Do you ever get tired of having happiness constantly shoved in your face? Perhaps it’s the crotchety, old man in me, but I find the insistence that we should be happy all the time to be rather bothersome and annoying. We have other emotions and moods, so why not experience them to their fullest potential?
Granted, some moods and emotional experiences outside of joy are encouraged. For example, there’s been a big push for people to accept sadness for what it is and to stop trying to say it’s not okay to be cry. However, there’s at least one mood that never seems to receive encouragement – crabbiness. I think it’s high time to give this underappreciated mood the attention and encouragement it deserves.
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Embrace Being Crabby
From now on, when you’re feeling cranky, try to embrace it. Show the world, or at least yourself, that crankiness isn’t all that bad. It’s entirely possible to be crabby and still enjoy yourself. Yes, the definition of crabby makes this seem impossible, but are you going to let some dusty, old dictionary define your moods?
I, for one, am not. I’ve decided to redefine the ill-tempered aspects of my life by turning them into something enjoyable. I’m not saying everyone will like it, but that’s not really the point. My grouchiness is mainly my own problem, so the ways I use to cope with it should be my own as well, right?
Now, in order to embrace your cantankerous side, you must first get in touch with it. Figure out who you are when you’re crabby, determine your levels of crankiness, and find some ways to own it. Keep in mind, however, that some ways are safer and more acceptable than others. Allow me to share with you some of the ways in which I’ve accepted my own crabby tendencies.
A Touch of Catharsis
I’m sure you’ve heard it said that a cathartic release is good for the soul. The psychology on this is actually mixed, but in a situation where you’re crabby and not genuinely angry, I think catharsis can be beneficial. It’s mind over matter, really.
One great option for catharsis is punching something. I have a heavy bag that feels amazing to hit. Not only does it get some aggression out, but it’s also a form of exercise. You get to be as crabby as you want while getting in shape and avoiding most people. After all, only one person can use a heavy bag at a time.
Now, this should go without saying, but I’m going to say it anyway to be safe. If you’re going to punch something while you’re crabby, make sure it’s not something that will hurt you or get you into trouble. Walls, people, puppies – these are things that will have a negative impact and probably leave you feeling crankier than you did before.
Everybody’s a Critic
Being critical is one of my personal favorites when it comes to embracing my peevish attitude. It’s fairly easy to accomplish, and you can get away with it in a number of different situations. Of course, not everybody appreciates when you’re overly critical, so either do this in the right company or be prepared to defend your right to be crabby.
Fueling the irritability fire is surprisingly easy when you start getting critical, and boy, does it get fun. While it’s better to do this in private (if you don’t want to end up in a fist fight or with a lot of burned bridges), you still have plenty of opportunities to let loose. You simply have to find something that annoys you.
If you have a difficult time thinking of something, here are a few options to consider. You could watch a movie you hate or read a poorly written book. Read an article with a differing opinion or watch locally made commercials. If you’re familiar with Reddit, check out the Politics subreddit – it’s infuriating at times. When in doubt, watch the news. There’s almost always something that’s bound to irritate you when it comes to the news. Whatever you choose to do, go ahead and tear it apart. Your crabby self will thank you.
My final way to embrace crabbiness is finding someone to be crabby with, and it happens to be my favorite option. Now, I don’t mean find a person you can treat poorly. I’m talking about finding a person who won’t question your cantankerous state, but will simply accept it and even go so far as to join you.
For me, this person is usually my sister. I can’t think of a single time where she’s told me to stop being crabby or to cheer up. She’s always embraced my crankiness for what it is and helped me find ways to do so as well. If I’m feeling irrationally annoyed, she’ll find a way to rationalize it.
I will say, if one of us is in a disagreeable mood, it’s wise for all others to stay out of our way. We tend to feed off each other, which escalates into a scary situation for outsiders. We will rip anything and everything to shreds, usually with severe criticism (see, you can even combine the ways in which you embrace crabbiness).
While it may seem like a bad thing to dive deeper into our angst, we usually come out the other end in a lighthearted and giggly mood. You see, being with someone who legitimizes your crankiness rather than questioning and condemning it is a much better way to quell the beast than to have someone try to cheer you up. When you’re cranky, you don’t want to be around cheery people. They simply make things worse. Other crabby people, however, help you embrace and overcome your irrational annoyances.
Apologies Not Accepted
Quite frankly, I think being crabby gets a bad rap. It’s sometimes enjoyable to be in a bad mood, depending on who you’re with and what you have going on. Besides, bad moods happen; people get crabby. It’s unrealistic to expect others to be happy-go-lucky and overtly friendly all the time. In fact, it’s downright unfair.
The next time someone tells you to stop being so crabby, politely explain to them how it’s part of human nature. We all have days where every little thing drives us crazy, for no apparent reason; we all get annoyed. Yet, there’s no reason for us to let this be a bad thing. Being crabby doesn’t mean you can’t also be happy.