I’m going to jump right in on this one. I’ve watched too many ‘moody’ people in my life create situations forcing me into silence or conflict because ‘they’ were triggered into a mood swing.
Women are often targeted as being ‘TOO’ of so many things, having negative labels attached to them anytime they speak up or speak out.
« You are too…..sensitive, moody, emotional, easily offended, serious….too, uh, girly? «
Just recently, I answered a gentleman’s question regarding his helping the homeless and I was erroneously labeled a ‘bro’ because I didn’t respond exactly as a 3rd party male thought I ‘should’. When he realized I was a female, he felt the need to tell me I was just PMSing!
Aside from being a troll, his comment absolutely highlighted the commonality of female degradation, especially in terms of emotions and the expectations society has placed upon us as a gender.
Moods, emotions and feelings are actually normal responses for all humans, dictated by innate personality traits, experiences, chemical moments and upbringing. It is only when one’s moodiness becomes so commonplace that it is an issue in need of self-reflection and work.
So, what exactly is moodiness?
I’ve never really been a ‘moody’ person in terms of going from one extreme to the other or shifting directions multiple times in one day. I mean, there are times when I experienced a mood shift, but it was usually directly linked to something identifiable, manifested slightly through a mild emotion or a facial expression and almost always short lived.
Looking back, there were times where I was a bit more ‘on edge’ or even prone to a collapse of emotions, but again, there was a single identifiable and overwhelming event, issue or factor in my life, usually created by someone else’s actions, that caused this temporary internal shift. I just didn’t wake up and feel ‘moody’.
A mood, by definition, is simply an emotional state of being. It can be a positive or a negative shift in energies
Normal moods are often not extreme or intense, and are not sudden in change or dramatic shifts, especially in the absence of situations such as death or loss. They also don’t present in a pattern, whether it’s several shifts a day or in any other situational pattern like transitioning from a group to being with immediate family or particular people.
Shifts in energy are often part of the colors of what makes us human and unique!!!
Those who exist in states of what is seen as beyond momentarily CRANKY (a crumudgeon) may be suffering from underlying issues attributed to physiological and / or mental factors.
These shifts can be noted as being:
INTENSE or EXTREME, DRAMATIC, SUDDEN, DISPROPORTIONATE, OFTEN, NEGATIVE (leave others feeling hurt or leave a mess).
Example: When you are having a calm conversation with your boss one minute and then they become irritated, even volatile the next minute over minor stimuli, change in discussion or even perceived change, especially if this shift creates a feeling inside of you like being fearful of speaking so as not to cause them additional ire.
Irritable or easily agitated individuals are moody people and for definition purposes, irritability is a type of mood. Chronic irritability is a ‘sign’ of underlying issues
A mood swing is an ‘extreme’ shift in mood. They are often caused by a physiological or environmental trigger such as hormonal imbalances, low levels of neurotransmitters in the brain,, lack of sleep, poor nutrition, alcohol, drug and medicstion addictions, ADHD, epilepsy, dementia, PTSD, Schitzophrenia and Autism.
Mood swings can also be an indication of severe depression or even bipolar disorder, which is a shift between extremes such as a mind that races through possibilities and is optimistic one moment and then irritated and angry at everyone and everything the next without any normal external forces such as sudden death in the family, marital issues, or job loss.
It is said that over half of all Americans with Bipolar Disorder (Manic Depressive) are undiagnosed or unaware. Mood swings are or can be eradic and range between grandiose self-esteem or confidence, a mind full of ideas, talking loud or being loud, volunteering or taking on tasks to becoming easily agitated, dismissive, amped up (loud), irritable especially with close family and even angry.
As with all feedback we receive from our own instinct, moodiness is simply another way to remind us that something is off, whether temporarily or at a deeper level. It’s not innately BAD, but rather a reflection of where we may need to focus on healing and understanding within ourselves and with others.
Going inside the self.
Looking at our sleep patterns is one quick way to self-check when we are being irritable or checked out from others. Some folks become easily agitated when they are fatigued in the mind or in the body. Hunger or digestive issues can also be a trigger for moodiness in both normal folks and those with underlying issues. Think ‘Hangry’!
Other triggers may be a hormonal imbalance due to illness, menses/menopause, stress, aging, medications and nutrition. Stress itself, certain places (grocery stores, malls, crowds), sudden loss, anxiety, fear and worry can also trigger moodiness and even mood swings in those who suffer from deeper issues.
Addiction issues such as alcohol, drug, gambling or other addictions can be quite tricky to attend to, especially when coming off the ‘high’. However, they are never a valid excuse to treat others poorly.
For some, a quick nap or a snack or even a 15-minute meditation can restore balance to the psyche. Personally, when I feel a shift in energies, I like to ground in nature or write. Knowing yourself is key.
Conversely, dealing with another’s moods can leave you feeling quite drained, abandoned and emotional yourself. Moody people do not realize how difficult it can be on those who are impacted collaterally and can even misinterpret another’s avoidance or silence for something completely different.
People who are around moody individuals are often forced into silence and master the art of treading lightly, or risk major conflict over the smallest of events and even deal with meltdowns, tantrums and being ‘cut off’ by the moody individual.
When I encounter the moods of others, I a am accommodating and empathetic at first. If a kind word or gesture doesn’t help (rejection, greater irritability, sarcasm, slamming/banging etc), I often self-protect through shielding, redirection or simply by being silent. If all else fails, I will leave the room if possible, so as not to disturb the individual (eggshell seeking).
Moodiness is part of who we are as humans, but intense shifts that generate hurtful energies or forced silence is not ok. The fact that women are disproportionately rendered as the masters of moods only highlights the ignorance in understanding what moods are actually about, how they are triggered, their deeper connection and how constant levels can create harm.
Men are just as likely to suffer moods, mood swings and physiological, chemical and mental issues that cause them. A meltdown over laundry or dishes is not about the laundry or dishes.
Before you break out the gender label maker, educate yourself!