3 Ways to Guarantee You'll be Unhappy for Your Entire, Miserable Life
Want to make sure that you'll never, ever be happy?
Here are three proven techniques for getting miserable... and staying that way!
1. Compare Yourself to Others
Social media platforms like Facebook are great in a lot of ways. You can keep in contact with friends and family members, no matter where in the world you are. You can get advice, or help, or just dig into what other people are doing.
But, there's a danger in sites like Facebook.
Namely, it's the idea that what people post is actually TRUE.
Because in a lot of ways, it's not.
People tend to put their best selves forward on social media. They tend to portray their lives as sunnier, livelier, and overwhelmingly BETTER than they actually are.
So, it's very easy to spend hours upon hours in your social feed and come away with the perception that the lives of your friends and family members are much healthier, happier, and just plain better than yours.
This happens outside of Facebook as well, of course, but as an example, it's a potent one.
One of the reasons this need to compare ourselves to others is such a powerful drive is because, as Americans, being the “best” at something is sort of built right into the foundation of our culture. It's a cornerstone of the “American Dream.”
But as far as causing yourself untold misery, comparing yourself to others is one of the simplest, most effective tools you'll ever get your hands on.
2. Isolate Yourself
Another great way to cement your status as an eternal curmudgeon is to spend most of your time alone.
And thanks to the technological advances over the last few decades in our culture, doing so has become increasingly easy to do.
In 1985, only 10% of the population reported that they had no social support—no one to confide in, lean on, go to for support.
By 2010, that percentage had jumped to 25%.
Meaning: A quarter of the population has absolutely zero social support.
Which, of course, is a big problem. Because as humans, we're wired to be a member of a tribe. Our ancestors spent most of their lives together—hunting, gathering, and generally living lives built on cooperation.
So, it shouldn't come as a surprise that when you take that support away, people are going to experience some serious negative consequences.
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3. Get Bitter
Disappointment abounds in our lives. We experience it every day. It's just part of what it means to be human.
But, one of the best ways to be unhappy is to take all those small disappointments, gather them inside yourself, and let them harden into an ever-growing pile of bitterness.
Because, here's the deal with bitterness...
It's a cycle. And it's also a habit. A self-perpetuating habit, in fact.
Because one little pocket of bitterness in your soul is going to get lonely. So, when that next small disappointment comes along, it's going to attract more and more negativity like a magnet.
If gratitude is one of the key secrets to happiness, then bitterness is its polar opposite.
And it doesn't need much to get started. We just need to decide to hold on to a few minor grievances, and nature will take it from there.