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Newly Acquired Low-Level Rage/Stress

Whiniest Man On EarthWhiniest Man On Earth Registered User regular
edited August 2008 in Help / Advice Forum
Hey H/A. I like it here. I think I will post here more often.

I have been acting like a real jerk lately, most especially to my live-in girlfriend, who is awesome. Not exclusively to her, mind you. She just gets the brunt of it because we live together. It's all little things like snappy answers to perfectly honest and non-annoying questions or just a general grumpiness that I can't seem to shake. She's pointed it out a few times, and I've definitely noticed the behavior in myself. I want to do something about it, but when it's such a swift, almost instinctive reaction, it's very hard to pre-screen those sorts of things. How do you stop yourself from rolling your eyes when you just do it right away?

I would imagine that recognizing these sorts of things is a standard first step, but what's the second and third like?

I hypothesize that I need to get at the causes of these sorts of things in order to really fix the problem. To that end, I have a few ideas.

1) I recently took on more responsibility at my already stressful workplace. We just hired some new people and they've been mucking up the works massively. I work in a bike shop, and since it's basically a retail environment, a couple of mistakes can really fuck up your day. To give an example, one of the people we just hired straight up forgot to order someone's new bike. The day came around when he was supposed to pick it up and she just had never written down an order for it, so nobody knew it was coming. She took his money and walked off into dreamland or some shit.

I also got promoted, so I have more work to do and way more responsibility. I'm now basically in charge of all product that goes through the store and every single little thing that goes along with that. Eesh. I am getting paid significantly more, but the workload is intense. I also went up from 4 days a week to 5.

2) I haven't been working out as much lately. I stopped going to Krav about a year ago and have been riding my own bike less and less, especially since I moved into my new place. I've been trying to correct this, but it hasn't been easy. I'm slowly breaking the lazy habits that have re-established themselves over the past year and trying to just be more active. I have been hurting myself a lot more often over the past couple years, so I'm also trying to be careful when I do it.

3) I haven't been doing as much fun shit. Not just because of work, but because I moved into a neighborhood further away from my usual social routines. We've been in this spot about six months now, and it's not really a neighborhood I can go walk around in like my old one was, and I have to spend a lot more time to get anywhere I want to go. That's an obstacle to even going out the door in the first place, of course, and I might be getting a lot of low-grade cabin fever sinking in.

4) I can't sleep. I have had insomnia in the past, and this is nothing compared to what it used to be, but I've been falling asleep later and later every night for no good reason. This might be tied into #2, but even on days where I exhaust myself by working out as hard as I can for extended periods of time, I find myself lying in bed, looking up at the ceiling, wishing I could rest.

So, because of those things and however many else we can manage to come up with, I've had this very subtle rage for the past few weeks that just bubbles up and comes over. I am not, normally, a very nice person - but this is different. I'm snapping at the few people I care about, losing control over my normally (mostly) contained misanthropy, and I want to stop.

tl;dr: Very angry for no good reasons, taking it out on people who don't deserve it, what can I do?

Whiniest Man On Earth on

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    Bliss 101Bliss 101 Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Sleep. I'd be willing to bet real world money that lack of sleep is what makes you grumpy.

    That in turn may be caused by the other factors you mention. I'd suggest fixing sleep, though (with medication or whatever works; I read books of middling quality that I've already read before). Everything else is easier when you're properly rested.

    Bliss 101 on
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    Judge-ZJudge-Z Teacher, for Great Justice Upstate NYRegistered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Bliss 101 wrote: »
    Sleep. I'd be willing to bet real world money that lack of sleep is what makes you grumpy.

    That in turn may be caused by the other factors you mention. I'd suggest fixing sleep, though (with medication or whatever works; I read books of middling quality that I've already read before). Everything else is easier when you're properly rested.

    This. I'm a MUCH bigger bastard when I don't get enough sleep. If you don't want to go the medication route there are likely sleep classes in any area of decent size that will teach some highly effective techniques for getting your full alottment. Try a power nap once in a while too - 20 minutes or so, when you can.

    Judge-Z on
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    JohnnyCacheJohnnyCache Starting Defense Place at the tableRegistered User regular
    edited August 2008
    You sound like you're pissed about something that you're telling yourself you aren't pissed about.

