HAPPY OR UNHAPPY?

Most of us want to be happy, and yet, too many of us are consumed with our crankiness, fear, depression, feeling unloved, insecurity, being miserable, feeling inadequate, feeling betrayed, etc., essentially being wrapped up in chronic unhappiness!

In addition, I am often struck with the large population of people who are persistently stuck in unhappiness. These malcontents are often whining, bellyaching, criticizing, obsessing, bleating, condemning, catastrophizing, awfulizing, and complaining. 

I believe that people will keep choosing familiar routines like this simply because they are familiar, regardless of whether they like it or dislike it.  Some examples of this are below. 

THE RESTAURANT

You go to the same restaurant and order the same item on the menu. This routine is common and it is a great habit if you really like that restaurant and that particular item on the menu. Some of us do!

On the other hand, you may be mixed on how much you like the restaurant and/or the item on the menu. You may have impulses to try new items and a new restaurant yet this restaurant is familiar, as is the same menu choice. It is okay and it will do.  It is good enough rather than being terrific.

The above example is certainly familiar to many of us. We often prefer predictable food even if it is just okay simply because we want to avoid something unpredictable… though it might be OUTSTANDING. It sometimes seems that avoiding being MORE unhappy is MORE important than seeking out MORE happy!

MARRIAGE

Think about people you know who have been married for a long time. How many of them seem to be really happy?

Many are either unhappy or resigned (blah, beige, surrendered). Somehow they have lost their smile. You can often spot these couples at a coffee shop while having breakfast.  You can tell right away they are unhappy because they ignore one another and look miserable. They eat in silence, waiting for life to be over, all while being addicted to their phones.

It could be concluded that they behave as if they are going to same restaurant, ordering the same menu item, and are resigned to being underwhelmed with their choices and lot in life.

Many married people become resigned with the following chronic thoughts or remarks:

  • This is all I can expect anymore.
  • I have to just lump it.
  • I have long since given up trying to get his/her attention.
  • It’s cheaper to keep her.
  • I’m too old to change. He/She doesn’t care anymore.
  • I don’t care anymore.
  • Who would have me at this age?
  • It is unrealistic to want more.
  • I guess this is the best I can expect.
  • He doesn’t listen. He is wife-deaf.
  • She simply wants nothing to do with me.
  • We are roommates.

Gee, this is beginning to sound very similar to our perspective about the restaurant; avoiding being more unhappy is MORE important than seeking out MORE Happy!

If you follow these examples you will be STUCK with the insane belief that PREDICTABLE UNHAPPINESS IS PREFERABLE TO UNPREDICTABLE HAPPINESS!

If you are like most people, you will blame everyone but the person in your mirror

The restaurant — “They don’t care about customer service anymore. The food quality has deteriorated.  The coffee is cold.”

The marriage — “He doesn’t take me anywhere anymore.  She only pays attention to me when she wants to criticize me!  He/She ignores me all the time and watches TV.”

The result is that you start focusing on UNHAPPINESS, become resigned, and wallow in it.  You end up passing your life with time instead of passing your time with LIFE!

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Pride is Very Expensive!

DOES PRIDE GET IN THE WAY OF COMMON SENSE?

Do you know someone who:

  • Holds on to a grudge for years
  • Has an inflated view of their own importance
  • Is self-righteous, sanctimonious, and “holier-than-thou”
  • Likes to win and hates to lose
  • Has to be “right”
  • Likes to argue and debate everything
  • Wants to avoid taking responsibility
  • Refuses to admit mistakes
  • Criticizes and blames everyone else
  • Believes life must be fair and equal with everyone all the time
  • Is suspicious of others and constantly defensive
  • Is easily hurt, victimized, and takes everything personally
  • Covers up hurt with anger
  • Plays victim and whines about the delicious agony of life
  • Has difficulty recovering from a failure or set-back
  • Denies their bad conduct and instead protests that they were misunderstood
  • Accuses others of the very behavior they routinely display

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Professional Victims

It appears that playing “victim” in the U.S. is getting more popular these days. I’m struck with all the whining, blaming, accusing, and bellyaching.     It seems like playing the victim is now becoming fashionable!   

Many people unconsciously play a victim role and, in so doing, they enable others to mistreat, criticize, take advantage, and be disrespectful to them. Others consciously choose to play victim so that they can continue to be irresponsible and blame others for their misfortunes.  Read more

DEALING WITH SELF-PITY IN OTHERS

How to Deal with People Feeling Sorry for Themselves

When you encounter people who are good at playing the role of professional victim, you will often notice that you routinely get seduced by them because they whine and they want an audience. When people swim around in the pity pot they often want you to feel sorry for them so they can describe the breadth of their terrible situation without any interest in solving it or doing anything about it. They simply want you to pay attention to them while they enjoy the “poor me” and describe the “delicious agony of life.” There seems to be something curiously attractive about being a victim and a martyr… apparently sacrificing yourself does get attention.  They will often say things to you like, “You couldn’t possibly understand what I have been through.”  Then you can expect them to waste your time while they describe the “poor me” in great detail and they can enjoy their victimhood and contest of who is the most oppressed person.  You will want to appear interested and likely conclude that you have enabled them to play victim while you are trying to be nice, empathetic, and appreciative of their plight.

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How Do You Handle People Who Talk Too Much?

SOME PEOPLE ARE TALKERS; they just love to talk and keep on talking. They are able to change subjects at a moment’s notice, rarely completing one thought before starting another. Blah, Blah, Blah.  You have probably known people like this.

WHAT IS GOING ON HERE?

How do you deal with these professional talkers? Most of the time, you probably wait for them to STOP TALKING.  You may be concerned that you will be RUDE if you interrupt them, so you simply wait and hope they will stop… AND THEY KEEP TALKING! Read more

MISERY LOVES COMPANY

Are we becoming infected?

I am afraid sometimes that I am. Yikes!

 

The whining, the criticizing, the condemning, the blaming, the bellyaching, the awfulizing, the complaining, the catastrophizing, the obsessing… all delivered by so many victims and malcontents. Oh my, enough already!

For many decades, the media has routinely delivered the news and it has almost always been bad. Whether you see it, read it, or listen to it… it is 90% BAD NEWS.

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I LIKE TO THINK / I LIKE TO BELIEVE / I LIKE TO PRETEND

When we were little, we loved to pretend. In fact, we really enjoyed playing “let’s pretend” with our friends. We associate having fun with those memories, and often still daydream and take pleasure in fantasizing about our lives, our future, and our circumstances.

The good news is that pretending is fun; it allows us to dream, fantasize, and believe in the magic. The bad news is, sometimes we hide in pretending as a method to avoid dealing with reality.

REMEMBER, there is always a gap between how life should be and how life is. That gap can be small or huge. When we pretend to excess, we imagine how life is supposed to be… and we often get lost in those imaginations. Read more

Enlightened Perspectives

Below are statements gathered from dozens of people, ages 5 to 95, many of which were collected in Live and Learn and Pass it On, Volume II.

For your consideration:

I’ve learned… that the best classroom in the world is at the feet of an elderly person.

I’ve learned… that when you’re in love, and you find your smile, it shows.

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