Dealing with Moody People – You Don’t Have to Be Nice to Them

We all know them. Some of us gave birth to them, while others of us are married to them. You may work for one or simply live next to one. Or one of these nuisances in your life could be one of your friends. Regardless – they are annoying, frustrating and can be a burden to your own version of personal happiness.

We are talking today, about the definite downs of dealing with moody people.

The problem is that passed the atypical moody teenage years, general crankiness in adults loses its appeal, or at the very least – it can start to become inexcusable. Frankly, there isn’t a person a live who doesn’t suffer some periods of moodiness, however for some folks, being cranky, is a perpetual habit which becomes a way of life, leaving those around them never quite knowing what to expect from moment to moment. So, how much do you have to put up with? Should you try to help this person snap out of their mood, or is it appropriate to accept these unstable creatures for what they are, and love them anyways? It really depends on the circumstances,

One of the reasons that teens and children are often so moody, is because they haven’t yet acquired the life skills that allow them to deal with their emotions. And it’s easy to make sacrifices for their moods because quite simply, mood stability is part of being socially responsible, which takes practice. However, some people NEVER seem to quite grasp the concept of ‘live and let live’ and are constantly focused on the negative, the bad, the ugly, and miserable in their lives. And of course, as humans, these people don’t want to suffer alone. So they are constantly grumbling and pouting about something, and subconsciously try to pass on their unhappiness to those around them. If you stand there and absorb it like a sponge, you too will become miserable and moody. Just like happiness is contagious…so is crankiness.

OR…they could simply be looking for sympathy. For many folks, moodiness is a useful tool of manipulation that allows them to control the people around them. And, if you are constantly giving it to your moody neighbor, spouse, or friend – chances are you are further enabling their moodiness and making ‘it’ work for them. The truth is, if you ignored them, told them to ‘get over it,’ and refused to become entangled in the moods – they would quickly realize that their mood manipulation didn’t provide them with the attentive results they want. They would likely move on, or at the very least realize that their moodiness is not accepted on your emotional turf.

And yes, moody people tend to want to be the center of attention, and are normally overwhelmingly self-absorbed. So much so, that they often fail to see how badly their moods affect others, or realize how others really feel about them. In many ways, by talking to your moody friend, and explaining to them that they are no fun to be around, and that you are tired of the constant whining – you could help them to snap out of it. Certainly, they will try to find other willing and able others to be their mood victims, but at least YOU won’t have to suffer the consequences. And quite honestly, a healthy dose of reality and a little ‘tough love’ may be just what they need to realize their moodiness has taken over their life.

Far too often, especially dependant upon the relationship you share with the moody person, people try to be politically correct and avoid, use distance, or deploy empathy to deal with the emotionally disturbed. By and large, most people feel uncomfortable in the presence of someone who is in a bad mood, and in order to avoid a scene or blow up- and to keep up the appearance of being compassionate, we indulge in the bad mood. But let’s be real! After a while, enough is enough. Especially if the person in question is someone, you love or care about – and definitely, if you feel that they try to use their moodiness as a means to control others around them.

Truth is, that quite often, perpetual moodiness is about bullying others. Emotional bullying is detrimental, confusing, downright mean and falls into the category of passive aggressive behavior that quite simply, YOU SHOULD AVOID being part of. No matter what. And retaliating with a healthy dose of his or her own medicine can be either a cure all or a deal breaker. Either way, you have to set yourself free from being manipulated by the moods of others, especially if you really do enjoy happiness in your life.

Many people have emotional addictions to moody folks. You may think that you can ‘fix’ the persons unhappiness, or may have such low self esteem yourself, that you subconsciously feel you deserve to be on the receiving side of the mood. Being around cranky folks then becomes your way of invoking sympathy and self-pity even if inwardly. If this seems to describe you, then you should seek help or counseling.

The bottom line is this. Everybody has good days and bad days. Each and every one of us will suffer from a bad mood from time to time. Occasionally moodiness is acceptable. However, if you or if someone you know, seems to be constantly bitching and whining, complaining and on the verge of an outburst, chances are they have some problems that your friendship isn’t going to solve. Being nice, trying to avoid the confrontation will only hurt you in the long run. At some point, when dealing with moody people, it is not just acceptable, but wise – to tell them with assertion that the high time has come for them to ‘put on their big person panties’ and start acting like an adult. Lest they lose you in their life. Life is definitely too short to constantly be walking on eggshells because of perpetually moody people.



23 Responses

  1. Did you even take into account people suffering from mental illnesses? Not everyone chooses to be this way, so many people have no one to help them get through tough times and it leaves an effect. Don’t bash moody people without even knowing them. Thanks 🙂

    1. Said like a true codependent. Ok the writer will quickly get to know all the moody people in the world real quick! I’ve known PLENTY of moody people who treat their families bad but can magically turn it off around other people that they want to impress. I’ve also known mentally ill people who have mood swings but almost all of those are seeking treatment. The difference usually is the former almost always never apologize about being moody and the later are usually very remorseful and apologetic (almost to hard on themselves). I think the writer is referring to the former.

