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10 Things Unhappy People Do That You Shouldn’t Be Doing

10 Things Unhappy People Do That You Shouldn’t Be Doing

Living an unhappy lifestyle only leads to a wasted lifetime. Life is short, so why waste a minute feeling upset about things that you can’t control?

While we should all embrace our negative emotions instead of neglecting them, don’t let your sadness linger.

If you want to live a happier life, take notes of what unhappy people do so you know what to avoid.

1. They seek approval from others.

Unhappy people look for happiness in the wrong places. They spend their time focusing on what others think of them, when they should focus on themselves. An unhappy person concentrates on trying to please others, in an effort to gain approval.

This is something we should refrain from doing. You cannot always gain approval from others, nor can you tailor your beliefs to suit others. You will only find dissatisfaction in this. To be happy you must put yourself and your beliefs first. Do what makes you happy and not what others will approve others.

2. They need to be in control of everything.

Unhappy people need to feel like they are in control. They want to ensure they know every detail, to enable them to have full control. They believe that by having full control, they have the ability to stop any negative side effects.

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But you cannot control everything. Life is uncertain and unpredictable, meaning you cannot prepare against everything. When you go into full control mode, you find that you waste too much energy. Yet in the end, things can change and your efforts are wasted. So don’t spend all your time focusing on every detail. Accept that you cannot control everything. Try your best and let whatever happens, happen.

3. They don’t take risks.

Unhappy people have a habit of not taking risks. When they handed opportunities they often decline the invite, or find excuses not to. For example, a friend may ask them if they want to go go-karting at the weekend. An unhappy person’s first response would be whether they can afford it, or how scary go-karting seems like (how risky it is). Their own fear stops them from taking that opportunity, thus not taking a risk. The problem with this is the more you decline, the more fearful a situation becomes.

You need to let go and take risks to be happy. Saying no to life’s opportunities only stops you from living your life fully. So don’t let excuses hold you back, if you can do it, then go ahead!

4. They focus on what they don’t have.

Unhappy people see the negatives in life, their main focus being what they don’t have. They tell themselves, “if only I had this job, I’d be happier” or “if only I had more time, I could focus on my real talents”. Unhappy people believe that they need something they don’t have to be happier. Their focus remains on these things they don’t have, making their everyday life boring and unsatisfying.

Maybe it would be better if you had a different job or you had more time on your hands. But that shouldn’t stop you from living in the now. If you did get that dream job, there will always be something more you want (more money, more time and so forth).

You need to remember to focus on what you do have, or what is good in your current situation. Do you have great friends and family around you? Do you have a roof over your head and money so you can pay bills? Use that time and energy spent on dreaming about a different life and enjoy what you have.

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5. They don’t follow their heart.

Unhappy people have a way of focusing on the details. Because of this they tend to think about things logically, using their brain and not their heart. They ignore their gut instinct and choose to think things through, weighing out the pros and cons.

Yet what do the movies tell you? Do they tell you to list the pros and cons? No, they tell you to follow your heart to be happy. The pros and cons may tell you not to go to your friend’s birthday party, but what if your heart told you otherwise?

Your heart is the key to your happiness. You should trust it to guide you to what you want in life. So next time you need to make a decision, listen to your gut instinct.

6. They see only the negatives.

If you haven’t already gathered, unhappy people see only the negatives in life. Their whole outlook on life is that the world is a miserable place. They don’t see the positives in life, like the goods things in their life. They see only the negatives in life, like what they don’t have and what is going wrong in their life. This makes unhappy people pessimistic.

When faced with challenges in life, you shouldn’t focus on the negatives. I know easier said than done, but you really should try looking at the focuses in a situation.

Have you gained anything out of this situation? Perhaps that lost job opportunity means you have a shot at a better job. Sometimes it may seem like there are only negative results, however you can still find the positives. Just think, what have you gained from this experience? Has this taught you more about yourself and what you like? Has it provided you with the skills to be more prepared next time? Remember, you can always find a positive in a situation.

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7. They hold on to grudges.

Unhappy people don’t let go of grudges and instead hold onto the painful memory. They ask themselves questions like “What if…” and “Why did this happen?” They find it hard to connect with people who have wronged them and find it difficult to forgive them. Instead they choose to dwell on what others have done and the hurt they have felt.

You should never be unhappy because of something someone has done to you. Yes, it might be unfair and totally unjustified. You might wish you had said or acted differently, or that the wronged person would apologise. But it is wrong to think this way. It is wrong to let something in the past take over your life today.

