Pardon My Grumpiness – My Stomach Is Growling

 In Negative emotions, Relationships

Have you ever noticed how your mood can shift when you’re hungry? How about when you’re feeling tired and worn out? Or when you’re extra stressed? I find I become less patient, more grumpy, and more irritable under these conditions. But being aware of this and making others around me aware has been a big help.

“Just so you know, I’m feeling wiped out today. Please excuse me if I come across as grumpy or short-tempered,” can be incredibly valuable to share with your coworkers or family. Now they aren’t wondering what they did wrong and aren’t as easily offended by your behavior (cortisol demons).

A few weeks ago, my 12-year-old daughter was going to help me out with an upcoming talk I had at a conference. It was downtown so there would be challenges with one-way streets, parking, and dropping boxes of books off at the hotel. And I had also hired a videographer to record me, so I was feeling extra stress about the entire event.

In the car, I made a point of letting her know my concerns. I asked for forgiveness ahead of time in case I did or said something out of frustration. I could tell she understood my mood and was grateful for the forewarning.

The great part about this story is that a couple of weeks later, she shared her thoughts with me. She was stressed about an upcoming friend gathering and knew she was feeling irritable so she let me know. Suddenly I felt more empathy and patience towards her.

When we can see behind the scenes as to why someone is acting grumpy, it makes it much easier for us to be more tolerant and not be grumpy back. And when we voice our feelings, we give others permission to do the same, so everyone benefits.

Give it a try at work, with friends, or at home. If you notice some irritability creeping in because of hunger, tiredness, stress, etc. let those around you know and encourage them to do the same.

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