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10 Things That Chronically Unhappy People Do

10 Things That Chronically Unhappy People Do

Happy people don’t try for happiness. They don’t look for it. Happy people become happy as a sidenote to living their life the best way they can. Chronically unhappy people seem to want to fix their unhappiness and in doing so miss the mark all together. Happiness can’t be chased. It can’t be found. It can’t be grasped. It happens, when everything else falls into place.

You can’t fix unhappiness, unless you fix your inner dormant self. Wake up inside and make some changes. Happiness is grossly related to our actions, our choices and ultimately our thoughts. You can feel happy only as much as your mind will allow you. Fix your thoughts. Stretch your mind. Stretch your capacity to feel better.

Here are 10 common things chronically unhappy people do and how they can heal their life.

1.  They subscribe to fatalistic views of life.

Unhappy people quickly conclude the finality of something being impossible before giving it a chance for hope. “People can’t change.” “That is not fixable.” “You are finished.” These types of belief systems are self-limiting. They all happen to be fear driven. They keep you from trying alternatives, testing new ways, finding workarounds, solving problems. This kind of thinking holds people back from their actual potential.

“The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts.” – Marcus Aurelius

A closed mind cannot problem solve effectively. So to be happy throw aboard all you fatalistic beliefs and start being open-minded instead, thinking positive.

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2.  They stay stuck. They’re averse to change.

I get it. People need a break from the hustle of life, they throw the towel in, and e.g. eat more, exercise less. This is the time in their life when they become a spectator instead of a participant in life. Change means work, it means pain. It means getting out of the comfort zone. It means losing control a little bit.

Still, it’s important to practice change, feeling fear and overcoming it – because that’s where happiness starts shining through.  It happens when you aren’t focused on finding happiness, but focused instead on overcoming a fear. The evolution and growth of a person is where personal satisfaction and accomplishment breeds happiness. Without personal development we are expecting happiness to come without having done the work. Unhappiness is a symptom of arrested development. So get active and take your life in your own hands.

“Incredible change happens in your life when you decide to take control of what you do have power over instead of craving control over what you don’t.” – Steve Maraboli

3.  They don’t try enough.

Being unhappy is the same as giving up. It’s a choice you make every day to not try at something. We need to try new habits, try new relationships, try new activities, try new foods, try new knowledge. We need to keep trying to find ourselves at every stage of our lives. We need to try to be our best person. We need to try to serve.

Happiness is finding your passion. Your passion is the thing that you love so much that it causes you pain. Unhappy people quit too early. They don’t give themselves credit and quit before the glory. When we know what we’re made of, it give us confidence to try more often.

“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow.” – Mary Anne Radmacher

4.  They self deprecate.

They’re quick to quip, “I am such an idiot.” Or “I am terrible person.” You’ve got to be good to yourself and it starts by quitting the self inflicted verbal abuse. Happiness is derived from confidence and that inner belief in ourselves. You can’t be happy if you don’t love yourself. If you don’t love yourself, people can sense it and won’t want to love you either. Project outwards what you want projecting inwards.

“You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” – A.A. Milne

Your disposition is a product of your thoughts, how you treat yourself and how you nourish yourself. Treat yourself the way you would treat someone you love.

5.  They read, watch, hear dark and depressing things.

Something as simple as the news, is inherently depressing. It’s easy to get to a place where you want to hear the doom and gloom about the world and other people. We program ourselves to believe that our lives are better compared to the horror stories we hear. The problem is that we’re polluting our mind to attract those very things in our lives. Sad love songs are nice but do the songs you listen to correlate with the state of your relationships? What would happen if we exposed ourselves to funny, happy things?

“People are just as happy as they make up their minds to be.” –  Abraham Lincoln

Change your mindset. Decide how you want to feel and immerse yourself in a culture more happy.

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6.  They care about what others think.

It’s impossible to be happy if you spend worthless time thinking about outside judgements. Find out what YOU think and care only about that. Not how others stifle you. Feel strong about your own beliefs so that when people judge, you can stand confident. It takes major introspection to discover your authentic self, so don’t waste time on what others are thinking.

“Be true to yourself and you will never fall.” – Beastie Boys.

7.  They are defensive.

Instead of making things happen, things are happening to unhappy people. Living life in the defensive position is no play for happiness. Take nothing personal. Accept truth. Learn to be okay with it.

“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.” – Lao Tzu

Be open to taking chances, getting creative and working at something. Little achievements are big offensive moves.

8.  They are passionate and proud (but also stubborn).

Unhappy people want to do things their way. Given suggestions, they rebel even more positive that they are right. Sometimes it’s pride that gets in the way. Pride is just another barrier to happiness. Pride needs to be checked and wrecked. Pride is selfish and happiness is selfless. They have to be open to alternative ideas and solutions. If something is not working, try a new approach.

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“To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.” – Winston Churchill

Being humble is the answer to happiness. Do something different, if you want a different result!

9.  They hold on for too long.

Toxic relationships, sad memories, the past, material possessions, unfinished projects, unfinished tasks, clutter, feelings, grudges….the list goes on and on. Whether it’s de-cluttering, detoxing, reprioritizing or clearing the mind, there needs to be a consious effort to let go of the old, to make room for the new.

“All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another.” – Anatole France

One door must close for another to open! Holding on to the past and looking back, not forward, halts progress and happiness. The best things happen to those that don’t hold on too tightly. Let go of your grasp and watch how things fall into place without your efforts. Have faith in something other than yourself. Let go of control.

10.  They take themselves too seriously.

If you can’t find humor in your efforts or circumstances, then you’re taking yourself too seriously. Learn to laugh at yourself and at others. When people take themselves so seriously, they aren’t present. Step back and breathe, look at the big picture. Don’t be that person that tries too hard! Narcissism happens when you believe so strongly that only your own attributes can produce gratification. That’s a lot of pressure to put on oneself. Learn to be humble, accept help from others.

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Life is too short to be so serious.

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Last Updated on May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

Example 1

You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

Example 2

You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

Example 4

You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

  • Understand your own communication style
  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
  • Communicate with precision and care
  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

1. Understand Your Communication Style

To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

2. Learn Others Communication Styles

Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

“How do you prefer to receive information?”

This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

3. Exercise Precision and Care

A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

The Bottom Line

When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

Reference

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