How To Avoid Turning into a Grumpy Man


                                                        A grumpy man

There is a TV series known as ‘Grumpy Old Men’ – it features ill-tempered, irritable, middle-aged men who rant and rave about everything under the sun. Although this is just a TV Series, it depicts what happens to some men as they grow older; they become grumpy (Irritable Male Syndrome). 


If you allow yourself to become a grumpy man, it can affect your quality of life. In addition, your grumpiness can affect the lives of your loved ones and those you interact with. So, try to avoid turning into a grumpy man by all means.


In this article, I’ll explain Irritable Male Syndrome (grumpy old man syndrome) and its symptoms. I’ll also tell you how to avoid turning into a grumpy old man and explain how being a grumpy old man affects your life. Let’s dive right in.


What is Irritable Male Syndrome?


Irritable Male Syndrome (IRS) also known as Grumpy Old Man is a problem that affects male mammals, including men. There’s a hormone called testosterone that’s primarily produced in the testicles. Testosterone helps to maintain some of the following things in your body:

  • Sperm production
  • Sex drive
  • Bone density
  • Body and facial hair
  • Production of red blood cells
  • Distribution of fat
  • Muscle mass and strength

Now, as you grow older, the testosterone that your body produces decreases. The decrease in testosterone can start from around the mid-40s and the decrease is sometimes at its peak around the age of 65.


As testosterone levels in your body continue to decrease gradually, your body may begin to experience some physical and emotional changes. 

If you’re not careful, the physical and emotional changes in your body can lead to Irritable Male Syndrome and you could end up becoming a grumpy man.


Physical Signs of Irritable Male Syndrome (Grumpy Old Man)


As I’ve mentioned above, when testosterone levels in your body start to decrease, you may notice some physical changes in your body. These are physical signs of Irritable Male Syndrome (Grumpy Old Man) and they include:

  • Fatigue
  •  Insomnia
  •  Decreased libido
  •  Expanding waistline
  •  Erectile dysfunction
  •  Lower self-confidence
  •  Reduced energy levels

Emotional Signs of Irritable Male Syndrome (Grumpy Old Man)

Irritable Male Syndrome can affect men differently – it depends on the rate at which your testosterone levels are decreasing. However, if you notice any of the following changes in you, it could be the onset of Irritable Male Syndrome:

  • Irritability: You get irritated by small things such as your wife asking you the time.
  • Arguing: Another sign that you could be becoming a grumpy old man is when you want to argue about everything. For example, arguing profusely about something as simple as the color of something and always wanting to win the argument.
  • Moodiness: Irritable Male Syndrome can make you have mood swings. You may find that you’re moody most of the time.
  • Short-temper: In this case, you get annoyed by the minutest things. In most cases, you start yelling at people when you get annoyed.
  • Sarcasm: If you find yourself answering or saying sarcastic things to people most of the time, it could be a sign of Irritable male Syndrome.
  • Anxiety: You feel anxious about problems that you think might arise in the future. Such fantasized problems may include losing your job, being rejected by your kids, losing your wife through divorce or death, etc.
  • Complaining: A grumpy old man can complain about everything under the sun including, fuel prices, the Royal family, technology, ungrateful young people, etc.
  • Frustration: In this scenario, you may feel like time is moving too fast and you’ve not yet achieved much in life. This leads to frustration. 
  • Withdrawal: In this case, you start withdrawing from people because they annoy or irritate you. Withdrawal could be a red flag that you might be getting into some kind of depression.

How You Can Avoid Turning Into a Grumpy Man

There’s nothing really wrong with being grumpy – after all, you’re human. However, if you’re grumpy most of the time, you could be on your way to becoming a grumpy old man – the kind of guy who is grumpy about everything. 


The good news is that there are things you can do to avoid becoming a grumpy old man.

It’s good to note that if you want to avoid becoming a grumpy old man, you must make a deliberate effort to change.


Here are some things that can help you avoid becoming a grumpy old man:


1. Be Self-aware

Now that you know that testosterone levels can decrease as you age, it’s important to be self-aware. Being self-aware will give you a red flag whenever your emotions, thoughts, or actions tend towards the signs of Irritable Male Syndrome. 


If there is no self-awareness, some of the signs can catch up with you and gradually turn you into a grumpy old man before you realize it.


So, stay alert so that when you notice any of the signs of Irritable male Syndrome

creeping on you, you do something about it before you turn into a grumpy old man.


2. Have a Positive Attitude

As I stated earlier, as your testosterone levels continue to decrease, the Irritable Male Syndrome continues to increase. You may start being negative about yourself, others, and the world. If you are not careful, you could start enjoying being negative and thus criticize and complain about everything in life. 


Being negative about everything can give your mind some misplaced pleasure but in the long run, you may end up feeling miserable. 


In addition, your negativity can push people away from you, including your family, friends, and colleagues. No one likes hanging around a person with negative vibes. As a result, you may end up lonely and miserable.


Once you realize that Irritable Male Syndrome is setting in, don’t allow it to make you a grumpy old man. The first thing you should do is to try and develop a positive attitude towards life. 


For instance, instead of complaining that it’s too hot, too cold, too dark, too noisy, or too crowded, try to look at the positive side of things - go with the flow and try to enjoy yourself. 


Complaining about all these things can make not only your life miserable but also the lives of others.


3. Avoid Getting Stuck in a Rut


Getting stuck in a rut means doing things in the same way for weeks, months, or years. When you get stuck in a rut, life can seem monotonous and boring. When your life is boring and monotonous, you can become grumpy. 


You can avoid getting stuck in a rut by trying to make your life more interesting. 


Here are some things you could do to make your life interesting:

Try to do something new

Doing something new can give you a new lease on life. For instance, if you usually play computer games, watch TV, or listen to music daily, try to do without them for a few days or a week. 


