“There she goes again.”
It’s your friend on Facebook, complaining about everything in her life. At least once a day, sometimes more, she’s trolling for sympathy, wallowing in negativity, playing the victim.
Who victimized her today? Parents? Spouse? The Starbucks barista? Kids? That bitch in traffic who cut her off? Her co-workers? President Trump???
Or, maybe it’s you! Maybe YOU’RE the one who’s miserable. Causing eye-rolling far and wide with your “woe is me” posts and conversations.
Everything sucks. You can’t get a partner. Or, you found the wrong partner!
You got passed up for a promotion by the idiot down the hall. Your favorite sports team lost the championship game. Your 16-year-old is responsible for an unplanned pregnancy.
You’re fat. You’re skinny. You’re skinny-fat!!!
People won’t stop bothering you. Or you don’t have enough friends! Maybe BOTH!?!
The truth is, all of us get unhappy and miserable sometimes. We get a bad review at work. A family member dies. We feel like we’re trapped. Or, more seriously, we’ve survived abuse, or we’re clinically depressed and we need help. This is us. This is the human condition, like it or not. There’s no shame in it, it just is.
I will argue that it’s better to be depressed and an alive human than the alternative! If you don’t agree, call a suicide hotline immediately, there are resources for you.
But the way we handle our misery is key not only to our success in life, but also to our path up from where we are. It’s our job to make ourselves better and progress through life. Sometimes we can lose sight of that. We become complacent and decide it’s never going to get better, and give up, play the victim, and annoy everyone by picking fights on Facebook! (*RAISES HAND*)
Sometimes it gets too hard. And that is all okay, but now is the time that you can take inventory of yourself, look in the mirror and decide that you’re going to quit believing in your own bullshit and you can do better.
As stated above, we can only change when we know why we’re the way we are in the first place. Here are the reasons you’re miserable.
1. Being miserable is much MUCH easier
Being happy isn’t our actual default state. This may surprise you, but being happy takes mental effort.
2. Part of you wants to be miserable
When we’re unhappy, it’s normal for us to look at reasons why. This way, we can take specific actions to alleviate those reasons. Unfortunately, this can also lead us to a victim mindset. “Well,
3. Everyone you know is miserable
The saying “misery loves company” is so true. We get confirmation bias that supports us in our misery.
4. Society rewards us for being miserable
If you don’t believe this, look at the news sometime. Some group is always trying to oppress some other group. “Look how mean Trump is being to us” or “Look how mean
they’re being to Trump!” Someone somewhere always has a justification for being miserable. There’s even a “Misery Index” to measure just how miserable we are as a society! And so we can use our misery to bash our leaders for not doing a good enough job!
These issues themselves can be very important, and likely make us angry. But when we give into that anger, then we’re projecting our misery, and we’re not only poisoning
ourselves but we’re also doing a disservice to the issue we care about. “Oh, there goes David and he’s on his soapbox again, like so many who get worked up over [BIG IMPORTANT ISSUE]”
5. You believe you have no control over your own misery.
This one is insidious. And it is the hardest one to understand.