One of the difficulties with the current times is the amount of anxiety generated by both the news and our social conversations. We are in a period of upsetting changes and uncertainty.In everyday talk, it is easy to see and hear how fearful most people are about the changes in our government, our financial systems and our businesses. In the midst of these stresses it is difficult to stay calm and understand that getting upset and anxious is unlikely to be of any benefit to us or to the people we love. In fact, it is likely that without realizing it we will take our own stresses out on our families and friends because we are comfortable with them and feel secure that they will not abandon us over our irritability and snappishness. The problem with this is that over time, taking stress out on our intimates does wear away the good feelings in the relationship. We may not end a relationship over a tense exchange and negative mood but we are unlikely to approach that person with caring and offers of connection. Small resentments begin to build when we feel unfairly treated in everyday interactions. It is important to help your partner become aware of this because most people do this without awareness. It is not helpful to respond in kind with sarcasm, etc such as “Excuse me for living”, etc. That just keeps the cycle going. Make a positive protest more along the lines of the following: ” I know that you are tense and worried but I would really appreciate it if you did not take this out on me. Let’s see if we can figure out how to reduce your stress.” I know that sounds like a tall order and it is not always possible to be so reasonable. The more you can tell your friends and family when you feel hurt by the behaviors of tension and worry that are taken out on you, the more likely you are to interrupt the process. If you are the one who is overwhelmed and stressed, be sure to apologize when you are snappy , impatient or withdrawn with your family and friends. Instead, ask for their patience and understanding during a difficult time. Relationships, unlike the economy, the availability of energy resources, the stock market and the elections, are a place where you do have immediate impact on the outcome.