    You should try getting back into something with the hitting, it's good exercise, which will help with the sleep, and it's the most practical way to get rid of the urge to hit someone. Try judo, smashing them into the floor feels even better than punching them.

    JohnnyCache on
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    grungeboxgrungebox Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Bliss 101 wrote: »
    Sleep. I'd be willing to bet real world money that lack of sleep is what makes you grumpy.

    That in turn may be caused by the other factors you mention. I'd suggest fixing sleep, though (with medication or whatever works; I read books of middling quality that I've already read before). Everything else is easier when you're properly rested.

    This with a bullet.

    I actually would recommend seeing a doctor and getting some sort of prescription sleep drug. Just a warning, those things can be habit-forming if you start taking them everyday as a crutch. Of course, any doctor who didn't get their degree at Hollywood Upstairs Medical College will tell you the same things. What's most important is to get your sleep cycle back to normal, and drugs force you to do that pretty quickly.

    Another thing is that you might have a non-24hr internal clock. That's actually pretty serious, and you need to see a doctor and/or psychiatrist about that pretty soon or you'll eventually start sleeping 20 hours one day and miss work, then not sleep a few days. My grad school friend pretty much did nothing for 5 months as a result of this. My hunch is to say that this isn't the case, but the only thing I'm a doctor of is philosophy (or will be, anyway).

    grungebox on
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    tralevtralev Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Also, maybe you already have, but I would talk to those you are taking this stress out on. Let them know you know you're not happy with how you're treating them and that you're under a lot of stress.

    tralev on
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    CryogenCryogen Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    defrag wrote: »
    1) I recently took on more responsibility at my already stressful workplace. We just hired some new people and they've been mucking up the works massively. I work in a bike shop, and since it's basically a retail environment, a couple of mistakes can really fuck up your day. To give an example, one of the people we just hired straight up forgot to order someone's new bike. The day came around when he was supposed to pick it up and she just had never written down an order for it, so nobody knew it was coming. She took his money and walked off into dreamland or some shit.

    I also got promoted, so I have more work to do and way more responsibility. I'm now basically in charge of all product that goes through the store and every single little thing that goes along with that. Eesh. I am getting paid significantly more, but the workload is intense. I also went up from 4 days a week to 5.

    The other guys have already hit on probably the most likely cause, sleep. I'll address this one a bit.

    Are you in charge of these new people in your new position? If so, and they screw up in a major way (such as in your example) you need to pull them up on it. Personally, i'd have issued a written warning. If you arent in charge of them, bring it up with the person who is, make it formal. As you move up the ol' corporate ladder you need to behave differently than the rank & file. I see a lot of new managers shoulder far too much of the burden for other people's mistakes. You bear SOME responsibility, but you need to be able to free yourself of some lesser responsibilities too, and see to it that the people beneath you have some accountability for their mistakes.

    With the increased workload, have you done anything different to handle it? At a certain point i found that i just couldnt keep track of everything i had to do anymore, and started keeping a diary. I dont know if you already do this, or of it is practical for your position, but i've thrown it out there as an idea.

    Hopefully this is at least somewhat relevant to your new position.

    Cryogen on
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    Whiniest Man On EarthWhiniest Man On Earth Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Well, so far, it definitely has seemed to be sleep-related. Over the past few days, I've been getting more and more rest and also feeling a lot less stressed out and angry as a result. I haven't had any real problems with snapping at anyone or even really feeling like I wanted to.

    I'm going to stay away from sleep meds, no offense to the advice given, because I don't think the problem is near extreme enough to warrant that kind of solution. I do need to get back into something that involves hitting/throwing people on a regular basis regardless.

    I'm not in charge of anyone in my new job, unfortunately, but I can talk to the people who are and get them to do something about it. I also don't really have anyone to delegate my responsibilities to, and that means that I basically just doubled my workload. I haven't really changed much to figure out how to handle all of it yet, I've just worked harder for the time being. I figure I'll work "smarter" once I have a better feeling of what the job entails - as it is, I've only been at it for a week. I'll keep the diary advice in mind, thanks a lot.

    Whiniest Man On Earth on
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