5 Habits of Chronically Unhappy People

They’re more common than you think

Photo by Volkan Olmez on Unsplash

Most of us know someone who, despite having excellent health, a great job/successful career, a loving, supportive family, and more, are miserable. Blind to the blessings of abundance all around them.

We know they’re miserable because — they tell us.


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It goes something like this:

“It’s too hot, too cold, too loud, too quiet, too…”

“I’d be happy if I could lose twenty pounds/ move to a bigger house/ get married/ get a divorce/ get the kids out of the house/ retire from this stressful job/ have grandkids/ have time for a hobby/ didn’t have kids/ win the lottery/ have a baby/ have my old job back…”

“If only I didn’t have so much time on my hands/ had more time/ I could’ve, would’ve, should’ve…If only I had a true friend, (though I prefer parrots to people because they echo my own beliefs.)”

Interestingly, it’s not just the stereotypical cranky older person who’s bitter that their life has reaped what they’ve sowed.

It’s also young people and midlife men and women from all walks of life. From what I can tell, the only humans exempt from this sad phenomenon are babies!

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From experience and observations, here’s my list of 5 habits of chronically unhappy people:

They’re Persistently Pessimistic

Perhaps you’ve heard the story of the two young brothers who, after playing outside all day, opened their bedroom door to find it completely covered in excrement!

The stinking mess covered the walls, floor, and all their toys.

One boy immediately began crying, holding his nose, screaming, and throwing a full-blown temper tantrum.

The other boy looked around, smiled, and began laughing and running around opening doors, peeking behind the curtains, and excitedly said to his brother, “ WOW, why are you crying? With this much crap, there’s gotta be a PONY in here somewhere!”

I love this vivid illustration of the difference between an optimist and a pessimist. It is all about how we choose to view the world.

“Two men looked out from prison bars; one saw the mud, the other saw stars.” -Dale Carnegie.

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They Blame Others

Nothing is their fault. Ever. It’s always their parents, spouse, children, friends, neighbors, or a co-worker who made them do it, say it, eat it, drink it, try it, spend it, or -fill in the blank-. A typical example is blaming a parent for their bad personal choices that often lead to addictions, dependencies, and other risky or unsettling life choices. It’s easy and feels better to deflect the blame but not taking responsibility for wrong actions generally leads to more poor decisions, ultimately culminating in a life of misery.

We can never win happiness by playing the blame game.

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They Hold Grudges

If you want to be miserable, hold a grudge — forever — never let it go. While it’s natural to lash out when we’ve been cheated, lied to, or betrayed, once those feelings are expressed in whatever way (hopefully lawfully), they’re released and gone. It’s when we hold onto the anger and hurt, wallow in the pain by replaying the betrayal over and over in our mind, that these toxic feelings become burning bridges, separating us from the possibility of ever reconciling. Sadly many people carry grudges to their graves.

Holding a grudge is like “You drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.” -unknown.

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They Criticize

Finding fault in everyone and everything reveals a person who is leading a chronically unhappy life. To combat their deep feelings of inferiority, they continuously criticize others to make themselves feel (and they believe, appear) superior. “She can’t possibly think that dress looks good on her!” “It tastes ok I guess, if you like bland food.” “Why did you bring me these flowers? You know I’m allergic?” No matter how lovely the weather, you can always count on them to spot the rain cloud in the distance.

“The mind is its own place and in itself, can make a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven.” -John Milton.

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They Complain

It’s no secret that miserable folks are chronic complainers. “I wouldn’t feed this steak to a dog!” ” I asked for well-done, and you can see it’s burnt to a crisp!” “You know I hate this kind of chocolate; besides, I’m on a diet!” “Is this place always this dirty, or is it just my lucky day?!”

No-one wants to be around these people; therefore, chronic complainers often find themselves with no friends, which means if you happen to be the unfortunate person on the receiving end of their tirade, remember, this person was someone’s sweet baby once.

“Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain — and most fools do.” — Dale Carnegie.

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In conclusion, remember the good news: We can all break unwanted habits, and instead of complaining about the rain, we can learn to marvel at the rainbow.

Creative. Copywriter. Blooming blogger. Breathwork enthusiast. Ghostwriter. Bohemian soul. Comments and creative collaboration inquiries: Alicej@charter.net

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