How to Make Yourself Miserable
I got a chuckle out of reading an article on misery which really hit home shortly after listening to a man in the supermarket 10-items-or-less checkout line yell at the woman ahead of him for having 12 items, then storm out of the store. He was a misery expert.
Here are some steps master family therapist Cloe Madenes puts forth for making yourself miserable, as laid out in her guide, “Honing Your Misery Skills” and summarized by Marilyn Preston in “8 easy steps to making yourself miserable” (Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Health/Fitness, 2/18/14).
Blame your parents for all your problems. After all they begat and made you who you are today. Avoid taking responsibility for yourself.
Complain as often as you can about being bored and how unexciting life is. Perhaps even create a crisis or two to perk yourself up. Do something that will bring a shift in your life, even if it’s not for the better.
Avoid finding pleasure in ordinary parts of life or even things other people find enjoyable. Think of pleasures as “guilty” and not something for you. Your time can be better spent being productive, right?
As Madanes instructs, “Worry constantly about the causes of your behavior, analyze your defects, and chew on your problems. This will help you foster a pessimistic view of life…The point is to ensure that even minor upsets and difficulties appear huge and portentous.”
Put effort into being critical and try to excel at being a contrarian which is sure to set you apart from others. Speak your mind without considering the impact your words or tone might have on other people.
Don’t feel grateful for what you have, but, rather, focus on what’s missing in your life and how much you’re suffering.
Develop and hold onto an identity of depression or negativity. Don’t lighten up or ever look at the bright side. Cling to your negativity.
Don’t do anything that doesn’t give you something back. Watch out only for yourself.
Not all these points will apply to every disregulated eater. If you can read the truths beneath Madanes’ therapeutic sarcasm, you’ll get what she’s saying, however: You always have a choice about what you think and how you act which makes you happy or miserable. If your goal is to be happier, then it’s time to view life and yourself in a way that generates happiness. Biology aside, happiness and misery are both decisions.