How to be Miserable

How to be Miserable
How to be miserable: 6 things you already do
Photos: Pexels and Unsplash

Being miserable is easy. Knowing why you’re miserable and understanding how to change it… that’s the hard bit. If you ask someone why they’re miserable, you will most likely get a standard response about time, money or appearance, if you give them a way to change it, at least one of the other two things will probably stand in the way. There are so many self help blog posts, books and videos on the internet, you may find one or a few that work for you, but this isn’t a post about how to be more productive, or how to bring positivity into your life. This is about us, and the things we do which are making us miserable.

1. Too much or too little – living in the extremes

We live our lives wanting to be more or less than what we are. But whenever we take steps to achieve this, it will never be enough. We need to be fitter, more humble, less angry, less negative. No matter what you do, there will always be something more to be done. If you aren’t happy with little victories, you will always be miserable.

2. Expectation vs Reality

How many people do you know that are living their dream life? How many jobs have your friends gone into thinking it will be their dream job and it turns out not to be what they thought it was? Reality is usually disappointing, your dream job won’t always be exciting and the challenges won’t always be worthwhile. You will face set backs and obstacles, how you you deal with them will determine how miserable you are and how miserable you remain.

This is the same principle for relationships, you are just as perfect as your partner, or potential partner. Compromise and a unique understanding of another’s perspective can be extremely difficult, and a lack of it breeds the perfect environment for despondence.


3. Ambition

Ambition is always described as a good thing, and an important part of being a young adult. I remember being furious with a previous boyfriend for having no ambition or drive, so much so I ended a very healthy relationship on those grounds. Ambition is a focus on the future, on sacrificing what you have in the present for the possibility of something in the future.

Ambition is vital for change and growth, but coupled with living for the extremes, and expectation vs reality, it can have devastating effects on your life. It can cause you to lose things that you didn’t know you needed to replace something that in reality you probably don’t require.

4. Procrastination

Every form of help to avoid procrastination can be used as a method to procrastinate. I have mastered the technique of procrastinating using the tips I learnt to avoid procrastination. For example, if you visualise what you want to do, done well, you can convince your brain that it is done, and therefore you won’t have the motivation to do it twice.

5. Compartmentalisation

Have you ever heard the phrase “think outside the box”? I’m sure you have, it’s used to drive creativity, but how many of us don’t use boxes to compartmentalise? Leaving personal problems at the door when we go to work, burying painful memories and locking them away instead of dealing with them, leaving little cracks in our heart from previous heart breaks, and letting time heal. If you’ve ever let a broken bone heal on its own, you know it never heals quite right without support. It’s all forms of compartmentalisation, and the question is, really how healthy is this?

6. Complacency

It might seem contradictory, ambition causes misery, but so does complacency.’s definition of complacency is “a feeling of quiet pleasure or security, often while unaware of some potential danger, defect, or the like; self-satisfaction or smug satisfaction with an existing situation, condition, etc.” I think that speaks for itself.

How many of the above resonate with you? Are any of these things significant enough for you to want to change them or are you okay with it?


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