Don’t let someone else’s actions or words control how you feel today. You are the one that will suffer by holding onto this painful memory. Learn to forget and forgive, because you deserve to be happy today.

8. They don’t take responsibility.

Unhappy people blame others when something goes wrong. Instead of taking responsibility, they will point their finger at someone. They might say something like, “If it wasn’t for Josie, I wouldn’t have stayed out late and made it to my morning lecture”.

What you should be doing is taking responsibility. By pointing the finger at someone else, you are unable to admit you did wrong. Soon, the blaming spirals out of control and you are blaming everything on someone else. Accept when you are wrong and learn from your mistakes. You cannot learn if you don’t see you are at fault.

9. They hang around the wrong crowd.

Unhappy people draw in others of their kind. It is said that you attract the energy you give, thus negative people attract more negative people. And being around negative people will lower your mood, giving you a more sombre outlook on life.

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If you want to be happy, don’t let yourself be surrounded by negative people. Negative people will drain your energy and influence you into a negative attitude. Only allow positive people to be around you, people who will spur you on, not focus on your flaws.

10. They don’t enjoy the present.

Unhappy people focus on the negatives in life. They look at what they don’t have and the negative experiences they have had. Because they are lost in their bitter memories, they are unable to focus on the present moment. With their thoughts preoccupying them, they are unable to have fun and let go.

True happiness is living in the present moment, to be able to have fun and enjoy life today. What happened in the past, or what may happen in the future, does not matter. You should enjoy this moment now. Get involved in conversation around you or simply watch those around you.

Enjoy this very moment you are in.

More About Living a Happy Life

Featured photo credit: Trym Nilsen via unsplash.com

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Jessica Charlotte

Jessica loves sharing her tips on life. She writes about happiness and motivation on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on July 15, 2020

How to Let Go of Toxic People in Your Life

How to Let Go of Toxic People in Your Life

“Entitlement is an expression of conditional love. Nobody is ever entitled to your love. You always have a right to protect your mental, emotional, and physical well-being by removing yourself from toxic people and circumstances.” -Dr. Janice Anderson & Kiersten Anderson

It’s not always obvious if you have someone toxic in your life. A toxic relationship is one that is harmful to you. A toxic person can create distress to the degree you feel inadequate and isolated. So, what makes a toxic person?

A toxic person has toxic behavior, meaning it’s not that the whole person is toxic[1]. It’s what they do that counts. Most toxic people run from accountability and misrepresent reality to you. They misrepresent your worth and your ability to heal from them can be stifled the longer you keep them in your life. You have a role to play with it as well; if your values are dismissed by them and you don’t act on it, you have allowed room for toxicity to grow.

When you are in a toxic relationship, you feel less than. You feel as though you are not worth anyone’s time or effort. You feel unheard, and sometimes you feel unsafe. You don’t feel good about yourself in a toxic relationship, whether it be with a partner, friend, or family member.

You may stay in a toxic relationship for a number of reasons. You may believe yourself to be a burden, have a lack of boundaries, resist change, fear conflict, try to be a people pleaser, find yourself codependent, or are partially stuck in a pattern or unhealthy cycle of abuse.

Letting go of toxic people may not be easy. In order to do so, you have to know why or how they are toxic to you and read between the lines that they do not have your best interests in mind.

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Letting go of toxic people is hard because you are good and want to see the good in others. You think their apologies are authentic. You have trouble believing they are being dishonest. You don’t spend time healing from it. You get pulled back into the pain because you don’t want it to end. However, if you feel like something isn’t right, it probably isn’t right.

You should walk away from a toxic person because you need to preserve your peace. You need to feel like yourself again. And you need better support.

Letting go of toxic people can involve four major steps.

1. Recognize the Red Flags

Red flags are signs a person is being toxic. It’s when someone shows characteristics that you should feel caution about. It’s when you feel any level of dissatisfaction and distrust. Trust your gut. When you recognize red flags, you can evaluate whether a person is trying to manipulate you or not. This gives you some level of control over what you allow in your life. The earlier you detect these behaviors, the better off you will be.

