Two days ago I had to run - with little time to do so – to the grocery store to buy a single item that I needed at the moment. I got off the car holding only my car keys and my credit card, to reduce weight and time, in the belief that the lightness of responsibilities and objects optimizes concentration, and speeds up the result.
When I got to the registers’ area, I noticed that all the people in the lines had their carts full of merchandise. I was carrying a small tray of snacks in my hands and the credit card between my fingers and thought it would be easy to plea to the lady who was nearest to me (and to the register ) with the utmost kindness, if she would allow me to pay before her, emphasizing that I only had one article and leave. Her gesture was such, rude and unpleasant, that if meant YES, I choose to say "forget it, don't worry", while in parallel I accepted the offer from a lady in another row who kindly let me go before her. Everything happened in less than two minutes, during which I quickly looked at the first woman and noticed how her expression of discomfort was still there, frozen in her face, without progressing anything in her row. I left the store and arrived on time to where I was going. The episode left me thinking, even if this person was not part of this group, in the crabby people.
A couple of years ago I would have been disturbed by the innocuous incident at the supermarket, looking for a reason of the lady’s discomfort. Today I understand that the bad humor is not personal and is precisely a chronic way to be. It is undeniable that, to a greater or lesser extent, we all know persons like this: those who have a NO for each YES and pessimism for each illusion. If they work, then complain on excess, but if they are out of a job, then cry for the inactivity. If they are obese or thin, with straight or curly hair, if it is raining or sunny, they are always unhappy.
When one of these grumpy characters is our friend, relative or acquaintance, inevitably we are under the risk of falling, as part of their melodramatic creation, in the role of the bad guys, without even reading the script. Beware ... learn to identify right away that we are only spectators intended to be converted into actors. Before reacting to a false accusation, a judgment without value, an unexpected complaint ( all of this, product of their constant negativity) , for our own wellbeing we better make a pause and think that we are mere objects chosen at random to justify the misery of these people. It is always challenging to refrain from getting involved, because it is difficult to identify that we are dealing with an enemy of himself, we feel offended and want to react to this.
If it is somehow useful to know, this permanent bad mood is the product of an alteration of brain chemistry, which has implications for the temper. If an adult is the one who presents it, most probably it is something called "dysthymia", a chronic depression without severe episodes, but very extended. It is characterized by the inability to feel pleasure and the uncertainty of how they are going to react, since they are choleric, aggressive, sometimes rude in their forms of expression (can be only body language) and are generally experiencing frustration.
While it is not easy to be near the grumpy, sometimes it is unavoidable. That is why, if the advice is well accepted, it will be suggested to consider that no matter how good the joke shared with them or the advice provided for the problem of the moment, the help required by a chronic crabby has to be professional.
In the meantime, for all of those who are not grumpy all day, remember to be aware of your mood … and please tell me the joke you had.
My hug for all kind of moods.