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The Unhappiness Addiction

Some people find happiness in the most challenging situations. Some people are unhappy despite an onlooker's view that the person "has it all."


Though it seems at times people would rather wallow in their misery, deep down we all want to be happy. Instead of choosing happiness, we wear unhappiness like a badge of honor, spreading our negativity to others and debilitating relationships of those we love.


To some extent, we choose our thoughts and thus our reactions. Our reactions impact the way we feel and the way we project to others. Our feelings can be viewed as signals that some aspect of our lives needs to change - we must choose to return to a state of happiness.


Why, then, is it difficult to allow happiness in our lives?

  • Undeserved happiness - Insecurities and a lack of self-esteem may cause us to believe we are not worthy of being happy. Simply put, we are not good enough to be happy.

  • Unrealistic expectations - The moment we set expectations for a scenario (a party, weekend, trip to the store, anything), the more likely we fill unfulfilled. As we did not appropriately estimate the outcome, we are let down.

  • Underlying root cause - We may seem comfortable in a state of misery when, in actuality, we may be suffering from a mental health issue. We don't know what true happiness really looks like.

  • Guilt - We may be punishing ourselves from past decisions or traumatic experiences. It can be easier to consume ourselves with guilt rather than move forward. The status quo is negative rather than positive.

  • Pragmatism - Practical thinking can often focus on the negative of a situation. The glass is rarely half full for realists. The world is a bitter, unfair place.

  • Afraid of joy - Because we have been burned by our past unrealistic expectations, we are afraid to be positive. We have been taught from a young age that happiness is fleeting, thus being happy is merely another feeling that won't last once we have proven vulnerable.

  • Assumption of others' unhappiness - In times of great misery, we take on the negatives from everything around ourselves. We drown ourselves in the negativity of the news, the negativity in our work environments, and the negativity in our relationships.

Not all unhappiness can be solved by making a choice. In many cases, we need outside help to work through these feelings of negativity. If constant worry, fear, and unhappiness are accepted as status quos, and working through feelings on our own does not yield positive results, it's time for a change.


For the happy people, it does not help to act unhappy around your unhappy friends, family, colleagues, or strangers. The unhappy may feel threatened by your happiness, but keep smiling!


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