Red flags can include:

  • They always put themselves first.
  • They point out imperfections and sabotage your self-esteem.
  • You may feel drained or used when you’re around them.
  • What you give isn’t reciprocated. They don’t return the goodness you provide as a friend.
  • They ignore your boundaries and get angry when you tell them “no.”
  • You catch them in half truths or outright lies when you confront them about anything.
  • You are the villain; they are the victim.
  • Second chances always lead to repeated patterns of behavior.
  • They may engage in abuse.

2. Set Boundaries

There are emotional boundaries that one can set, but there are also physical ones[2]. You can leave any time. Setting boundaries is also an important part of self-care.

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You shouldn’t walk on eggshells. Tell them how you feel. Are they respecting you, fulfilling your needs, and listening to you? If not, it’s time to set up a healthy emotional distance and start letting go of toxic people around you.

There are levels to this. You have your inner circle, which could include family, and then you have acquaintances and strangers. If a toxic person is in your inner circle, it’s time to pull back and put up some boundaries for them to follow. If they can’t hear you out, you can cut off the connection completely.

You can give second chances, but you have to be careful. If someone knows they can get away with something, they will do it again. If there’s any chance for the relationship, they have to know not to cross certain lines.

3. Invest in Yourself

You deserve to know you are worthwhile. Try to remember that things will get better and that anything is possible. How do you do so? Invest in yourself.

This means self care, goal setting, surrounding yourself with positive support, and feeling a sense of peace. Your greatest ambition should be to love yourself. Without self-love, letting go of toxic people will be difficult.

Every relationship is a risk, but if you know yourself and what you will allow, toxic people will have less of a hold over you. If you are a giver or people pleaser, you are most at risk to being in a one-sided relationship. You shouldn’t be punished for caring, but sometimes trust needs to be earned. If you have self-love, you are treating yourself the best way possible. You know that others need to meet your standards; otherwise, they don’t get to be a part of your life.

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It’s possible that you can love yourself and still not see the signs. It can be difficult for some to be aware that toxic people exist. However,, if you know how much you mean to others in your life and what you are worth, you will be less likely to take on a relationship that is harmful to you or repeat negative patterns. Self-love is how we get out of toxic relationships, but it’s also how they never begin.

4. Know When Forgiveness Is Possible

There are times a person will prove their worth to you. They may make a mistake that makes them seem like a horrible person. They may forget to be good to you because of their own issues. They may just have no example of what a healthy relationship looks like. They may have an inflated ego that really comes from insecurity. The list goes on.

If they apologize, that’s a start. Look at their actions. Are they changing for the better because they really want to change or just seeming to in order to manipulate you? A person may control others with their image or perceived personality, but if you see through them, you may be able to discern the degree to which they are willing to be there for you.

If they start to do the right thing, you may begin to trust them again. Don’t start forgiving them until time has passed and you are sure there is growth, even if they show vulnerability or remorse. You can give a second chance if they truly have an awakening. Otherwise, it’s best to get out. Don’t let them walk all over you; let them walk out the door.

If you do give a second change and they still refuse to change, you have every right to remove them and continue the process of letting go of toxic people. The moment you even want to leave may also be a good time to get out. You don’t have to compromise yourself in order to care for them.

Forgiveness is the release of resentment or anger[3]. Forgiveness doesn’t mean reconciliation. You have to go back to the same relationship or accept the same harmful behaviors from someone. You don’t have to let them back in. You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do.

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Remember, forgiveness is ultimately for you, not them. You don’t need that person in your life in order to forgive them, and if you give them a second chance, proceed with caution.

Final Thoughts

Recognize the red flags, set boundaries, invest in yourself, and know when forgiveness is possible. This is how you cope with a toxic person impacting your life. You have power in the direction of your life and the people who accompany you as you move forward. Use it.

If a person is worthwhile, they will prove themselves through their actions, not their words. If they cross certain lines that really harm you, you owe them nothing. You have every right to feel what you feel and to be upset. Honor your feelings and communicate them because it’ll only continue to keep happening if you don’t.

If this is happening to you, it’s time to put a stop to it. It’s time to take control. It’s time to live for yourself, not for what others say about you. It’s time to set your standards higher than they’ve ever been before. And most of all, it’s time to let go.

Resource reminder: A physically abusive relationship is ALWAYS toxic. There are resources for you. Always speak up.

If you are in such a cycle or domestic violence or abuse reach out for help. For example, there is The National Domestic Violence Hotline (https://www.thehotline.org/) which can be reached at 1−800−799−7233. There are other ways to get help if you simply ask for it. 

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Featured photo credit: Hannah Busing via unsplash.com

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