Including 5 Ways To Feed It

We all get ‘Hangry’ sometimes…..

It’s 2018 and the word Hangry has solidly made it into the english language and has become a commonly used reason for people’s moods and actions.

Not sure what exactly it means?  Here’s the definition according to Oxford Dictionaries (even Merriam-Webster acknowledges the word)

But what does that have to do with feeding a marshmallow, is there a typo in my headline?  Nope, I wrote it right.  By all means though, if you’re feeling hangry, a marshmallow treat might do the trick.

Ok, so what exactly is my Marshmallow?

Most people walk through life wearing a protective layer, a hard candy coating if you will.  That hard candy shell protects us from feeling too vulnerable, or embarassed or getting our feelings hurt.  But what lies beneather that hard candy coating is what makes us who we really are… our soft, squishy marshmallow centers.

It’s easy to forget that we have a marshmallow center, or to discount our marshmallow as our point of weakness, but it’s the most  important part of us.  It IS us!  Your marshmallow lets you love and be loved, it lets you laugh about embarrassing moments with friends, it’s the bit that tears up when an old lady wins big on Wheel Of Fortune, it’s how we connect on a deeper level with each other.

Often our marshmallows get neglected, by keeping them safely hidden under our hard candy coatings we can easily forget to nurture them.  But we neglect our marshmallows at our own peril, so often we may not even realize it but a lot of how we react to situations comes from our marshmallow.

When someone says something we don’t like, or somehow wrongs us in some way we may hide behind our candy coating, but it’s our marshmallow that really takes the lead.  Our sense of self can easily feel attacked.

When we neglect our spirit, our marshmallow, we are more likely to react negatively to conflict.  A slight disagreement can turn into a lost friendships, an off colour comment turns into a family fight, or a somewhat harsh critique turns you towards hating your boss and thinking of a career change.

Often because you forget to feed your spirit, to fill your cup….you let your marshmallow get HANGRY.


When we’re not at our best personally, it can be hard to react to things that are difficult, and let’s be honest, conflict can be hard.

It’s not a conflict fix-all solution for sure, but what if you feed your marshmallow, what might happen?  You might not feel as fragile, you might feel happy enough to not jump to negative conclusions so quickly, might find yourself with extra compassion or you might even feel brave enough to ask questions to find out what is really fueling the disagreement.

We are far more likely to “fly off the handle” when our marshmallows are hangry.  It makes sense, when we’re hangry it’s easy to find things that stress us out and to find ourselves consumed by them.  But what if we took tiny steps to  remember to feed our marshmallows, what might happen to our patience and empathy?


I’ve got good news for you, feeding your marshmallow has a huge impact on your reactions to difficult situations!  It may not solve your problems, but you’ll cope better.  Here are 5 ways that you can easily feed your marshmallow.  Feel free to share how you feed yours in the comments!

  1. Practice Gratitude – either with a gratitude journal or even just taking the time to talk about it.  There are plently of tips online to find a way that works for you, and plenty of evidence on the benefits! Here’s a good start https://www.wikihow.com/Practice-Gratitude
  2. Play – start a Words With Friends game, join a soccer league, find a board games group.
  3. Meditate – you don’t even have to be good at it, just trying can help.  Youtube is full of awesome guided meditations.  Or check out the great book 10% Happier (http://www.10percenthappier.com/dan-harris-books)
  4. Share Kindness – once a week I try to send at least 2 random, kind email or texts to people I know without expecting anything in return.  You’d be surprised how good it feels, and how extra good it feels when they send one back!
  5. Love a Little – I don’t mean romantic love or family love only, I mean to remember that those around you also have marshmallows.  Love their marshmallows a little, and maybe even let them have a peek at yours.


Feeding our marshmallow helps us remember that it’s there, and to remember that everyone else has one too.  When we starting connecting well fed marshmallow to well fed marshmallow a whole new world of possibilities can open up!

Sarah Turl is a client focused mediator who is passionate about bringing conflict management tools to everyone.  She is the owner and lead mediator at Empowered Results Mediation, and often feeds her marshmallow with dog snuggles, motorcycle rides, and being as silly as possible with her beloved nieces.

Mediator Conflict Coach Sarah Turl Empowered Results




mediator Sarah Turl looking at phone

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