15 Reasons Behind Grumpy Dads

It’s funny how in our society, men are allowed to be bad-tempered to some degree. Men are often depicted as destructive, cold, distant, and uninvolved. At the same time, they are also told to be wise and successful. Your dads are no exception. However, this belief is part of ancient patriarchal cultures and a product of the previous generation. And you’re wondering if the gentle parenting the media talk about frequently nowadays is just a myth. 

With the mentioned phenomena, the question, “why is my dad always mad at me?” seems forgivable, hence it doesn’t need any answers. But we are here to give you insight into the truth behind your grumpy old men. You don’t have to feel guilty just because you don’t know why your dad is always angry at you. Instead, our list below will help you understand your dad’s situation better and provide possible answers to your question, “why is my dad always mad at me?”

1. Financial Situation 

As we mentioned, men are often expected to be successful—especially financially. Aside from the stereotype that men should be the primary breadwinner in the family, who doesn’t want to keep a roof over their family’s head anyway? If he spends less and occasionally expresses his money worries, chances are he is going through a severe financial crisis. 

why is my dad always mad at me

After knowing the possible answer to the question, “why is my dad always mad at me?” another question that may arise is how you can contribute to helping your dad. You can start saving and investing some of your money and live below your means. Whenever possible, buy your tertiary needs from your own pocket. If you can’t compromise your current lifestyle, find side jobs. 

2. Stressful Job

Balancing time between work and family is challenging, especially if your dad has a demanding job. Imagine he has a lot to deal with daily at the office and comes home feeling guilty about missing out on your updates. Before asking, “why is my dad always angry?” understand that it must be hard for him to be present in all roles. He is a worker, a partner to your mom, and a dad to you. 

why is my dad always mad at me

Dedicate a weekday to cooking your dad’s favorite home-cooked dinner, and let your dad know what meals will be on the dining table tonight. Initiate a fun family conversation while dining together. Make this agenda part of your family’s weekly routine. Your dad can’t wait to get home!

3. Emotional Neglect 

As mentioned before, men are taught to be emotionally inexpressive. For years, they have been allowed to show any feelings or emotions other than crying and affection—any expressions deemed vulnerable. Unfortunately, maybe your father is one of them. Do you feel a little bit awkward when you’re with him? Do you secretly long for a warm connection with your dad? Is he only good at expressing anger and other destructive expressions, so it seems to you that your dad is always mad? 

why is my dad always mad at me

Bear in mind that it has never been his choice to be emotionally distant. You can always be the one who initiates improvement. Carefully ask him about his childhood and the relationship between him and his parents so you can understand the dynamics that affect him. Make kissing, hugging, “I love you” greetings, and telling each other’s updates part of your daily rituals. 

4. Lacks Support

Before bombarding your dad with “what if’s” and “could haves” or repeatedly asking, “why is my dad always angry?”, pay attention to the family demands and burdens he should carry. If you and others always demand his contribution, affection, and help without returning the favors to him, his grumpiness and complaints are somewhat understandable. 

why is my dad always mad at me

Support him no matter what. Understanding his love language so he can receive love better will hopefully soften his heart. Occasionally remind him of his many contributions to the family and that you’re thankful for that. 

5. No Man Cave 

A man cave or manscape refers to a dedicated room or corner for a man to enjoy solitude while doing his favorite pastime, such as playing games or reading books. The term “cave” does not always refer to a physical space, but his privacy is the most crucial part. Let me tell you one thing, a man cave is an essential temporary escape for your dad to refresh his mind.

why is my dad always mad at me

Once he can’t find a safe spot to do his stuff and enjoy solitude, he will tend to feel easily annoyed. Discuss this with the whole family to ensure that your dad has time and space to rest regularly and undisturbed. Yet, he should promise you that he will be back happier and ready to interact with the family. 

