Yes, it really is a thing and it is today. Here in the United States, home to many grumpy people, a created holiday is celebrated ….if you can use that word, to glorify what is defined as “a person who is angry, rude or often complains.”
According to the website known as the Home of the Great American Grumpout, created by self proclaimed Grumpoligist, Janice A. Hathy: “Grumpology is the in-depth study of the Grump’s environment, interactions and collective behavior as it relates to family, friends and co-workers. Grumping requires a significant skill to effectively deliver unpleasant, unwanted and unwarranted behaviors.”
I have rarely been grumpy; too busy being grateful as was taught to me by my parents. My father would often meet my vague complaints with “If that’s the worst thing that ever happens to you, you will be okay.” I would smile and work my way through whatever was going on at the time; sometimes with the help of my folks, or others and sometimes on my own. As a therapist and natural empath, there have been plenty of times when; like tofu, I have absorbed other people’s snarky, whiney emotions. I have quickly chosen to shake them off, since miserable moods are contagious and grumps don’t like to go it alone. In attempt to hornswoggle others to join in the grouch-fest, they will often assume that people will commiserate with them. I happen not to be one of those who jumps on the bitching and moaning bandwagon. There are times when I run an inner dialog about the behaviors that range from mildly annoying- such as people who use improper grammar and spelling; to abhorrent- such as violence in word or deed. I do what I can to productively express displeasure and offer alternatives to the choices made. Complaining for its own sake may have some small benefit, such as permission to vent and when used as problem solving, as long as it isn’t sustained as a way of life.
Humor helps as well. When something isn’t to your liking, can you find a way to laugh about it and see the ridiculous side of the issue? Kind of like chuckling when the person who was honking their horn while riding your bumper and then zooms past you, gets stuck at the next traffic light. If we could do that, then I imagine the incidents of road rage would drop considerably. Some things just ain’t worth sweating.
I encourage you to take a grump fast by noticing when you may be tempted to complain. Then decide if it is worth getting your panties in a twist about. Can you do anything to change the situation? If so, do it. If not, let it go. My stretchy edge is letting go of being angry and annoyed with folks who smoke since their habit impacts on everyone else. Beyond educating, there isn’t a whole lot I can do about it. Harping in my head about it is only going to surround me with toxicity which is what I want to avoid in the first place.
Smile when you can with a big toothy grin. Laugh when you need to. Laughter Yoga is one means to overcome the grumps. One of the exercises teachers of this ha-ha healing modality is speaking in gibberish. When you have something that is asking to be vented, say it in nonsense words, with exaggerated movement; temper tantrum style if need be.
If that doesn’t work, then sing along with Oscar.