In this uncertain world, it’s comforting to know one thing for sure. You can be as unhappy as you want to be, for as long as you like. Autonomy and authenticity are underrated. You’re just as entitled to your emotions as anyone else. Your irritation is real. You’ll always be able to find someone who will validate that. Venting is a surefire way to find people who won’t expect you to fake a positive attitude when you don’t feel it. That can be never, if you want. You never have to feel happy, positive, cheerful, or satisfied. Don’t listen to anyone who tries to convince you otherwise. There is only one way to feel, and that’s the default that was programmed into everyone at birth.
People only come in certain types. Some people are born with certain dispositions, and others are born with different ones. That’s the first thing you have to understand if you want to maintain a steady level of realistic, pragmatic unhappiness. Everyone gets a fate. It’s unchangeable. Just as you can’t change your personality or your “habits” (same thing, duh), you can’t change the events that happen to you. It is important to realize this before you begin the process of social comparison. Always compare yourself to others. You can tell at a glance everything about another person. Happy people get everything. It really is unfair because it’s obvious they don’t deserve the love, friendship, career, or fitness level that they keep showing off. The least they could do is to have the grace to hide themselves, so you don’t have to look at them. Envy is uncomfortable, and that’s a kind of unhappiness that you’d rather not feel as often as the other kinds, but what can you do?
The most annoying thing is when supposedly happy people insist on handing out advice. They’re always congratulating themselves on how they swallowed the Kool-Aid and bought into this stupid claptrap. Ooh, gratitude this, optimism that. Blah blah blah, kumbaya. “Do something nice for someone else.” It’s a pyramid scheme. Don’t fall for it. The only reason it works is because they all decided those were the rules. They fake it until they recruit you, and then they lobotomize you and send you out to recruit others. If you want a job, you’re supposed to follow their rules about communication and collaboration. If you want to date, you’re supposed to make up some BS profile and pretend you enjoy a bunch of stuff. If only you could be honest and just say up front that you don’t want to be happy together, you want to be unhappy together. Or not. Unhappy and alone is okay, too. It’s better than lying or trying to pretend to have a different personality.
The trouble is that everything anyone would really want, other than a clear-eyed, accurate view of the world, falls from the sky. It’s irrational. Certain people get a soulmate. Other people get dream jobs. Other people are born athletic. They like to humble-brag about how they “worked on themselves” or spent however much time training or going back to school or “building a business.” Like the same thing would work for anyone else. Come on. If you listen to them, you’ll just get your hopes up. How much time are you going to waste trying to copy someone else’s plan? You might as well just give up and start writing out New Year’s Resolutions or some such garbage.
Always assume the worst. It’s documentable that you’ll be right more often. Optimists live longer, but who would want that anyway in this dumb old world? That’s like having a longer-lasting marriage by pretending the other person isn’t a total pain in the neck. Or not being first on the layoff list at work by keeping your grievances to yourself. Why shouldn’t you be able to speak up as often as you like about your dissatisfactions? Break the ice. Create an atmosphere in which everyone feels free to voice even the most trivial complaint. How else will anything get done? Negativity is necessary. Just because people don’t like hearing criticism and contempt doesn’t mean they should get their way, especially if it’s legitimate. What are they, babies? “You suck; deal with it.” There, doesn’t that feel better?
Take everything personally. Everything other people do has a private message for you if you pay attention. If someone says something that hurts your feelings, it probably was deliberate. Other people most likely feel just as much hostility, defensiveness, and scorn as you do. Maybe they’re even holding back and it’s worse than you had guessed.
There are other ways to nail down your unhappiness level, and you should really focus on them, because it takes vigilance to keep this outlook from being polluted by supposedly altered perspectives. Let your personal environment reflect your interests, which should include dim lighting and as much sedentary behavior as possible. Anyone who comes over should be able to see how little value you place on such deranged ideals as comfort, hospitality, cleanliness, or interior design. “Organized,” pfft. Tell them to call back when they’re done alphabetizing their socks. Or not. Eat whatever you want; it doesn’t really matter anyway, because it’s not like learning to cook would be any less dissatisfying than any other meal. Eat what you want, do what you want, wear what you want, and definitely say what you want. Always do what comes naturally, because obviously that’s worked out according to plan.
Best of luck on your quest for permanent unhappiness. That’s a paradox, isn’t it? Everyone knows that everything in life is awarded according to some inscrutable system of luck, fate, and mystical forces. Yet on the other hand, it’s possible to be unhappy if you work on it. It’s like the loophole that proves free will. The one area where you can dictate what happens to you, the one and only time in life, is when you’re somehow allowed to exert your independence and feel as unhappy as you think you deserve to be.
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I've been working with chronic disorganization, squalor, and hoarding for over 20 years. I'm also a marathon runner who was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and thyroid disease 17 years ago.