Recently, I stumbled across the image above on Tumblr and it struck a chord with me. “Don’t let your mood dictate your manners”. Pretty poignant, right? Although I’m definitely guilty of letting my mood dictate my manners at at least one point in my life (and aren’t we all?), I think that over time I’ve learned to control it. At the same time, I’ve witnessed so many people who don’t follow this mantra, but probably should.
Being in a crabby mood is not an excuse to treat others like crap. It’s not an excuse to be rude, nasty or mean to others in order to feel better about yourself. Being in a mood should be about taking time to reflect on what made you moody and what you can do to change it. In fact, I find that when I’m in a mood, the best way to get out of it is sometimes to be alone and think it through. A good night’s sleep also does wonders. Even when I’m in the worst mood ever, I try my best not to take it out on other people.
Here’s an example. You go through a bad breakup and you’re obviously in a terrible mood where you hate all men and loathe happy couples. Then you see your close friend get into a new, happy relationship. Instead of being supportive and nice toward them, you let your mood dictate your manners and you say rude things and “shun” them from your life. This isn’t fair to the happy couple. They didn’t break you and your boyfriend up. They don’t deserve to be hurt by the bad manners you are practicing from your own mood. Instead, you should be happy for those who have found love and use it as motivation to make yourself a better person for the next guy who comes around.
Or here’s another example. You work long hours at a job you hate and you barely make enough money to pay your rent. This puts you in one of your moods. Then a friend ends up getting a job at a great company, works shorter hours and is happy. You let your mood dictate your manners and you don’t send her a congratulations text. When she speaks about her new job, you drown out her happiness with your sorrows about yours. Instead, you should do the polite thing- use your manners and congratulate her. Ask her about her job. Maybe you will learn a thing or two and can use that to help you find a new one!
It’s safe to say that everyone gets into their own “moods”. I can be pretty stubborn for instance, and when I’m in that mood there is no way you’re telling me that I’m wrong. Or if I fail at something, like not getting picked for a job, I get into a sad mood and feel worthless. I’m not proud of these moods I get in, but I’m human. As humans, we are very moody people, but the trick is to learn how to control the moods, embrace them and fix them in order to better ourselves.
An easy way to do this is to ask your loved ones (parents, friends, significant others) what type of moods you get in. Since these people know you best, they are obviously aware of how moody you get, when you get moody and maybe even why. They can provide you with the harsh truth that you might not see- or want to admit- yourself. Take this constructive criticism and use it to change.
If you see a friend who seems to be in a mood, give her some extra attention and try to help change it. Sometimes a nice phone call, compliment or a girl’s night out can really help someone’s mood change and prevent them from letting it dictate their manners.
Have you ever let your mood dictate your manners? Or has someone acted this way towards you? How did you handle it?