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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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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Love and Marriage

 
Regardless of how happy and fulfilling your marriage or relationship is, inevitably you will encounter difficulties and disappointments along the way.  Often times it is either because you have become emotionally malnourished, you both feel unloved and/or unimportant, your relationship needs a tune-up, or perhaps the magic has faded.  Most marriage partners fail to do the ongoing maintenance of the relationship to keep it healthy. 
 
To rebuild a relationship that has gotten lost over the years, you must have a clear, compelling picture of the relationship you want. Then you both must commit to become equipped with the skills and habits to creating and maintaining that renewed and nourishing relationship.  
 

A relationship lives in words and action, much like a play. If your relationship has become its own version of a bad play, then to make a better play (relationship), you must write and practice good scripts.

One way that you can create good marriage scripts is by figuring out what you and your partner want out of the relationship.  In essence, it is time to “rewrite the screenplay.”

Start by having the following dialogue with your partner:

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Relationship Glue

How to effectively leverage valuable business relationships

Times are tough. Many clients are abandoning their long-held business relationships for providers touting a lower cost or better terms. What keeps business relationships held together? I like to say it is “Relationship Glue” that keeps business relationships strong. I’m not talking about the sticky stuff but rather the things that we DO that demonstrate who we are as a person. It is the real value that we provide to clients and shareholders. Relationship glue is the action that follows a commitment, the willingness to extend our self on the client’s behalf and the ability to proactively listen and respond effectively to client’s needs and motives. If you are looking to hold together your business relationships click here to find out more about how you can use my “Relationship Glue” to make that happen!