Mood Monster is that Boss that jumps for joy one minute, and screams the office down the next; or the person you live with, who you tip-toe around out of worry for their next mood swing – or you who see that those around you get impacted by the ‘Mood Monster’ within.
Mood swings can be the symptom of a medical condition, or simply an expression of a ‘feeling low’, as we saw in Part I of this series: Mood Swings: Are You A Mood Monster? Mood swings that turn into Mood Monsters impact us. They are incredibly hard to work, live or suffer from.
In this Part II, we look at how you can support, understand and deal with someone you live or work with. Just like Monsters, you wonder if they are real, or a fabric of your imagination. A Mood Monster that roars or purrs makes their presence very felt either way. Monsters don’t go away – unless you deal with them. If you have a Mood Monster in your reality you will know what I am talking about. How can you lessen the impact for them and you?
Mood Monster – Beat it or Beat it up!
You can certainly feel like you want to beat someone up when you dealing with a Mood Monster – or in fact to run away. The Mood Monster that you fear, tip-toe around and avoid is perhaps a partner or you boss – which makes the situation untenable in the long-term, right? To live with or work under someone who suffers from mood swings can be a real challenge. A few tips on how to handle your interactions with them go a long way.
The Mood Monster You Live With
As much as you may love them, the constant tip-toeing around a Mood Monster you live with is tiring. Looking out for their feelings and moods can drive you up the wall. You feel as if they are being very selfish – as if they only see themselves, and that you have no place in their world at all. Your needs, feelings – and Yes! your moods are pretty much unimportant when it comes to how a Mood Monster relates to the world. So – How can you deal with it?
5 Tips For Mood Monster Partnerships
- Understanding your loved one’s mood swings helps you cope better. A Doctor will be able to diagnose, explain and advise. Getting real professional guidance will make you see that it is not your fault, and even if you feel as if you are the trigger behind your loved one’s mood swings. Nor is it the fault of your loved one. Your partner needs understanding, support, and help as mood swings are a sign of a medical condition.
- Helping your loved one into a routine is another way to give mood swing relief. By setting a schedule, a to-do list, and times for meals, and rest creates shape and a framework to someone who is looking to find meaning, form, and reason to deal with his or her surroundings. You create balance in an imbalanced world.
- By eating basic healthy foods you avoid known triggers, such as sugars and processed foods. Not everyone will know what sets them off, but a bit of trial and error will get you on your way. Getting back into a food balance will even out the blood sugar levels, and give nutrients that are essential – especially when dealing with up and down hormonal attacks, or medical conditions. Side effects from drugs can also benefit from the right kind of foods, and your Doctor can advise you which ones to go for and not.
- Oxygen is key to well-being, and encouraging a loved one to go for daily walks and start a gentle exercise routine can make a real difference. To open up the windows each morning and breathing in fills the lungs with ‘get go signals’ and allows the body and mind to push play for a new day.
- Take care to not over-tax your loved one with heavy ‘let’s get it all out there’ sessions is important. Rather than to go for one big attack – taking a slow but constant approach of being there, listening, and eventually also suggesting to your loved one that s/he needs professional help. Get across that you are there to support them – but – you need to express how you feel too. The wake-up call from gentle prodding may eventually lead to real, genuine interaction and communication on how you tackle this Mood Monster together.
The Mood Monster You Work With
If you are dealing with a work colleague or boss, that may be bordering on abuse with their Mood Monster ways – the situation can be a bit tricky. The Mood Monster Boss will be in charge of career decisions, leave approvals and suggest (or not) that you should be included in a promotion review. Your work colleague is someone you need to exchange professional information with, depend on for tasks to go forward, and relate to for the success of a whole team. What are some steps that you can take?
5 Tips For Mood Monster Managers
- Carefully think through what can be the reasons behind the Mood Swings, and how much you are affected by them. Personal lives and stressful managerial jobs can have a huge impact to how someone reacts in the work place.
- If the situation goes far enough for you and your job to be impacted, and your well-being gets set off-balance as a result of a work Mood Monster it is time to consider a non-aggressive approach. I would advise talking to them straight, and simply state that you feel it is difficult to work with them and give concrete examples why you feel this way. You might be surprised by the honesty of the answers that come back – or they may react badly.
- If the ‘talk’ doesn’t help, an organization will normally have a hierarchy that you can consider using to address this. Your colleague and you share the same boss, and your boss has a boss too. Before taking steps to make an official complaint consider what your ‘evidence’ is, and indeed how it impacts your work and well-being.
- Consider if your organization has an Ombudsperson that you can turn to. A mediator and objective listener can make a big difference, and also make things happen without them directly turning back on you. Abuse and harassment are not tolerated in the workplace, however, if your facts point to severe mood swings an Ombudsperson or Health Advisor will be trained to know what steps to take.
- Mood swings are a sign of a medical condition, and therefore you are probably not alone in noticing a work colleagues ups and downs. You are also not responsible for their moods, nor their health. However, as a supportive colleague you may want to suggest that they consider looking at how their mood swings are affecting not only them – and if you are close – suggest that they seek medical advice.
Mood Swings: How To Beat The Mood Monster
In Part III of this series, you will find ways to beat the Mood Monster with a concrete lifestyle change that makes a big difference. The way we eat, exercise, and mind fully think brings balance, framework and lessens the impact of mood swings.
Related and Recommended:
- Symptoms, Causes, Treatment of Mood Swings? – Healthgrades.com
- Mood Disorder Support for Family and Friends – Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance
- Therapy for Mood Swings – Goodtherapy.org
- How to Manage a Moody Boss – Forbes.com
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