I am in a bad mood today, the sort where I want nothing more than to slap everyone I see upside the head. Why? I don’t know. Everything was fine when I went to bed, and nothing had changed when I woke up–except my mood.
Now I always think it’s fair to let my staff know when I’m a bad mood. I make a general announcement at the beginning of the day, so they know that this is probably not the best time to complain about the refrigerator or ask for the rest of the week off. But after that, I try to keep it to myself.
Over the years, I’ve noticed that folks tend to treat their own bad moods in one of two ways: they shut themselves away to let the mood dissipate on its own or they try to get rid of it by making as many other people suffer as possible. Probably all of us have had the experience of coming in to work and someone whispering to us, “Avoid X today. He (she) is in an awful mood.” And then folks tiptoe around that person the rest of the day, never sure what will set off an explosion. Ugh. No one likes living like that.
So I decided to follow the ‘suffer in silence’ group. (Well, relative silence.) I go to my office and work on solitary projects and only leave my cocoon when necessary. If I’m forced to interact with someone who starts to annoy me (And on these days, just the act of breathing can annoy me.), I silently tell myself that this has everything to do with my nasty mood and nothing to do with them. So I give a smile (or probably more like a pained grimace) and be polite– if not my usual effusive self.
One of the nice things about being older is that I know that, just as this mood inexplicably appeared, there’s a very good chance it will have disappeared by the time I wake up tomorrow.