Instead of doing the above uninspiring activities, try to do something new such as:


Learning a new skill


A new skill may include playing an instrument, a new language, a new game, or taking up a new course. Learning a new skill inspires and challenges you and gives you creativity. It’s a good way of getting out of a rut and keeping grumpiness at bay. 


Doing something for the community


Doing something for others or the community is a great way of getting out of a rut. When you do something for others, you bring out the best in yourself and it’s highly satisfying.


For instance, instead of complaining and getting annoyed about how dirty the environment is nowadays, you could pick up litter in your community. 


The best ways to start picking litter in your community are:


  • Just pick up trash as you take your regular walks in the neighborhood.
  • Join people in your community who do group clean-ups regularly.
  • Adopt a block in your neighborhood where you’ll be picking up trash on a daily or weekly basis.

Sharing good news with others

Rather than complaining and getting upset about the bad things happening in the world, you could make a deliberate attempt to see good news and share them with others. Once you come across any good news, share it with others instead of keeping it to yourself. 


You could share the good news through social media and by word of mouth.

Doing this can make life more meaningful, give you a sense of joy, and give you a positive attitude toward life.

4. Accept the 'Younger Generation'

One of the things that can make men with Irritable Male Syndrome really grumpy is the younger generation. The reason is that the younger generation does and tolerates things that you may find disturbing and offensive. 


If you are not careful, you may spend a lot of time and energy complaining and getting angry about:

  • How they spend too much time on their phones.
  • How they no longer go out to play.
  • They prefer texting rather than talking.
  • How they are comfortable with people with different gender identities.
  • How they get sexually active earlier than during your time.
  • How they write incomplete sentences.
  • How they ask too many questions.
  • How they like arguing.
  • How they dress funnily.

The list of things that can make you angry about the younger generation is endless.

For your peace of mind, it’s best to accept the younger generation. There are here to stay and there’s nothing we can do about it.


Remembering the following can help you accept the younger generation and stop you from becoming a grumpy old man:

  • They can’t think like you for they have their own thoughts.
  • Although they live in your house, you can’t house their souls. 
  • They can’t behave like you for life doesn’t go backward. 
  • They are living in the present, not in the past. 
  • The majority of the younger generation are great people – so don’t condemn an entire generation.

In other words, if you accept the ‘younger generation’, most of your grumpiness will disappear.


5. Try to Be More Flexible


As you grow older and your testosterone levels begin to decrease, you may tend to be more set in your ways. In other words, you’re not flexible, you like to do things in a certain way. For instance:


  • You like your egg prepared in a certain way.
  • You like to follow a specific route when going to a certain place.
  • You like to plan things way in advance – no impromptu plans.
  • You like to eat your meals at a specific time.

Suppose, your partner prepares your egg differently, delays your dinner by a few minutes, or suggests that you use a different route to get to the mall. In that case, you hit the roof because you are not flexible – it’s either your way or the highway. 


When you aren’t flexible, you make yourself and the people around you miserable. People have to walk on eggshells when around you because they know that they might say, do, or suggest something that pisses you off. You’re like a time bomb, ready to explode.


In addition, when you’re not flexible, you push people away even when they try to do nice things for you. Nothing they do pleases you and you can be really cold and mean to them even when their intentions were good. 


So, your loved ones start to withdraw from you and you could eventually find yourself lonely and miserable.


If you want to avoid turning into a grumpy old man, try to be more flexible from now onward. You’ll be much happier and the people around you will continue loving your company.


Here’s what being more flexible may look like:

  • Agreeing to use a different route to a place instead of insisting on using the route you’ve used for years. You could end up enjoying the route and discover new things about the area along the way.
  • Ordering something new from the local restaurant instead of eating the same thing for years. Even if you don’t like the new item, at least you’ll have tried something new. You can still eat to your satisfaction when you get home. 
  • Accepting last-minute plans instead of insisting on planning everything in advance. For instance, if a friend invites you for a last-minute fishing trip or your partner suggests that you go out for a late-night movie, say YES instead of complaining about your dislike for impromptu things. 

That’s what being flexible is about. Try it.

6. Take Care of Your Overall Health

Taking care of your overall health can help you avoid turning into a grumpy old man. For instance, some health conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, and thyroid issues can make Irritable Male Syndrome worse. 


The healthier you are as you age, the less grumpy you are likely to be.


Below are things you can do to take care of your overall health:


  • Eat a nutritious diet daily.
  • Avoid fattening foods such as fast foods and sugary foods.
  • Limit alcohol consumption and stop smoking as these habits can cause insomnia which can increase your grumpiness.
  • Get at least 7 to 9 hours of sleep daily – lack of enough sleep can lead to grumpiness.
  • Exercise regularly to release the feel-good endorphins that help you overcome negative feelings and depression. 


7. Reach Out for Help

If the Irritable Male Syndrome has already caught up with you and affected your relationships, it’s not too late. You can reach out for help by contacting a therapist. The therapist can help you do the following things:

  • Help you handle the changes caused by Irritable Male Syndrome.
  • Help you work on your emotions positively.
  • Help you treat and communicate with your partner in a better way. 

Final Thoughts

As a man, many things can make you grumpy as you age. For instance, your physical aspects change as you age – your waist becomes thicker, your looks change, and you’re not as agile as you used to be. In addition, you may experience pains and aches, erectile dysfunction, etc. 

As if that’s not enough, your testosterone levels start to decrease and Irritable Male Syndrome sets in. No wonder some men become grumpy! However, you can avoid turning into a grumpy old man if you use the tips I’ve given you in this article. Cheers!


I'm a life coach, teacher, mother, wife, writer, and blogger. I love writing about well-being, relationships, and family.


  1. Neet post! I need to share with my husband!

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