It is often said that happiness is a choice. For a miserable person, they often choose to make themselves (and those around them) miserable.
The unfortunate reality is not everyone wants to be happy. Most people with such a disposition never seek mental health treatment. They do not think they are the problem but the problem is “out there” ie in the external world.
Miserable people often have a woe is me attitude. This victim mentality grates on those around them. This mentality is exhausting to be around. Miserable people are often allergic to responsiblity. A miserable person believes people are always out to get them. They often portray themselves as victims who should be rescued, deserving of our sympathy and attention.
Below are some common ways you can spot a miserable person:
1)They love to blame others. Miserable people are often martyrs—it works as a get out jail free card for taking responsibility for their own life. They love to make themselves miserable under the guise of “helping” others. Having a martyr complex essentially involves pointing the finger at other people or situations in your life and blaming them for your disappointments, unhappiness, and emotional turmoil. The reality is no one is responsible for your disappointments, unhappiness, and emotional turmoil EXCEPT you. We all experience these feelings, but we must learn to process our feelings and move on. Miserable people like to stay stuck in the cycle of blame.
2)They love to pick fights. Miserable people love to make other people miserable. Misery loves company right? People who are constantly unhappy love to take it out on other people. Some people are disputatious and repel people with their snarky comments, rude remarks, and negative demeanor. If antagonistic behavior is an ongoing thing with someone, you are likely dealing with an habitually MISERABLE person.
3)They will get involved in other people’s drama. Miserable people often feel their life is boring. How do they spice it up? By getting involved in the drama of others. (Some go as far as to create drama between others to watch it unfold). Miserable people find drama energizing. Happy people tend to disengage from drama and the people who create it. For miserable people, drama is a way of life.
4)They always expect the worst (of themselves, others, and life in general). Life sucks and all the worst thing that can happen, happens to them, is the mantra of a miserable person. Miserable people often expect the worst of everyone even the people they claim to love. They think other people have bad intentions toward them. The truth is most people don’t have bad intentions but are flawed people. You can always tell a person with bad intentions because when called on their behavior, it gets worse NOT better. They will get more aggressive, more demeaning, more negative.
5)They hate people. This kind of follows from #4. All of us experience negative thoughts from time to time. But a miserable person will make it known how much they despise their fellow-man (which in all likelihood includes you). A miserable person never has a good thing to say about anyone. People are the worst, people are selfish, people are liars, are common refrains from a miserable person.
6)They are selfish. Miserable people put themselves first (but project that other people are selfish, ironic I know). A miserable person drives people away from them because of their negative behavior. Life is hard enough, most people don’t want to spend their time with a Debbie Downer. Miserable people only care about themselves and their own troubles. Only their perspective matters.
7)They are envious of other people. A miserable person is NEVER happy for someone else. Miserable people think someone else’s success or good fortune takes away from them. They view life as a zero sum game due to their scarcity mindset. Miserable people do NOT have an abundance mindset that there is enough love, success, and resources to go around. For them, life is dog eat dog.
8)They hate change. Miserable people hate anything new or different. Change requires effort and miserable people usually don’t want to step outside of their comfort zone. Miserable people will complain about feeling “stuck” but will refuse to do anything to change their circumstances.
9)They love to complain. Complaining is their favorite pastime. This ties in with the blaming, playing victim, and seeking attention/sympathy while playing the role of martyr. Chronic complainers seek validation and sympathy from those around them. Woe is me. For chronic complainers, every person, every situation, is an opportunity to go on a fault-finding mission.
10)They never do anything to improve their life. Most miserable go through life stagnant. The game of life is too hard so they refuse to play. Yet they resent people who are still IN the game. The only game a miserable person plays is the blame game. Miserable people are addicted to unhappiness and it becomes a way of life for them.
What are some common root causes of a miserable personality?
- Low self-esteem
- The appeal of martyrdom
- A belief that being miserable is inevitable
- Underlying depression and anxiety
- Feeling trapped by your circumstances
- Living with chronic stress
- Resistance to being healthy–physically, mentally, and emotionally
The truth is our thinking creates our feelings. If you are chronically unhappy, you need to take a look at your self-talk and how you think about others and relate to the world. If someone or something is truly making you unhappy, you can leave the relationship or situation.
Living in the free world, the truth is we ALWAYS have a choice. It may not be an easy choice or a simple solution. Yet you have the freedom to not need to tolerate mistreatment or miserable circumstances.
If you find your struggling with feelings of misery or a miserable person in your life, counseling may be a great place to begin the journey to a happier life.
To schedule a counseling session with me (AND if you are a reader who lives in New Jersey):
Erin Doyle Theodorou, M.Ed, LPC, NCC
Anew Counseling Services LLC
617 Oradell Avenue, Suite 3, Oradell, New Jersey, 07649