Why Does My Dad Get Mad Over Little Things? (11 Reasons Why)

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Isabelle O'Gallagher

Isabelle O'Gallagher is a personal development and relationship expert who has consulted for some of the biggest companies in America.

Ever have had a dysfunctional, confusing relationship with your parents, especially, in this case, your father? Well, so have a lot of other people.

However, sometimes, that dysfunction can, for the most part, come from your father. I mean, he’s getting mad over little things, and you, the child, cannot decipher the reasoning behind it. It’s frustrating and draining.

It’s almost like trying to figure out a baby, but this baby is a full-fledged, working, articulate man. But, through my research, I managed to find various reasons that your dad may get mad about some of the littlest things.

Why Does My Dad Get Mad Over Little Things?

1. He’s Tired

He’s had a long day at work or other activities and may be tired. If you’re tired and possibly awake for an extended period, your patience for things will tend to get lower, which likens your dad’s ability to become more irritable.

If you are lacking in sleep, then this can affect how you are feeling emotionally and also your ability to accurately judge a situation as well.

So, for your dad, if he’s only had three hours of sleep, he is prone to get mad about a minor thing, such as having to go back upstairs if he forgot something.

So, if your dad is tired, to avoid him getting mad at you, just let him take a nap or even suggest he sleep for a while so that his judgment can remain sound and less dysfunctional and headache-inducing for the both of you.

2. He’s Stressed And Overwhelmed

Maybe he’s stressed about something. And, in his defense, stressors can come from anywhere and lead to someone, i.e., your father, being a bit short-tempered and mad about everything when it’s unnecessary.

For some, being stressed also means losing a sense of control over things, making you feel like you are being powerless and losing yourself. So, regain that control by judging and nitpicking at everything you do or getting mad.

So, to try and avoid this, help your dad do some breathing techniques or take the load off of any work that he was supposed to do that you’re able to do.

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3. You’re Not Listening!

Yes, he is getting mad over little things, but maybe it’s because you and the people around you are not listening to him when he needs you to.

From the perspective of being your father’s child, it’s understandable that you don’t want to listen to your dad because you feel like he’s saying gibberish, but you don’t want him to feel ignored, either.

Not being listened to, that irritation, can build up in a person and lead them to go from trying to tell you to do “this” or “that” to still doing that, but getting mad at you for every little thing.

The solution for this: do the thing that you were supposed to do, to begin with, which is listen to your dad and do not block him out nor give him an attitude.

4. He’s Depressed

When people hear the word “depression” or hear the phrase “I’m depressed,” then they automatically think of the word “sad” and use it synonymously. This is not always the case.

Yes, sadness is linked to depression and a symptom, but so can anger and irritation. This is not talked about a lot, but, although not a large percentage, plenty of people who suffer from depression experience bouts of irritability, and little things will get to them.

While depression isn’t something that you “solve” and it’ll go away, there are ways to try and combat your feelings of depression so that, in this case, your dad, when those moments of irritability arise, they can be avoided as much as possible.

5. Work And Family Problems

Like feeling stressed because of loss of control, family and work problems will coincide. Not having a sense of camaraderie and function in your personal and work life can feel mentally draining.

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Now, it can become more draining if you are not used to it. This isn’t to say that if your dad is used to the family being stressful and work, it doesn’t hurt any less, but there’s something about experiencing something new and not knowing how to handle it.

So, if your dad is experiencing this new stressor and doesn’t know how to handle it, he is more prone to becoming irritable and mad at every little thing.

6. Lack Of Control

Lack Of Control

Yes, yes, lack of control is getting mentioned once again. Still, it is essential to know the importance of losing control over something that affects your mental health and overall emotional health and judgment skills.

So, if your dad is getting mad and possibly taking it out on you or anyone else, remember that it is not your or their fault, but it is just him and his ego, pride, or way to deflect blame from himself project it onto you.

So, how does he fix this: honestly, one of the best and most recommended ways is by seeking professional help so that they can help your dad get to the root of the problem with his control issues.

7. Trauma

He may have experienced trauma or secondary trauma, past or present. Irritability is a common symptom of those who experience trauma. Bottling up your emotions will also affect how you react to certain situations emotionally.

8. Lack Of Boundaries

When the people around your dad, who can include you, lack boundaries and respect for him, this can affect your happiness.

If your dad is a “yes” man to everything, then, over time, his emotions may boil over to irritation and being mad and annoyed about everything.

So, to avoid this, your dad will have to work on not being a people-pleaser, and the people around him should work on respecting his boundaries more.

9. Learned Behavior

Always being angry is a learned behavior, but this learned behavior can happen later in life. Let me explain.

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Emotions such as happiness, sadness, and, in this case, anger, depending on the time of your life, if not dealt with, can be an actively learned behavior.

So, if your dad has always seen anger since childhood, teenage years, and even adulthood, then he is likely to think that this response is appropriate when it’s not.

10. Financial Stress

When you’re having financial stressors looming over you, it can make you feel some way. Having to deal with that and anything family-related will make your father feel as though there is no sense of control being held.

11. No One To Talk To

Maybe your dad has no one to talk to. And, possibly, just perhaps, he is not used to expressing his emotions with others that he feels as though he has to bottle them up until it all spills over into constant frustrations over the smallest of things.

So, how can you or they fix this? Offer to talk with them or encourage them to seek professional help to feel comfortable enough to become vulnerable in front of someone and express their feelings.

To know more, you can also read our posts on why dads are so protective of their daughters, why your dad is so strict, and why your dad is so annoying.


I know a consistent theme throughout this listing: lack of control. In hindsight, not everyone can fully grasp control and, therefore, should not: of other people’s doings and lives.

You should, however, try to control your life and learn how to, in your dad’s case, have better control of his emotions so that he is preventing himself from frustrating, not just you but himself.


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