“We’re on the struggle bus today!” I exclaimed while doing the dishes one day and listening to a whole lot of grumpiness in the other room. The kids, my hubby, and even our neighbor friends were crabby and not getting along. Whether I tried to mediate or scold them, it wasn’t helping. In fact, it was just making me grumpy.
“I see. How can I help?”
Many times, a grumpy person just needs to be heard and to know he or she isn’t alone. Try gently asking if anything is wrong, and listen without comment or interruption. Then follow with “I see. How can I help?” By getting to the root of what’s needed, you can help a person switch gears.
Although it seems out of place, these two words can be just the right medicine for a bad mood. Think about it—it’s very difficult to stay grumpy when someone is thanking you. There’s a proverb that says, “Pleasant words are like honey—sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” Find a way to say a sincere thank you to the person who has a dark cloud over his or her head and watch the mood change.
“Let’s go out.”
Often, a change of scenery is all that’s needed to hit the reset button. When people have been in one place for too long, grumpiness can sneak up! They might not even know they’re bored or just out of patience with the current surroundings and people. Tell the neighbor kids it’s time to go home and then get in the car—even if you don’t know where you’re going yet!
“Can you walk the dog?”
If you don’t have a dog, that’s fine. The point is to get the grumpy person outside and moving! Air out the bad mood with a shot of vitamin D, oxygen, and endorphins (the “happy chemical” in the brain). Studies have shown that spending time outside reduces stress and lifts the mood.
“It’s snack time!”
You’ve heard about getting “hangry,” right? My youngest flips to a whole different personality when she has an empty stomach (I wonder where she got that! Ahem.). Whip up a favorite snack and watch it do wonders for the grumpy person’s mood.
Do you have some other magic words to help your family out of bad moods?