Signs That You’re Becoming a Grumpy Old Man and What It’s Trying to Tell You

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It’s one thing to feel down or pissed off about the current state of the world, but it’s entirely another to be a grumpy old man.

In case you’re feeling more annoyed, frustrated, anxious, or depressed, you may very well be turning into the stereotypical grumpy geriatric.

However, the reason why you’re starting to feel this way may surprise you. It’s more scientific than you might think.

What Is a Grumpy Old Man?

You probably know what “grumpy old man” means. Even if you don’t know someone like this, you must’ve seen something similar on TV. However, it’s more than a TV trope.

The grumpy old man phenomenon is tied to something called irritable male syndrome (IMS). This syndrome comes about whenever testosterone levels in the body take a nosedive. Those who experience it are in a constant state of hypersensitivity, anxiety, frustration, or depression.

Since severe fluctuation of hormonal levels often happens to aging men, this syndrome is also known as male menopause. However, it’s not exclusive to older people — high stress at any point in one’s life can bring about this condition.

Signs That You Are Becoming Grumpy

So suddenly becoming a crabby person overall can be a medical issue. However, just being crotchety doesn’t mean you suffer from this disorder.

You need to look out for certain signs that you’re in the ballpark of what the term irritable male syndrome describes.

Here are a few big indicators that you’ve become grumpy. Consider it your irritable male syndrome test — if you’re experiencing more than half of these, you should start worrying.

Hard Time Getting Out of Bed

We all have times when we feel chained to the bed. However, for a truly grumpy person, it’s more than a one-off inconvenience.

For the grumpy man though, it’s regular fare and much more difficult.

Difficulty Completing Daily Obligations

For your average grumpy man, getting through a day’s work is like compacting a week’s worth of obligation into 24 hours. He just lacks the willpower and energy to deal with all of that with any enthusiasm.

Pushing Things/People Away

Do you find yourself wanting to push away people that try reaching out to you? Do you keep procrastinating or rescheduling obligations?

It could be down to more than simple laziness. Lower levels of testosterone in men often lead to a kind of listlessness that borders on depression.

Feeling Bad-Tempered Around Loved Ones

Whether it’s your partner, colleague, or pet, you’ll probably begin to feel an urge to get snappy with the ones around you. That normally endearing quirk in your loved one might become pestering to the point of boiling.

Desire to Burst Into Cursing

Do you have to hold back a torrent of curses every time an email displeases you or someone suggests something dumb at a meeting? It might not be the sender’s/suggestor’s fault.

What Your Grumpiness Is Trying to Tell You

It’s much easier to lash outward than to introspect. You can blame the heel-stepping neighbor upstairs or the colleague with the annoying, whiny voice all day. However, that won’t fix the issue.

Rather, you need to address the real problem — the way your life is right now. Chances are something is really stressing you out, enough so to cause serious hormonal shifts. If it’s causing you to lose sleep, the problem only compounds. It’s frankly incredible what long-time chronic stress can do to both women’s and men’s health.

However, it needn’t be worrying that’s causing you to become grumpy. It could also be down to an unhealthy lifestyle. For one, a lack of physical activity (i.e., being sedentary or static all the time) can deprive you of a way to vent off extra energy or frustration.

Alternatively, a bad diet is liable to mess up your biochemical balance, easily leading to high levels of stress (especially if it makes someone with hypochondriac-like tendencies unhealthy). Regular consumption of drugs or alcohol makes short work of your body’s regular functions too.

Whatever the reason may be, the point is that some facet of your life is out of whack. This is your body’s way of telling you that you can’t go on like this for long. It’s time for big changes.

But what changes should you make? What do you need to do to get better?

What You Need to Do About It

The first step toward your recovery is to identify the cause of your troubles. Be it work, a relationship, debt, addiction, whatever — you need to pinpoint everything that’s bothering you. Then, you need to figure out how to solve the issue(s) or how to compensate for it/them.

One great way to improve your condition is to get regular exercise. Working out boosts testosterone levels. Beyond increasing muscle mass, testosterone also improves your mood and sex drive (when it’s within normal levels). The best fix for your problem could be to simply hit the gym a few times a week.

However, if it’s a specific hardship that’s got you down, you need to address it. Work on fixing that strained relationship with your dad. Get a better job. Whatever ails you, don’t avoid fixing it. In case it just can’t be helped right now, try taking a breather. Take a day off or more. Hell, take a retreat to the countryside if you really have to.

Sometimes, it’s just enough to talk to someone about it. You’d be surprised how much better you’ll feel after you confide in someone about what you’re feeling. It can get you to introspect on your life and reexamine things from a fresh perspective.

However, the most important thing for grumpy guys is to not delay the recovery. Putting it off will only cause more damage in the long run.