What not to do when someone’s hangry

Believe it or not, there are some what to do and what not to do to consider when you encounter a hangry person; especially your spouse, friend, family member, or coworker. I thought about this topic after having to deal with two hangry people in one week, one was my wife and the other was a coworker. Just my luck, right?

For those of you who are not familiar with the word hangry, it is a term to describe someone who is hungry and angry at the same time, thus “hangry”. Someone decided to coin this term by mashing the two words hungry and angry. I would bet you have experienced hanger yourself or encountered someone with serious hanger.

It’s not fun having to deal with a hangry person, trust me on that. Not handling a situation with a hangry person correctly could lead to a fight or an awkward situation, “hanger problems”. Sometimes one little wrong move could really set a hangry person off.

I love my wife and she is one of the most loving and gentle people I know; however, when she is hungry, I do not want to mess with her. All I know is that I need to get her some food right away. If I sense any signs of hanger, I will even try to avoid her when I can until she gets something to eat. Couples fight over hunger all the time. Over the past 6 year of our marriage, I have learned the hard way that hanger is a real thing. I am just hoping our kids didn’t get the “hanger gene” because I don’t I think I can deal with three people being hangry.

There must be an epidemic breakout of hanger because I experienced another episode with my one of my coworkers. At work, we have a secretary who had been there for over 20 years. She is an older lady who knows everything about the company, and she is some that everyone loves. One day, I was very busy and had so many tasks to complete, I had to ask the secretary to send out a form via fax right at that moment. I was in such a rush that I couldn’t explain the situation and abruptly asked her to send it for me. She dropped the paper in front of me and snapped that it is her lunchtime and that she is not my assistant. I was taken back a little and I realized she is “hangry.” I immediately apologized and kindly asked her if she could send it out after her lunch break was over. I must say that was a very awkward moment I ever encountered at work. I hope that I don’t ever repeat that and I do not wish that upon anyone else.

As you read through my experiences, I hope you took notes of what not to do with someone who is very hungry.


n fact, to make matters easy, I put together a list of things you should not do to someone who is hangry:

1)Know who you are dealing with. Not everyone gets hangry. It may be rare but I believe there are people out there that have never been hangry. They have the patience of a saint and whenever they are hungry, anger never follows.

There are also people that have a higher tolerance to getting hangry. I think I would categorize myself here. I am no saint because I have had my hanger episodes. My wife would love to tell you those stories but I would like to think that I don’t get angry as easily as some people.

So my point here is that you have to recognize the “hanger tolerance” of the people you interact with. Knowing how people react to hunger comes with experiences with them. This helps in the long term to understand if someone says they are hangry, you better believe them! When you recognize the signs of hanger you could also avoid them. Haha, I have definitely done this plenty of times. I find it better to avoid someone then to make contact and somehow trigger them. Which comes to my next tip.

2)Be careful what you say to them and pick up on their hangry clues. This should be an obvious one because if you notice someone is angry then you might want to be careful what you say to not agitate them more. But sometimes you don’t catch all the signs. I have to admit that I am not the quickest to catch all the signs with my wife, so I sometimes cluelessly ask or say something to make her more angry.

Saying things like “didn’t you just eat?”, “why are you in a bad mood?”, “can’t you wait just a little bit?”, or “I’m not in the mood for that.” will not help the situation with a hangry person. Sometimes it is easier to just say nothing at all.

Picking up on clues also helps. I am better at picking up clues from other people than my wife. It is important to be able to notice the signs of someone getting hangry. People in the work place especially need be more aware. Since there are more people in an area it is easy to irritate someone. You don’t want to prevent someone that is hangry from getting food by talking their ear off or interrupting their lunch. I have noticed a coworker hanger start building up when being asked to do work during their lunch time.

Recognizing someone’s hanger and being able to say the right things can save you!

3)Let the hangry person win! I find it easier when dealing with a hangry person to just let them win. This means you should let them choose what to eat and where to go. Don’t give them trouble and fight about what you want to eat. You have to learn and pick your battles. For me I have learned happy wife, happy life! This article explains why a happy wife can enhance family life.

I know it isn’t fair to always let them choose especially if they are always hangry. I can understand in this situation if you sometimes want to give your opinion. If you have to be difficult just try not to be indecisive either. Make sure you don’t drag on the picking process, so they don’t get even more hangry. Have some ideas ready to suggest. Here are some places that I enjoy and you should recognize, Chili’s, Five Guys, or Chick-Fil-A. Be willing to compromise too!

4)Don’t try to distract a hangry person. The idea of taking a hangry person’s mind off their hungry might work in some instances but it could also backfire on you. I can calm my wife’s hanger sometimes by allowing her to shop on Amazon or Nordstrom. But this is just a short fix and it sometimes backfires because she gets even more hungry that leads to a bigger outburst. So don’t even use this tactic unless you are buying time to either make dinner or waiting for a delivery man.


I know these aren’t the only things shouldn’t be doing to someone that is hangry but I hope it gives you some ideas.

I came across this game where you can get “revenge” on that hangry person by throwing food at them. You can check out the game at


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