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If you're feeling pissed off all the time or becoming frustrated with people who aren't doing anything wrong, it could be a sign that you're not coping with stress. Being able to recognise when you’re being unfair is a skill worth developing. Once you can do that, it’s easier to notice when something’s bothering you so you can sort it out, instead of snapping and taking it out on other people. Find out more about why people are easily annoyed, and get tips for keeping your annoyance in check.

Why stress makes you get shitty with others

There are two main reasons why stress causes us to be grumpy with other people:

  • When you’re stressed out or not satisfied with life, but you’re not sure why, your mind focuses on all the little things that you usually don’t even notice.
  • When there’s a lot on your mind, you have less tolerance for other people’s problems or the way they act, and you can be a lot less forgiving.

This is normal, but it can cause a lot of grief when you’re being hard on friends, workmates or family for something small and unimportant that you’d normally overlook.

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Keeping yourself in check

There are a few things you can do to build on your self-awareness and stop yourself from taking a bad mood out on others:

  • When you feel grumpy or pissed off, stop and think about why. Once you’ve identified the reason, ask yourself: ‘How much does it really matter?’
  • When you feel like being critical of someone, stop and think about why you’re angry. Does it really have to do with them?
  • If you’re feeling overwhelmed and it seems that everything’s piling up on you, instead of letting yourself get angry, try focusing on the way you’re feeling, and what you need to feel better.
  • Try some stress relief strategies and see if they make a difference. Exercising or taking some time out are both good options.

Remember, you can’t change everything about the world, but you can change how you react to it. The better you get at dealing with stress, the less of an issue it will be. Check out some of the info on stress and anger management to learn how to deal with the stuff that gets to you.

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What can I do now?