In the previous article (Understanding Others) we talked about possible things that can make people who are usually nice become annoying and unreasonable.

However if there is no external cause around them responsible for their change of mood, if they are neither experiencing more stress than usual, nor any hormonal imbalances or debt or tragedy, then it’s time to take a good look at ourselves.

Ask yourself:
1.Am I under stress?
2.Have I changed legal status?
3.Am I ill?
4.Am I under financial pressure?
5.Am I working so much that perhaps there is little or no time to relax?
6.Have I been forced to quit something due to financial,health or other reasons?
7.Have I moved to a different location?
8.Have I changed jobs?
9.Am I having difficulties or trouble with another person?
10. Is my environment polluted in some way? Do I like it?
If you are a woman:
11.In which part of my cycle am I?
12.Have I recently gotten pregnant, given birth, had an abortion or entered menopause?

There is a chance that we are the ones undergoing something and we haven’t even realized it. In which case, the other person’s change of behavior is just a reaction to our change of behavior.

“I haven’t changed at all” you may say, but…. Are you sure? When it comes to judge our own words and actions we may not always be very objective (even if we are not doing it on purpose).

Take a look at these areas of your behavior and see if you have changed anything lately:

-The way you express yourself.
How do you talk to the other person? What kind of language do you use? How is the tone of your voice? When you make requests do they sound more like an order? Do you use the words “please” and “thank you” (even if it’s the other person’s duty)?

-The things you ordinarily do.
Let’s say you always take out the garbage or you always prepare coffee at the office for you and your workmate, but you have stopped doing that lately. Perhaps you are too busy to give explanations (or even to realize you have stopped doing it all together!), but in this case the other person may interpret these things as signs that you are angry or upset with them, and will act accordingly. Have you stopped recently doing something that you usually do? Did the other person mention it? Was the other person affected or bothered by it?

-The things you ordinarily don’t do.
Here is an example: some people resort to shopping when they need to release stress. However, if all of a sudden you go on a shopping trip to the mall in search for relaxation and the money to pay those bills is coming from a joint account, chances are the whole thing won’t be as relaxing for the other account holder.
Have you done lately something that you usually don’t do or wouldn’t do? Did the other person mention it? Was the other person affected or bothered by it?

Once you realize what’s going on, talk to the other person, let him/her know what is happening, how it is affecting you and how they can help.

If you still can’t find anything out of the ordinary with your life and if you feel your behavior hasn’t changed at all then go straight to the other person and ask how they perceive things. Remember to talk with kindness and to listen to each other with respect.

Good luck!

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