6. He Needs a Break 

Corresponding with the previous point, juggling multiple roles in the family is challenging and, yes, tiring. At this point, he is constantly angry due to unmet needs. Politely ask him whether he wants to plan a family getaway or whether a long nap on the weekends will do. A family trip doesn’t always involve a long-haul flight; a brief drive to the suburbs is enough to revive his spirit. 

why is my dad always mad at me

So, instead of asking, “why is my dad always angry?”, changing your question to “doesn’t my dad need to press a pause button?” can consider directly asking him. Some people just want to sleep their stress away. If it works for your dad, remind him to turn off the alarm and email notifications before letting him rest. 

7. Perfectionist Dad 

The pressure of getting all tasks done well presents a real problem, especially if your dad is a perfectionist. Every time the question “why is my dad always angry?” pops into your mind, you wish you could simply tell him that being a perfectionist will only stress him out. But you know that words alone won’t transform him into a more realistic version of himself. 

why is my dad always mad at me

You’re tired of being told that you should live up to his expectations, and he keeps being mad due to unfulfilled expectations. Thus, you would likely do anything according to his standards just to get his approval. When it starts to feel overwhelming and exhausting, you should set boundaries and talk to a therapist. Remember that even if parents are potentially their kids’ role models, you’ve learned your lesson.

8. Low Self-Esteem 

Your dad’s anger can be a sign of his vulnerability. He might think that voicing his insecurity means admitting his weakness. In a worse situation, his low self-esteem can sabotage your confidence and ability to be the best version of yourself. 

why is my dad always mad at me

Addressing this issue is tricky as you must observe your dad’s relationship with his parents to know where the ego wounds come from. But it’s way more worth protecting your well-being than repairing what’s already broken. So, instead of asking, “why is my dad always angry?” go find your support system outside the home, set your standards, and believe in yourself. 

9. You Keep Giving Him Ineffective Apologies

This point may shock you, but you read it right. The way you deliver apologies plays a crucial role in a parent-child relationship. Because it shows how you value your family. And just because family is a risk-free and a comfort zone doesn’t mean you don’t have to properly apologize to your dad when you’re wrong. 

why is my dad always mad at me

Insincere apologies will deeply hurt your dad and make him feel you don’t respect him. A dad with a hurt ego can be overwhelmingly grumpy even in the days after. Avoid excessive and empty apologies. Admit that you’re wrong and commit to improving the relationship. 

10. Sexual Frustration

While it is no longer taboo to talk about sex and the issues surrounding it, you might already understand that sex is among the crucial factors in a marriage. Every adult may experience unmet sexual needs and satisfaction at some point in their married life, leaving them frustrated. Even though it is not your domain to raise and solve this possible problem, there is always something you can do to make your home more peaceful. 

why is my dad always mad at me

Let your parents have an intimate vacation and remind them to hold a heart-to-heart conversation to address this issue. You can recommend your parents see a therapist and join a sports club to keep their body and mind healthy. 

11. Alcohol and Drugs Abuse

Pay attention to your dad’s bad habits. If one includes excessive alcohol and drugs, you can stop wondering, “why is my dad always angry?” Anger and the use of alcohol and other substances are directly proportional. This means that the more your dad consumes them, his anger management will worsen. 

why is my dad always mad at me

Once your dad is under the influence, he can’t think clearly, hence the grumpiness. But the absence of alcohol and drugs doesn’t mean the case is solved. Instead, the likelihood of other problems will arise, such as his withdrawal, guilt, and another round of anger. Only his eagerness to heal will end this vicious cycle. 

12. Impatient Dad

His thirst for getting things done faster manifests in his impatience. Thus, when he thinks that things could’ve been done sooner than they are, he will get frustrated and mad. Impatience is the accumulation of smaller factors such as low resisting power, insecurity, perfectionism, and other possible factors that will take time to discover. While it’s not your task to investigate every experience he has been through that shaped the person he is today, you can do some tricks. 

why is my dad always mad at me

First, when he is in a good mood, write him a letter saying how hurtful you are when he is mad at you for no apparent reason. Next, when he’s angry, listen to him and smile at him. We are sure you don’t want to argue with someone like him. If anything, respond to him calmly and tone down your voice again with a smile. He will feel guilty for being mad at you. 

