displeased woman standing in room

Grumpy 101: What To Do When You’re Angry For No Reason

Her anger was subdued but she was volatile. It wasn’t my fault this time though. She had just gotten home from school, where she teaches fourth grade. It wasn’t a particularly bad day, but for whatever reason she was in a sour mood. Irritation and distaste bubbled just below the surface of her unamused facial expression.

I’m no stranger to this. But not because my wife is often grumpy- she’s not. It’s me. I’m the moody one who spends quality time with grouchiness at regular intervals.

I don’t know why it happens, but when it does, I don’t fight it. I just retreat to myself, letting it wash over me and recede like a wave on the beach. It honestly feels good in a way.

I let my negativity burn out in solitude. I reflect and work through the thoughts, attitudes and actions I need to address. As an introvert, I value the time spent alone. I can bitch, whine, pity myself, and vent about others and myself without being criticized. I can rest, recharge and return to my “normal self“. The me that returns from these sessions is usually better off in some way than before.

These grumpy episodes happen so infrequently to my wife that I think she was surprised a bit when one washed over her the other day. She didn’t really know what to do.

I recommended one of my favorite treatments; solitude in a cooler-than-normal living room, sleeping on the couch with a warm blanket, with mindless TV shows playing all night. There’s something about this method that helps me accomplish everything that needs addressed in my waves of grumpiness, and it’s even a bit fun.

My wife’s lack of familiarity with being in a bad mood for no obvious reason, has me wondering how often other people run into these moods and how they handle them.

How about you? Do you get generally grouchy sometimes? How often? What do you do then? Do you find any value in the experience?

For stories follow and subscribe to Five O’ Clock Shadow and follow me also at Wise & Shine Magazine.

40 thoughts on “Grumpy 101: What To Do When You’re Angry For No Reason

  1. I’m a very melancholy person. And intense. And energetic. It’s a strange lot. I’m pretty accustomed to me, as is my wife. She’s usually pretty calm, cool, and collected. I like that about her, but I also like knowing what she’s really feeling and thinking. This creates a dissonance sometimes. When I am fortunate to make it to the inner realm of her emotions, I don’t always like it there. I’m learning to receive without defense, as I SO value being on the receiving end of her feelings. I’ll likely be learning for the rest of however long we get! But it’s worth it.

      1. Oh gosh…sorry! That’s me taking a whirl at being brief and I blew it! It’s an awesome, awesome WOW. Super smart and insightful, I say…. vs. taking everyone in the vicinity along for the ride when we’re peeved (which is what I’m often guilty of). You’re brilliant! 😎

      2. Geez-thanks Victoria! 🙂🙂🙂 I hope I didn’t come across as fishing for compliments but I do appreciate the kind words! 😎 💚 As my wife can attest, it took me years to get into the habit of not taking everyone else down with my ship 😬

  2. There is always a reason, for me it’s bad if I am hungry or haven’t had my black tea. or after teaching 9th graders, or when my phone receives emergency calls only. This happens a lot, I mean, sometimes it happens all at once causing you stress, under which I start grinding my teeth unknowingly. Which gives me headache… it’s a vicious cycle.

  3. When I become grouchy, I ask myself why I’m feeling the way I do. Many times it’s because I have a thought of something or somebody that is hyperbolic – something that is not really happening and based on assumptions. I too like to be in solitude to figure these things out. Sometimes I will simply do a “gratitude list” for anything I can think of that I’m thankful for, and within a short time, those ugly thought disappear.

  4. I just had one of these the other day; expectations and reality parted ways and it took me some 40min of silence and to recover from my anger, though the low-hum of irritability lasted longer. I can usually roll with whatever happens, like our recent power outage, but if expectations get involved there’s always a potential for trouble.

  5. Great point about expectations being potentially trouble. I love your phrase “low-hum of irritability”.

  6. I dont tend to get angry often but I know I have 2 different types – I can rant, pace up and down and generally people know I’m angry, but it blows over quite quickly. The other approach, when I’m extremely angry, I go silent. I need time to accept the anger and sort out my emotions. I’m not sure there’s anything specific I do – maybe go for a walk, but I know I need time to calm down.

    It’s funny, a situation happened the other day that should have made me angry, but it didn’t. I’m not sure why it didn’t.

  7. What an interesting idea that for people who don’t often experience these moods, they are maybe a little more difficult to deal with because they don’t have a method. I think your description of letting it wash over you and then recede is great. Makes so much sense! Thanks, Todd!

  8. I love your way of letting go your grumpiness. I only want to be left alone, not to spoil anyone’s else mood. The only one who can help me is my cat with his calming purr.

  9. I sometimes get ‘tetchy’ for no obvious reason and I get through it much quicker if I’m left alone. Not ignored though. A cup of tea helps 🙂 It’s not always easy for husband as he needs to know what not to say or do in such circumstances! Mind you if he doesn’t know now he never will as we’ve been married for 52 years 😄

  10. I have always told myself a story about being able to roll with everything and maintain good spirits, but recently I have been coming to realize that I am grumpier more often than I let even myself know. I am trying to come to terms with what being angry means and figuring our ways to deal with it. As an introvert I appreciate your suggestions, and the overall tone of “this is normal”.

    1. Thanks for reading Andy and good luck figuring out what works best for you when those moods strike. But for most people, occasional bad moods really are normal 👍

  11. Emotional overwhelm, the bane of our lives these days! I love the suggestion you came up with. For me, I’ll try to get outside for a walk if possible, the fresh air and gentle physical activity seems to lift my spirits and help me to process whatever I’m struggling with. If that doesn’t work, then sitting in from of the TV with some snacks helps!

  12. Great advice you got there. I’m also an introvert, and most of the time when I’m feeling grumpy or angry of something even I have let it out on my diary, I will have to watched documentary movies or funny movies to distract my mind to forget of the things that I’m angry about.

  13. Dehydration, I know it might sound strange but sometimes we just need some water. It happened to me a lot in the past few years, but I have been making the delibrate decision to be better at feeling neutral or excited. 🤣 Sometimes it is just because I am lazy to do the things I need to do. Solitude works for me too. I enjoyed reading your post.

    1. Thank you! Yes- I agree, staying hydrated is a good tip. It’s so easy to become slightly dehydrated without knowing it.

Leave a Reply