      1. Totally agree with you. The person I am struggling with at the moment is a work colleague who is moody and snappy one minute and nice the next. She knows what she is doing because she is charming with the bosses and other senior colleagues but as I am fairly new to the organisation and out of my comfort zone she seems to pick on me. I am feeling vulnerable and miserable now and whilst I don’t like confrontation I know I will now have to say something. This has been going on for almost 4 months now. I did try talking to her after about a month and she was as ‘nice as pie’ and then changed the subject quickly. Typical bully. They do know what they are doing.

        1. Oh yes.. they know who to be nice to… my husband.. My niece does the mood thing… but as soon as my husband appears she is all lights and action.

        2. They know they can’t get away with pushing the buttons of experienced staff without it backfiring. It will only stop when they have someone new to pick on. I. E. New staff. Stick with it.

    2. No.. i dont agree… mental illness is a joke… My niece is one of the moodiest people on earth.. i dance around trying to please her… even her darkest depression is like mine.. BUT as soon as my husband appears asking her to go shopping she drops the mood… and grabs her glad rags and we all must act like nothing happened its narcissism. No such thing as mental illness.. just selfishness.

      1. Sounds like your niece is trying to manipulate you. You need to put your foot down, and ignore her if you have to. Be strong eventually she’ll get the point that you won’t put up with her crap

    3. I suffer with mental
      Health issues but I don’t constantly use my moods to control and manipulate others around me.

    4. Unfortunately if you continue being moody, and use mental health as an excuse you’ll keep pushing people away. Moody people have no right to bash others yet expect only care and compassion in return. If not expect to remain lonely.

  2. See i am one of these moody people, i started reading this to bf deal but the reason i get moody is because i always want to be alone, i cant deal with people being around me all the time, asking stupid obvious questions to make conversation, i need time to recharge and i dont get it or no one lets me, honestly in just tired but non of that article is me, if im in a mood just leave me alone

  3. Great article, thanks. I have 3 moody friends and feel like I ‘people please’ them a lot. I am an empath. I think they targeted me specifically to get their needs met. They know they can take advantage of me – but no more. I’m an empath in recovery now. Their moods can be so unpredictable & childish that I really think they have bipolar disorder. 2 of them anyway. Trouble is they are doing nothing about it while the people around them are affected. I don’t know why I waste my time with these people when there are plenty of healthy-functioning STABLE adults out there to be friends with.

    1. I feel for u dealing with 3 of them. I’ve just removed myself from
      One snd that was hard work. Hopefully you can remove them from yourself.

  4. My 36 year old neice is so moody.. its making me distrust her.. she goes into silence for no reason.. just stops talking.. I have to wait till she decides when im punished enough… grr.. its making me angry at her.

  5. No. I can be moody sure, but the thing is, it’s not like I’m using my depression to manipulate people, sorry, but that’s crazy! If I hurt somebody’s feelings, chances are, I will beat myself up about it for months. I don’t want to “emotionally bully people” I’m not “looking for sympathy” and I am not “self-absorbed.” I find this article to be quite hurtful and frustrating. Have you tried asking this moody person in your life WHY they act like this? Maybe they just need somebody to talk to, somebody to support them. I know that sometimes I may get moody because I just feel so alone. I try my best to not be moody, but it can be hard bottling everything up. If this person truly cares about your feelings, they will probably try to keep their moodiness under control. I understand that this is not the case for everybody, and I agree, some people are inexcusably rude, and to be honest, horrible to be around. Just please try to understand that this is not the case for everybody. Some of us just need some love and support, somebody to help us pick ourselves back up again. it can even be as simple as just giving them some alone time. No hate intended, just trying to give friendly feedback, as people’s feelings will most likely be hurt by this article, particularly if it isn’t true. I know that I was hurt by this article. I hope this helps, thanks for taking your time to read this! 🙂

    1. From what you saying maybe this article isn’t aimed at you. There are some who are perpetually moody and feel it’s okay to take it out on others. Eventually it leads them to more loneliness. Maybe in your situation there are other people who are being manipulative and hurtful to you.

  6. Moodiness is also common in very young adults, as well as children and adolescents, because the brain is not completely developed until around the mid-20’s.

  7. My coordinator seems to be moody. I am wary of emailing her because I never know what her reaction will be. I can feel her moodiness from a virtual distance. Everyone has a bad day now and then. Those people emit such negativity 😒 it’s better to distance yourself if possible. My technique is to email her back and include at least a smiley. She has my sympathy. 😀

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