On and of(f) moodiness.

Moody people piss me off. And the fact that I am one of those people calms me down.

Moodiness is like the sweet pudgy uncle from childhood. Uncle brings you all the affection. He brings you food to play with and toys to eat.

You grow up a little and he becomes your child-service helpline each time your parents get tired of your shit: put on a show of moodiness and mom’s smiling dumbly as you go bottoms-up on an entire bottle of chocolate syrup.

Like everything else, this gets crazy as you enter your teens. It’s when you find out uncle’s a bit of a gambler and bought you toys from his winnings: the time everyone reminds you of the cringey stuff you did as a kid.

In your teens, your moodiness only shifts in its sophistication. Uncle moves on from horse racing to poker. Your friends’ uncles play together and everyone around y’all can’t wait for this phase to be over. When it is over, the uncle quietly retires someplace across the road. You see the remnants of his past glory on the groggy mornings he’s walking his bulldog. In a few cases, uncle kinda changes his mind about retirement and goes all-in.

YOLO.

He turns into a drunkard.

And it’s hard for us to come to terms with that. We think uncle’s having a bad day. But when this happens for the fifth day in a row, you realize uncle’s lost a sense of balance. It’d hurt him if you said so. So, we just put up, we all, with the immense crap people do in the name of moodiness. Just the way we put up unreasonably long avuncular metaphors for moodiness.

There’s a point beyond which moodiness is unhealthy. It’s become an inability to deal with your own emotions. See immaturity.

What truly sucks is the how fanatically fast moodiness spreads. Before you know, an entire room has a mood of its own. All thanks to the one manchild that decided to rain his feelings on the parade.

Moodiness is the black hole of feelings. We’ve let bad mood become the gateway drug to be a jerk without realizing how easily it turns us everyone around into one as well.

Brief aside: For the most part, moodiness was okay because it was confined to the extent of your house and your boss’s face. The internet came along and saw a great opportunity for you to get back in touch with your childhood uncle. And information got affected. Most polarization now is one person’s moody rants to galvanize a bunch of valueless assclowns to imitate and blow up a filter bubble for us to live in. And that’s how it began. Our moods got affected by the smallest infractions. And we thought we should let everyone know by tweeting about it. The mood has become the butterfly responsible for the shit-storm that’s been hitting us. And the forecast isn’t looking good.

Back to the circle jerk that’s moodiness. There’re two ways to go from here.

The values route

Straight-up, if you don’t have your values in place, you will constantly let your moods govern you and make life miserable for everyone around. But the paradox here is figuring out your values requires the very maturity the lack of which is the problem in the first place. It requires for uncle not just to go into rehab, but actually become an advocate for sobriety. This is the hardest, most rewarding route. But it’s ambitious to expect this of a generation whose emotional intelligence falls between that of an alcoholic and the reply-all button.

The caring route

The one thing you want is to do is build immunity from the moodiness epidemic. The next time you stumble upon a human that looks genuinely pissed for no reason, find out if they are okay instead of making your own assumptions about their need for attention and getting pissed within those assumptions.

Because that’s exactly how moodiness spreads. When you replace keeping a distance from them (which is its own form of moodiness) with care, you have done your bit to stymie the epidemic. Because as adults, care is the one thing we reciprocate. It the balmy emotion that can tame the harshest fits. This route presents a useful paradox. Not caring about what people think begins by showing some care. It’s an inexorable defense mechanism against giving everyone the privilege to control your feelings and reactions.

Here’s the point of all this: if you want to feel like shit, do it your own way. Most often, you realize uncle’s lost himself not because he’s drunk, but because hasn’t slept in three days.

Moodiness is the depth your identity drowns in repeatedly. You scream for help and drag everyone along when all it takes is standing up and offering a hand.

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