13. Fear of Abandonment

Yes, it’s a real thing. Maybe when you think of, “why is my dad always angry?” you won’t believe this reason exists. But it happened to our big family. My late uncle was afraid of losing his loved ones, being isolated, and being alone. Consequently, when his wife and kids didn’t reply to his text, he would get angry at anyone. He could vividly picture being left by his family—something that he feared the most. 

why is my dad always mad at me

We thanked our therapist, who taught my uncle to handle his anxiety. If your dad experiences the same problem, take him to a mental health professional. But bear in mind that your support matters. Do not take his anger to heart; just ignore it and focus on his treatment. 

14. Unhappy Old Man

Unhappiness is one of the possible answers to “why is my dad always angry?” and is one of the solid reasons your old man is always grumpy. Being thankful and happy was easier when we were kids, since we had no burden. Now that we’re older, we are expected to be responsible, pay our bills, sometimes work extra hours, and not to mention peer pressure. 

why is my dad always mad at me

Your dad is unhappy and demands an outlet to vent his anger. You can indirectly teach him to be thankful for the little things in life so that he knows to let go of expectations, negative feelings, and fears. For instance, express your happiness about today’s weather, thank him for repairing your bike, and tell him things you like about him. Constantly doing this will soften his heart.

15. He’s Naturally Problematic and Difficult to Deal With 

Finally, there’s one effortless reason why your dad is always angry, and unfortunately, there’s nothing you can do except move on. If your dad is naturally difficult to be with, chances are he refuses to reflect, improve, and grow. He is the epitome of a problematic personality and specializes in making everything worse. 

why is my dad always mad at me

Sadly, you no longer need to ask, “why is my dad always angry?” A problematic person is stimulated by creating problems and difficulties. He doesn’t hesitate to let others clean up his mess. Avoid arguing and fighting with someone like this, or you’ll find yourself circling on the same road. 


Home should be a safe place where you can love and feel loved. Thus, you won’t perceive your home and family as a peaceful haven once you come home to a snarling dad. When your mad dad snaps at you, delay your reaction and keep quiet. Tell him you will only respond if he lowers his tone. 

See also  What Is Self-esteem In Teens

Be empathetic, and do not take his harsh words to heart. Researching the possible answers to “why is my dad always angry?” might be a meaningful addition to his learning journey. But you should know when to stop. If the situation exhausts you, you’d better move on. Distance yourself from your mad dad without feeling guilty or responsible and focus on your self-improvement. 

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FAQ (Frequently Asked Question)

What do you do when your dad is mad at you?

The easiest way is to listen. You don’t always have to agree, but listening shows respect. Listening lets you understand his position, process your logic, and politely counter his argument. Our list above summarizes possible answers to “why is my dad always angry?” In some cases, you can just set your boundaries and walk away. 

How an angry father affects a child?

Most of the time, children will respond to their parents’ anger with negative behavior. The children will feel oppressed and think they are irritating. The long-term effect includes developing a feeling of worthlessness that leads to insecurity and trust issues. If your dad is a responsible adult, he should’ve known the consequences before lashing out at you. 

How do you deal with a difficult father?

Stay calm and be empathetic. Learn the root cause to better recognize your dad’s situation. Don’t just wonder, “why is my dad always angry?” but be part of your dad’s improvement. If the same cycle persists, instead focus on your life and achievements because you’ve learned your lesson. Eventually, you will leave home and live independently. 

What should I do if my dad hates me?

Try to understand his concerns and sources of stress. Most of the time, he projects his hatred toward himself onto others. If he doesn’t want to admit it and work on himself, why bother trying to make him love you? Not all adults are mentally ready to have children. Find your tribe and love them hard. 

Suzy Prichard

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