I wonder about a lot of things. But lately, I have been wondering a great deal about a certain thing. It has been on my mind quite often.
That thing is: Why are some people generally happy, while others are only happy when they are miserable?
I am NOT talking about depression here! That is a medical condition. The unhappy people that I mean are the ones who gripe and complain about everything and do their best to bring other people down.
There are a couple of these people that I deal with on a day-to-day basis and they just have me wondering….
Is there some sort of genetic makeup that makes people either one or the other?
Is it in the water? Surely not, then more people would be that way.
Is it an unsatisfying life? Is it a feeling of self-pity?
I just don’t know. But, in case you haven’t noticed, I’m a little bit of a nerd. I like to research things. So when this really began to settle in my brain, I decided to do a little research. And, wouldn’t you know, I found some pretty interesting stuff.
According to David Sack in Psychology Today one reason for an “addiction to unhappiness” is that a “Deep-rooted insecurity or lack of self-esteem may cause some people to feel undeserving of happiness.”1
Is that it? Is that why some people are unhappy with themselves and everyone else?
In an article in The Huffington Post, Tamara Star suggests 7 habits that unhappy people have, including believing most people can’t be trusted and concentrating on what’s wrong in this world versus what’s right.2
In another article, Marc Chernoff writes that there are “8 Things Unhappy People Refuse to Admit, including that they struggle with self-respect and they are holding on to old grudges.3
I enjoyed all three of these articles, and found a good bit of useful information in them. I think, perhaps, that I am coming to terms with a couple of the people in my life who are the unhappy types, but then I came upon one more article.
It is a numbered list of 50 things that are making people unhappy, entitled You May Not Realize It, But These Little Things Are Making You Unhappy. Boy, oh boy, is this the jackpot!
For most of the unhappy people I know, (2 in particular) several of these statements summed up what (in my unprofessional opinion) I have observed to be true:
“They hold onto the perceived idea of control. They hold grudges. They believe everyone should play by their rules.
“They hang out with unhappy people. They are insecure. They have unrealized dreams.
“They don’t think they deserve happiness. They don’t love themselves. They play the victim card.”
And lastly,” they don’t allow themselves to be happy”4.
Whew….That’s a laundry list, there, folks.
But look at it. Read it again. Is it true for the constantly unhappy people in your life?
I am not saying that I spend 100% of my life in a happy state. That would be a lie. But I can say that I really work toward Abraham Lincoln’s adage: “People are just as happy as they make up their minds to be.”
I do NOT always succeed. But I do always try. For me, it makes the world a better place. Now if I could only get the unhappy folks in my life on the right track…
Do you have someone like this in your life?
If so, how do you handle them? Do you ignore them, or try to satisfy them?
1Sack, David, MD. “Are You Addicted to Unhappiness?” Psychology Today. Psychology Today, 05 Mar. 2014. Web. 20 Sept. 2015.
2Star, Tamara. “7 Habits of Chronically Unhappy People.” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 18 Nov. 2014. Web. 20 Sept. 2015.
3Chernoff, Marc. “8 Things Unhappy People Refuse to Admit.” Marc and Angel Hack Life. Marc and Angel Hack Life, 29 Aug. 2013. Web. 20 Sept. 2015.
4Hansen, Sarah. “You May Not Realize It, But These Little Things Are Making You Unhappy.” Lifehack RSS. Lifehack, n.d. Web. 20 Sept. 2015.