse the other person. By all means ask them gentle questions about what they're feeling (if they're happy for you to do so) but absolutely refrain from believing you know any of the answers. You don't, can't and shouldn't. The best thing you can provide is a sympathetic ear and, when necessary, a shoulder to cry on.

5. Definitely consider being each other's buddies, even if you think you don't really need Moodscope yourself. A two-way relationship can stop the other person worrying that they're indebted to you.

Perhaps you've ideas of your own or have thoughts about the above? For the final time (for now) please let us know by commenting below.

We'll be back to our usual style of Moodscope messages tomorrow, but we'll definitely be compiling the last ten days' content as a little e-book. Watch this space.