It could have been:
The obstinate child. The husband that forgot he understands English. The long red light. The rude co-worker. The dirty dishes. The traffic. The medication. The disappointment. The unanswered questions. The financial “situation”. The short angry email response. The never-ending SPAM mail. The person who passed gas at your desk and didn’t say anything remotely apologetic. The three voice-mail “messages” that were really hangups. The jerk who took up 2 parking spaces. The person that keeps saying, “you know what I mean?” when you don’t.
Any of these things could make a person grumpy. When they ALL happen look out. I’m not saying this happened to me, today or any other day in particular, I’m just thinking aloud.
You know what I mean?
When the sun is shining and you just don’t feel sunny, what do you do? Do you try to cheer yourself up or do you wallow and let it pass. I think it’s healthy to warn others if you have that black cloud following you wherever you go because they may not see it if they are completely oblivious, or deaf. It’s important to share your feelings and not keep them bottled up inside, but it’s also important not to insult others with your warning.
Coworker: Hey, do we get off on Election Day?
Grumpy Person: Why on Earth would we get off on Election Day!?!
Coworker: Because the entire country gets off on Election Day.
(side note – if that were a true statement then she kind of answered her own question, but let’s leave that)
Grumpy Person: Scream-scream, mutter, grumble, mumble, growl. UGH, I’m really sorry I am not in a good mood, please ignore me.
This may or may not have happened today. I’m sorry if you are reading this and you think you fall into any of these categories. This is all hypothetical, of course.
Here are some things I remind myself to help me feel better when, I mean, if I get into one of these moods, hypothetically.
1) Sit up straighter. Surprisingly it works. It empowers you and helps you feel less defeated. (Plus its better for your posture).
2) Smile even if it hurts. It is infectious and you may slump back into grumpy mode afterwards but it does help for a few minutes. (Tried and true).
3) Remind yourself the world is not out to get you. (Even if you hit every red light).
4) I got this off Psychology Today (thanks Dr. Barton Goldsmith): Learn to respond and not react. I love that line. As young persons, we are so passionate about our thoughts and feelings, which we are certain are absolutely right and just, all the time. However, the older one gets there is a wise sense of calm that comes over us and we are (sometimes) able to reserve the quick bitter answer or obnoxious debate until we think things through. (So he spit his wad of tobacco goo on your driveway? – Feel bad for him that his mamma never taught him any manners, poor lumberjack – also note: don’t poke the bear).
5) “Recognize that disappointment is a part of life”. Use life’s negative experiences as weigh-stations and speed bumps. Certain actions or comments may slow you down, let you down, make you sad, angry, or frustrated. Turning those into lessons on how NOT to act or speak when presented the same situation a different time is how we learn to manipulate those hurtful moments.
Now, for those that want to wallow.
Here are some things that I remind myself to help me feel better, and by better I mean keep on being grumpy (feeding the fuel) when, I mean if, I get into one of these moods, hypothetically.
1) Eat lots of fattening junk food. Sure, you’ll get sick to your stomach – but that just helps keep you all icky.
2) Make sure there are lots of people around that do not respect your space. Being uncomfortable is a sure way to stay unhappy, so pile on the kiddie whining and requests – trust me, you’ll stay moody. Make sure you get the memo wrong lots of times (on purpose) so the annoying guy in the office keeps coming back to your desk to ask for changes. You’ll feel mean and snickery longer, I can almost guarantee it – not that I know this first hand…seriously.
3) Spend money you don’t have on things you don’t need. This is a quick fix – while it sure helps you feel better (not sure why) you’ll feel even worse afterwards.
4) DO NOT WASH THOSE DISHES. Here I fail almost every time so I know it probably works. When I get angry I clean. It makes me feel better. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
5) Stay in bed all day. Pajamas included. While you may need this and convince yourself of it, at the end of the day you may definitely feel worse. You’ll feel like you wasted a day when you may have accomplished many great things. Of course, there is the chance that you may not and you were the smartest person ever because you avoided others/ avoided conflict/ avoided life. The guilt a few days later should make you feel worse.
I think it’s important to get angry and recognize it and accept it. I don’t think it’s okay to bottle it up and avoid confrontation. I dislike with rude behavior. I dislike traffic. I dislike yogurt. These things make me angry. I will speak out when confronted with these things.
I am on the fence here clearly, much like that graphic above. Is this saying do not control temper or Do not hit/control temper…I just don’t know? I’m not sure if it’s better to wallow and let yourself brood and be surly when you need to be or to perk up, brush it off and force yourself to take a walk, clear your head and get some fresh air. I think each person needs to figure it out on their own. So whether you punch a wall or eat a bucket-load of ice cream or growl back at the neighborhood dog I think we are all alright and should respect each other. Just a note to anyone that may cross my path today – beware, hypothetically speaking, of course.