The Common Traits of the Chronically Miserable

Do you know those people? Woe is me, my life is miserable, all is going wrong.

Are you one of those people?

I know those people. Below are a few common traits I have noticed. Traits to take note of so that you can avoid becoming chronically miserable.

1. They judge others

The chronically miserable people I have known spend much of their time judging how other people live their lives. It is hard to walk down a city street with them without hearing a criticism about how someone is dressed, where they have a tattoo or a piercing, or how they are wearing their clothes. In any situation, they can find something wrong. If they come home and their entire house has been cleaned, the first thing they will notice is that the vacuum cleaner has not been put away.

This trait keeps them focused on what is wrong with the world, how people do not fit in with how they think the world should be, and how no one can ever meet their expectations. I used to get annoyed at such behaviors, but the more I realized what it was doing to the person who exhibits such behaviors, the more I felt pity for them.

2. They are selfish

It is not that they won’t do for other people, oftentimes these people can be very involved in trying to help someone else. But they are doing so for selfish reasons. Perhaps they are being helpful in order to control the situation, or more often because they expect something in return. They keep track of how often they give as though it is a loan that should be repaid. “I helped you, now you need to help me. ” Just thinking about keeping track of such things gives me a headache. These people spend so much time and energy keeping track of the give and take that they have no time to simply enjoy the moments. And when they feel like they are not getting enough back in return they will think about it, complain about it, and let the injustice consume their daily life and drive their future actions.

3. They refuse to take responsibility for their life

Just try to tell the chronically miserable that if they make a few changes in their life they can be happy and you will get a lashing so severe you will think you just caused irreparable damage to something precious, which in a way that is what you were attempting. For the chronically miserable it is precious to them that they hold on to their identity of misery and that it is everyone else’s fault. To destroy that identity, a person would have to acknowledge that they may have at least shared responsibility for past problems.  They would have to do the work of looking at what they are doing wrong and take steps to make changes, and we all know change is hard. If you try to point out that a certain behavior continuously does not work in their favor, they will tell you that is just who they are or they are too old to change.

As a result, they will continue to be miserable and there is nothing anyone around them can do to help them until they are ready to help themselves.