Bad Mood Rules

September 3, 2015

My alarm went off, and I thought: Oh no, this must be a mistake.

But, of course, it wasn’t. I was sad when I realized it wasn’t Friday. I was clumsy all morning. I wasn’t prepared, and the light in my bathroom blinded me. I spilled my coffee. My clothes didn’t look right. The thought of getting on the train and all the people I was going to see on my way to work was overwhelming.

I was in a bad mood. A terrible, very bad mood.

I have a confession, when I am in a bad mood, I am not the most pleasant person. I don’t want to interact with people. In fact smiling is something I have to force myself to do. If you are my neighbor or if you are someone that sees me every day and you catch me at the wrong time, you might think I am not the nicest person. In fact, you might be thinking, I saw her go through the back door yesterday instead of the front, just to avoid me. Or, she didn’t hold the elevator door for me yesterday.

If that is the case, please forgive me. I promise, it’s not you, it’s me. I just struggle with being pleasant when I’m not feeling it

But, I do like myself and the way I feel better when I am pleasant and polite. I prefer being around people who are pleasant. I feel like we should all be polite and pleasant in public. It just makes tough situations like being on the train in the morning or waiting in line for coffee easier for everyone. Being pleasant at work is a good idea. I try to do my part to contribute to a pleasant environment, and that makes the day easier to get through. But some days are harder than others, don’t you think?

While I do my best to be pleasant and a nice person, it is not always easy. Sometimes my mood is so foul, it’s extra hard. The best and most ideal solution would be to just stay home, but I can’t always stay home. It can be a struggle to get through a day at work when I am moody and grouchy, but sometimes I have to.

The way I am perceived at work is very important to me. At work, my goal is to present a professional, approachable persona. So I have taught myself how to get through the day when I am in a bad mood (even a terrible, very bad mood), and I have to go to work. Which brings me back to the morning I spilled the coffee and had the wardrobe malfunction and the…oh, you remember.

I managed to make it to work, and I was able to maintain my composure when I got there. And by focusing on how I wanted to present myself, I was able to push through, and I found that I was in a better mood even before the day is over.

When I got to the office, I made sure to say good morning. I decided, on bad mood days I don’t have to say anything besides work related things after I say good morning. During bad moods, I think it’s best to not speak and wait it out. Things said while in a bad mood could become part of the office gossip, and no one wants that.

Sometimes when I am in a bad mood, the last thing I feel like doing is engaging. I want to be left alone. I’m sure I could sit at my desk, silently. My energy would make it clear that I wanted to be left alone. But, I don’t feel like behavior like that contributes to a pleasant environment. Especially because I have a shared and open office space. When my co-workers want to talk, and I feel moody and grumpy, I listen, nod, and smile. Even though I feel resistant at first, forcing myself to smile always improves my mood. I am talkative, so when I don’t talk a lot, I am questioned about my reticence. I just say I have a lot of work to do. Then we all can get back to work, and I don’t feel like I’m drawing a lot of attention to myself and sucking the energy out of the room.

Bad mood or not, I feel like I have a responsibility to not spread negative energy.

So on bad days, I use my lunch break to have a fulfilling moment during the day. What I may find fulfilling can vary based on the weather, the severity of my mood, my budget. Sometimes I have coffee someplace where there is wi-fi, and I read my favorite blogs and visit my favorite websites, or I just write in my journal.

Maintaining composure is extremely important at work. The consequences of succumbing to a bad mood can be disastrous. My mood always changes, maybe yours too, but things always seem different after a bad mood is lifted. I don’t want my mood to take over, and I don’t ever want to do or say something that I will regret because I was in a bad mood.

You know what I’m saying, right?

Anyway, until the next time.

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