By David Joel Miller.
How to create a miserable life – let me count the ways.
1. Require yourself to be perfect.
No matter how well you do at anything tell yourself you should have done better. Flog yourself repeatedly because you “should have” done better. Carefully avoid ever giving yourself credit for anything you ever do right.
2. Compare yourself to others constantly.
Look for someone who is taller, smarter, richer or better looking. Keep comparing yourself until you find people who were better at something than you. Did you win a gold medal at the Olympics? Was there someone who won two? Did someone win 5 or 7 once? Did a medalist run for congress? There must be someone out there who was better than you!
3. Discount all your accomplishments.
Did you get the highest score on a test? Well you should have done better. You were just lucky that day. Tell yourself that your accomplishment is no big thing. Do it right ten times in a row, remind yourself that you might fail next time.
4. Call yourself names.
Remember to call yourself stupid or ugly several times a day. Repeat over and over “I am a looser.” Need help thinking of insults? Call those around you names and encourage them to call you names back.
5. Focus on your disabilities.
Remind yourself that you are too tall or too short. Can you claim to be too dumb or too smart? Anything can be a disability if you can find a way to allow this to hold you back.
6. If someone gives you a compliment toss it back.
Instantly dismiss any compliments. If they really knew you they would not have said that. You know you are not worthy. It was no big deal. Anyone else would have done it better, right?
7. Become indignant when anyone criticizes you.
How dare them to criticize a helpless person like you. Do not ever take any critique in a positive way. If you are not the best at something know it is because you are worthless not because you have something yet to learn. Make no effort to improve yourself and remind yourself that they are just criticizing you because the hate you and think you are worthless.
If things start going too good mess it up. Get drunk, do some drugs, gamble it all away. No point in being good if you can’t have fun. No reason to have fun if you can’t take it to revolting extremes.
9. Hang out with negative people who will agree that you should be miserable.
Avoid those suspicious positive people. Look for the Gloomy Gus’s of the world. They know what is up and will not mislead you with any of that happiness stuff.
10. Never do something when you can complain.
Take no action that might change anything. Especially avoid changing you. Make sure you complain often and loudly until someone agrees with you that things are bad and you are worse.
11. Neglect self-care – you don’t deserve it.
Taking care of yourself is a waste of time and money. A miserable person does not deserve anything and you are out to deprive yourself as much as possible.
12. Make lists of things that could go wrong.
Look for misery anywhere you can find it. Catalog all the things that could go wrong. Watch the news and look for the awaiting catastrophes. Imagine all the failures and diseases you or your family could get and hide from them. Worry about what could go wrong but under no circumstance should you do anything to prevent catastrophes or protect yourself.
13. Work at a job you hate.
Pick a dead-end job and stay there until you die. Carefully avoid any effort to improve your job or career. Never get more education or learn new skills. There is no point in trying as you know that happiness is an allusion and everyone hates their job. If you start to like your job become suspicious and quit. Take a new job that is less rewarding. Good things can’t last so if this is too enjoyable it is bound to go wrong soon.
Tim’s post started as 12 ways but ended as 14 ways. Since I was not sure that would be enough ways to create misery I have come up with 13 more ways. If you need more ways to be miserable check out the list at CYT.
Now should you decide you have had enough misery and want some recovery try doing the opposite of these suggestions.
Any of you have other ways you have made yourself miserable that you would care to share? What are you doing to move from misery to happiness? What has worked to make your life happy?
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For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page. For information about my other writing work beyond this blog check out my Google+ page or the Facebook author’s page, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the “books, trainings and classes” category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books