A bad attitude and a bad mood

  • SReynolds

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    Mood refers to a temporary state of mind or emotion.
    Attitude refers more to a person's feelings and thinking reflected by their behavior.

    As ewie said, attitude is permanent and part of someone's personality, whereas a good/bad mood is simply something that one has on a momentary basis. On Mondays, I might be in a bad mood but having a bad attitude is something that tends to persist.
     

    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    I agree in part, and disagree in part, with the prior replies.

    I don't agree that a mood is necessarily momentary or fleeting (I have known people to remain in a persistent bad mood for days or weeks) or that an attitude is necessarily persistent (I think one can demonstrate an attitude toward a particular person or event).

    I do agree that a mood is subjective, how a person feels (not always obvious to others), and that an attitude is something outwardly apparent to others.
     

    ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    I was answering Oleg's specific question about bad attitude vs. bad mood.

    I put it to the jury that if a bad mood lasts long enough it ceases to be a bad mood and becomes lingering resentment or rancour or depression (or something else).
     
    Last edited:

    Linkway

    Senior Member
    British English
    Well, I take yet a different view!

    Usually, if someone is said to be in a 'bad mood' it means they are irritable or depressed.

    Usually, a 'bad attitude' does not refer to the inner feelings or mood of the person, but rather their inappropriate behaviour including what they say and how they say it.

    John had a really bad attitude at the crematorium yesterday; he arrived late, whistling his favourite tune, and interrupted the ceremony with wise cracks.

    That sales clerk has a really bad attitude. She chews gum and chats to her friend when she is supposed to be serving the customer.
     

    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    "You say I've got a bad attitude." says something about the way you see my behavior.

    "How d'you think I feel?" refers to my emotions.
     

    siares

    Senior Member
    Slovak
    From your original link about self- improvement:

    They use the term "bad attitude" where other self help materials would use a "negative attitude".

    Negative attitude is where one only sees problems and difficulties. This can become a habit, so for example if a person goes on trip, they cannot concentrate on the beauty around, but they worry that it will rain, a thunderstorm may come, a bear might eat them. When they speak to their companions, they ruin their day. They may be genuinely unhappy, but it is not possible to help them - they need to realise this and help themselves.

    E: mood is different, even optimists can be in a bad mood sometimes.

    The song lyrics you quoted have altogether different feel, and fit with previous posts.

    Then there is also "wrong attitude" ?? :)
     

    theartichoke

    Senior Member
    English - Canada
    I just want to add that what constitutes a "bad attitude" is very subjective. I may think you have a "bad attitude" when you think there's nothing wrong with your attitude. In fact, I'd say that "bad attitude" is more often used by someone criticizing someone else than by people talking about themselves (as in the song you quote, Oleg: "you say I've got a bad attitude"). "A bad mood," however, is as likely to be identified by the person who has it ("don't talk to me--I'm in a bad mood") as it is by someone else ("don't talk to him--he's in a bad mood.")
     

    Oleg68

    Senior Member
    Russian
    I am lost in your explanations :) OK. I'll try to ask in another way. Is the line from that song ("You say I've got a bad attitude")
    closer to the example "John had a really bad attitude at the crematorium yesterday, he arrived late..." or to "they worry that it will rain, a thunderstorm may come..."?
     

    theartichoke

    Senior Member
    English - Canada
    I am lost in your explanations :) OK. I'll try to ask in another way. Is the line from that song ("You say I've got a bad attitude")
    closer to the example "John had a really bad attitude at the crematorium yesterday, he arrived late..." or to "they worry that it will rain, a thunderstorm may come..."?
    I looked at the song, and I think it's closer to the example about John at the crematorium. The person speaking ("I") seems to be behaving in ways that "you" disapproves of, or at least has problems that "you" thinks are of his own making, and "I" is defending himself.
     

    siares

    Senior Member
    Slovak
    I listened to the song but can't tell - I thought it would be rebellious, but I felt a bit wistful

    I cannot comment on the song:(

    think the two meanings are used interchangeably to some extent.

    Bad attitude: not adhering to outside norms of behaviour (crematorium) / not fulfilling one's duties /acting arrogantly
    at work that would be: being late for work, not doing one's job properly, being rude to bosses

    Negative attitude: the boss doesn't like me, no matter what I will do I will probably get fired.
    Consequently, I don't put much effort into my job, and then of course I am fired. And then I tell people: I told you so!!

    E: repet.
     

    Oleg68

    Senior Member
    Russian
    I conclude that in my first post the talking is about a depression,
    But in that song the talking is about a bad behavior.
    I thank all of you for the discussion!
     

    siares

    Senior Member
    Slovak
    You are mostly right Oleg68!!
    Just note that people saying: I am depressed - are usually exaggerating. (Genuine depression is a very serious diseases which is hard to treat).
     
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