Mother Becomes Moody Before Outings

By Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

My mother becomes really moody before going out somewhere. Like if we all go out for the day, that whole morning she’ll be moaning and complaining about everything, and she starts panicking when she can’t find something and starts blaming everyone.

She also gets like this when someone puts her in a bad mood, usually my brother when he asks for money.
It’s a rare thing, she gets like this maybe once or twice in a month, but she’s bloody annoying when she does, everybody just tends to stay away and let her rant and moan by herself, and bang cupboards and doors.
Why does she get like this?

A: I wish I had an easy answer for you! There’s so many possibilities for this, from social anxiety through perimenopausal symptoms through more generalized anxiety. The truth is, it sounds like someone needs to gently let your mom know that it’s difficult to be around her. My experience with this is that people tend to shy away from confronting the person directly because they’re afraid of making the situation worse. But the truth is, not confronting the person is an implicit agreement. It’s almost like saying you are fine coping with this.

I think it would be important to compassionately inform your mom of how difficult it is to handle her reactions. Compassionately informing others about their disagreeable behavior is a way to help and strengthen a relationship. Don’t use it as a weapon, but rather as a tool to make a better connection.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 7 Jan 2014

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2014). Mother Becomes Moody Before Outings. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 23, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2014/01/07/mother-becomes-moody-before-outings/