How do I prevent myself from becoming a grumpy old man?

How do I prevent myself from becoming a grumpy old man?

My older neighbor down the street is a grumpy old man and yells at everyone from his front porch. I’m generally a happy guy and I try not to be a negative fellow, so I smile and wave at him hoping that he will see me as a friendly neighbor.

Just recently he yelled at me and told me that my dog took a poop in his yard. He said that the pile that he found is really big, and since my dog is really big, it must be my dog’s. I tried to tell him I was in Thailand the week he found the poop and my dog was at my mom’s house. But he insists it’s my dog because the size, and he’s going to shoot any dog he catches squatting in his yard again.

My other neighbors and I laugh whenever we talk about him, because he tells at everybody. Every neighborhood has one, and in a way, I feel sorry for the old guy. My neighbor has the grumpy old man syndrome.

The question I ask – How did my neighbor turn into a grumpy old man? Surely, he hasn’t always been like this. And more importantly, how do I prevent myself from becoming a grumpy old man?

As I did my research, I found there is a cure, and it’s easy to obtain.

Where Grumpy Old Men Come From
First off. We all have the potential of becoming grumpy old men, and it’s not our fault.

You see, starting in our 30’s, our testosterone levels start to decrease. Testosterone gives us our muscles and makes us strong. It gives us our sex drive and turns us into confident and assertive men. When our testosterone decreases, it can effect us both physically and emotionally. 

When we were young, we had the world by the balls. We were strong and athletic. As we get older, we just can’t physically do the same things we used to. That’s a pretty sobering thought for those who had seen themselves as invincible. For some of us, being athletic was part of our identity. Most men can come to grips with this reality. For others, they get angry and bitter. Loss of of testosterone changes us and can cause irritable mood swings.

Couple the loss of testosterone with retirement or job loss, and you have the perfect recipe for Irritable Male Syndrome. Our jobs also define who we were when we were young. Now all we have left is sitting on your front porch yelling at kids to stay off your lawn.

How to Prevent the Grumpy Old Man Syndrome

  1. Get your testosterone checked. Your doctor can prescribe a cream. If low testosterone is causing your bad mood, then it’s an easy fix.
  2. Stop watching the news on TV. News channels feed on your emotions. They all follow the same pattern. They start with the bad news, then maybe show you some weather, and then follow up with more bad news. It doesn’t really matter what news channel you watch. They all do the same thing. How can we be happy if all we hear is bad news on the TV? I would suggest reading the internet to get your news fix.
  3. Socialize with folks. This is perhaps the easiest thing to try. Talk to people that you see every day in the grocery store. Or better yet, go to a restaurant and talk to the people sitting at the table next to you. If you have a dog, take him to the dog park and talk to the other folks with dogs. In these situations, most of the conversations are positive. Positive conversaions are amazing cures for the grumpy old man.
  4. Start taking walks in your neighborhood. You may not be able to run anymore, but you can go for a nice brisk walk. Brisk walking is actually better exercise for you than running anyway. Better for you knees and joints. And besides, a walk helps you daydream and think of positive things. It’s a great way to meet some of your neighbors.
  5. Try the 7 minute workout and get your muscle tone back. If your doctor says you are healthy enough, there is an excellent workout that I have been doing for over a year now. It’s called the 7 minute workout. You can download the 7 minute workout onto your smart phone (for both Android and the IPhone). You don’t need any workout equipment, as you will be using mostly your own body weight for resistance. It can be a tough workout, but it only lasts for 7 minutes.
  6. Volunteer in your community. Hospitals are always looking for volunteers, and it’s a great way to meet people in your community. I volunteer at our community theater and met tons of friends this way. Studies show that volunteering is a wonderful way to lift your spirits.

You may not notice yourself getting grumpier as you get older, but your friends and family will surely notice. If a loved one starts calling you a grumpy old man, it’s because they love you and want to see you happier. A few quick and easy remedies can lift your spirits and start making you happy once once again.



Gary is one of the founders of RetireBook, and is the site engineer and also one of its writers. He has been working in IT for over 25 years, is a world traveler, and enjoys everything about living in the Pacific Northwest. He is full of energy, loves the outdoors, climbed several mountains, volunteers in his community, and has been saving his whole life for an early retirement that will be coming up in just a few short years.