A Dozen Ways to Make Yourself Miserable

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  1. Blame others for your unhappiness. Tell yourself that you can never be happy while others treat you the way they do. Let yourself be ruled by what life dishes up to you. Refuse to re-examine your own attitudes when you can blame your misery on others and life in general.
  2. Make living up to the expectations of others your purpose in life. Find out or – even better – guess what others want or expect from you, then do it. Take your own values and goals and throw them out the window.
  3. Always put the needs and wants of others ahead of your own needs and wants. Sacrifice yourself. Become a martyr and allow others to walk all over you. No one will respect you for being their doormat, but they will love to take advantage of you. However, do keep in mind that your own interests can often be best served by taking into account the interests of others.
  4. Live in your own world and take no part in the world around you. Don’t get involved in your community or its projects. By not working towards building a better society, you can wallow in your misery and whine about how bad things are, and demand to know why somebody doesn’t do something about it.
  5. Constantly complain about, and dwell on your misfortune. Exaggerate the disadvantages you face. Use words like “awful” and “I can’t stand it” to describe your situation. Life is full of hassles so don’t miss any opportunities to make yourself miserable over them.
  6. Be clear about the difference between right and wrong. Demand that others always do what is right, and always makes a big deal about it when they don’t behave the way you believe they should. Be eternally vigilant about your own behaviour too, and rigidly stick to what is right. Never make exceptions.
  7. Select one area of your life (e.g. your job) and throw yourself into it. Neglect your family, your friends, your health and your leisure activities. Never allow yourself to be distracted from your chosen field. Get your life totally out of balance.
  8. Lead a shallow existence. Don’t get involved in anything that takes time or effort. Choose short-term, quick fixes over long-term, creative pursuits.
  9. Trust your assumptions. Whenever you can, jump to conclusions about your future and about what other people are thinking. Try to make all your assumptions as gloomy as possible. Don’t test out your assumptions, just act on them
  10. Compare yourself to people who are more skilful, talented or attractive than you are. Then give yourself a hard time for not being good enough. Base your self-worth on all your deficiencies. If you find that you are gifted in any area, tell yourself that it doesn’t count, because there are so many other areas where you don’t measure up.
  11. Play safe. Don’t take any risks that will get you out of the rut you are in. Tell yourself it’s easier to do nothing than to risk failure and rejection. If you do have a go but trip up, don’t forget to remind yourself what a failure you are.
  12. Always take the easy way out. Do whatever is easiest now and leave your problems for another day. If you put off solving your problems or doing those loathsome tasks, you can spend extra time worrying about them. With any luck they might get worse and then you will have something to really get upset about.

“Happiness is not something to be sought or pursued, but a result of how we live”

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