Are Women Moodier Than Men?

2014-09-29-sGRUMPYOLDERWOMANsmall.jpg Last week was what I would call a 'grumpy old week'. The media has been full of articles about curing grumpiness, how cats are grumpy and how the menopause along with mood swings associated with it, will soon be a thing of the past. I buzzed from radio station to radio station, giving my opinion on the grumpy story of the day. Then one story threw me: Are Women Moodier than Men?

The newspapers reported that women spend 10 days a year in a bad mood. Reasons for this include bad weather, husbands who don't listen, friend's social media updates, feeling fat and broken finger nails. There were a number of other triggers including feeling undervalued, struggling to stay on top of household chores and a quarter of the thousand women surveyed said their partner was at the root of their bad mood.

Only 10 days? That can't be right. I manage more than 10 days a year. Women have much to be grumpy about, especially as they get older. There are far more concerns, health problems and hormone sways that will lead to swings in mood. Surely, the researchers meant 10 days a month?

According to the study on behalf of Healthspan, one in two women confessed they were moody 'a lot' while four in ten women said their temper worsened as they aged. Well, I would agree with that. I have become less tolerant as I have got older and if I have had a lousy night's sleep then I am more likely to be in a grump.

However, on further reflection, I concluded that women are not moodier than men. Both sexes are susceptible to being in a bad mood from time to time, with the scales skewed for women as female hormones have a big impact on their moods. Yet, in my humble opinion, and based on research I have carried out the last few years, men are moodier than women, especially as they age. Before you all start yelling at this post and calling me sexist, let me clarify that statement. Men are considered to be moodier because when they are grumpy about something they act differently to women. They are likely to become withdrawn, snappy and their bad mood lasts quite a while whereas a woman can be drawn out of her bad humor. How many of us have asked our man, "Are you okay?" only to have him give us an icy stare and snarl, "I'm fine."

The problem then is often exacerbated by the woman who persists in asking what is wrong. Men are often moody because of the same reasons women are moody. They may have work pressures or there may be other factors associated with aging. He may just have had a frustrating day. It is best to leave him to come round although sometimes that can be a while.

If a woman is feeling grouchy she can usually improve her mood by chatting to friends, having a massage, retail therapy or even just having 'me' time. Most women surveyed agreed that having time to themselves improved their mood. Other solutions were to exercise, eat chocolate and drink wine. A man is less likely to talk about his concerns and fume quietly while his other half wonders what is bothering him. All the women I questioned agreed their spouse remained in a grumpy mood much longer than they themselves would. When the husbands were questioned about this, they all agreed that wives or partners attempting to cajole them out of their mood or ask what was wrong made them moodier.

Grumpiness affects us all, men, women, young and old. Are women moodier than men? I don't think they are. I believe both sexes can be grumpy but women are better at handling bad moods. I'm sure there are plenty who will disagree with me so. What do you think? Are women moodier than men?

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