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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 April 11, 2019

How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

Possessing strong communication skills will help you in every phase of your life. This is especially true in the workplace.

I have personally worked with several leaders who were masters of communication. A few were wonderful speakers who could tell a great story and get everyone in the room engaged. Those of us in attendance would walk away feeling inspired and eager to help with what came next. Others were very skilled at sharing a clear direction and job expectations.

I knew exactly what was expected of me and how to achieve my goals. This was the foundation of an energized and vibrant role I was in. What I have found is strong communication skills are incredibly helpful and sometimes critical in how well we perform at work.

Here we will take a look at how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

How Communication Skills Help Your Success

Strong communication skills pave the way for success in many ways. Let’s look at a few of the big ones.

Create a Positive Experience

Here are two examples of how well developed communication skills helps create a positive experience:

When I first moved to the city I now live in, I began a job search. Prior to my first live interview, I was told an address to go to. Upon arriving at the address provided, I drove around and around attempting to find the location. After 15 minutes of circling and looking for the address, I finally grabbed a parking spot and set out on foot.

What I discovered was the address was actually down an alley and only had the number over the door. No sign for the actual company. The person that gave me those very unclear directions provided a bad experience for me.

Had they communicated the directions to get there in a clear manner, my experience would have been much better. Instead the entire experience started off poorly and colored the entire meeting.

As a recruiter, I frequently provide potential candidates with information about a job I’m speaking to them about. In order to do this, I also provide a picture of the overall company, the group they might be joining, and how their role fits in and impacts the entire company.

Time and time again I have been told by candidates that I have provided the clearest picture of a company and role they have ever heard. They have a positive experience when I clearly communicate to them. Even when the position does not work out for them, often times they will want to stay in touch with me due to the open communication and beneficial experience they had during the interviewing process.

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Strong communication skills will provide a positive experience in virtually any interaction you have with someone.

Help Leadership Skills

It’s certainly a skill all its own to be able to lead others.

Being a mentor and guiding others towards success is a major hallmark of great leaders. Another characteristic of effective leaders is the ability to communicate clearly.

As I referenced above, having a leader who can plainly articulate the company’s mission and direction goes a really long way towards being the Captain of the boat that others want to follow. It’s like saying “here’s our destination and this is how we are going to get there” in a way that everyone can get on board with.

Another critical component of everyone helping to sail the boat in the right direction is knowing what your portion is all about. How are you helping the boat move towards its destination in the manner than is consistent with the leaders’ vision?

If you have a boss or a manager that can show you what it takes for not only you to be successful, but also how your performance helps the company’s success then you’ve got a winner. A boss with superior communication skills.

Build Better Teams

Most of us work in teams of some sort or another. During the course of my career, I have led teams up to 80 and also been an individual contributor.

In my individual contributor roles, I have been part of a larger team. Even if you are in business for yourself, you have to interact with others in one manner or another.

If you have strong communication skills, it helps to build better teams. This is true whether you are in an IT department with 100 other fellow programmers or if you own your own business and have customers or vendors you communicate with.

When you showcase your robust ability to communicate well with others while interacting with them, you are building a better team.

Now let’s jump in to how to improve communication skills to help you pave the way for your workplace success.

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How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

There are many tips, tricks, and techniques to improve communication skills. I don’t want to overwhelm you with too much information, so let’s focus on the things that will provide the biggest return on your time investment.

Most of these tips will be fairly easy to become aware of but will take time and effort to implement. So let’s go!

1. Listen

Ever heard the saying you have two ears and one mouth for a reason? If you haven’t, then here’s the reason:

Being a good listener is half the equation to being a good communicator.

People who have the ability to really listen to someone can then actually answer questions in a meaningful way. If you don’t make the effort to actively listen, then you are really doing yourself and the other person a disservice in the communication department.

Know that person who is chomping at the bit to open his or her mouth the second you stop talking? Don’t be that person. They haven’t listened to at least 1/2 of what you’ve said. Therefore the words that spill out of their mouth are going to be about 1/2 relevant to what you just said.

Listen to someone completely and be comfortable with short periods of silence. Work on your listening skills first and foremost.

2. Know Your Audience

Knowing your audience is another critical component to having strong communication skills. The way you interact with your manager should be different than how you interact with your kids. This isn’t to say you need to be a different person with everyone you interact with. Far from it.

Here is a good way to think about it:

Imagine using your the same choice of words and body language you use with your spouse while interacting with your boss. That puts things in a graphic light!

You want to ensure you are using the type of communication most relevant to your audience.

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3. Minimize

I have lunch with a business associate about 3 times a year. We’ve been talking for several years now about putting a business deal together.

He is one of those people that simply overwhelms others with a lot of words. Sometimes when I ask him a question, I get buried beneath such an avalanche of words that I’m more confused than when I asked the question. Needless to say this is most likely a large portion of why we never put the deal together.

Don’t be like my lunch business associate. The goal of talking to or communicating with someone is to share actual information. The goal is not to confuse someone, it’s to provide clarity in many cases.

State what needs to be stated as succinctly as possible. That doesn’t mean you can’t have some pleasant conversation about the weather too.

The point is to not create such an onslaught of words and information that the other person walks away more confused than when they started.

4. Over Communicate

So this probably sounds completely counter intuitive to what I just wrote about minimizing your communication. It seems like it might be but it’s not.

What I mean by over communicating is ensuring that the other person understands the important parts of what you are sharing with them. This can be done simply yet effectively. Here’s a good example:

Most companies have open enrollment for benefits for the employees in the fall. The company I work for has open enrollment from November 1 to 15. The benefits department will send out a communication to all employees around October 1st, letting them know open enrollment is right around the corner and any major changes that year. There’s also a phone number and email for people to contact them with any questions.

Two weeks later, we all get a follow up email with basically the same information. We get a 3rd communication the week before open enrollment and another one 1 day before it starts.

Finally we get 2 emails during enrollment reminding us when open enrollment ends.

There’s minimal information, it’s more of a reminder. This is effective over communication.

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5. Body Language

The final critical component to how to improve communication skills for workplace success is body language. This is something most of us have heard about before but, a reminder is probably a good idea.

When I am in a meeting with someone I am comfortable with, I tend to kind of slouch down in my chair and cross my arms. When I catch myself doing this, I sit up straight and uncross my arms. I remember that crossing arms can many times be interpreted as a sign of disagreement or conflict.

In general, the best rule of thumb is to work towards having open body language whenever possible at work. This means relaxing your posture, not crossing your arms, and looking people in the eye when speaking with them.

When you are speaking in front of others, stand up straight and speak in a clear voice. This will convey confidence in your words.

Conclusion

Possessing strong communication skills will help you in many facets of your life and most certainly in the workplace.

Good communication helps create better teams, positive experiences with those we interact with, and are critical for leadership.

There are numerous tactics and techniques to be used to improve communication skills. Here we’ve reviewed how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

Now go communicate your way to success.

More Resources About Effective Communication

Featured photo credit: HIVAN ARVIZU via unsplash.com

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