It’s only when we realise and acknowledge that we are each 100% responsible for our happiness that we start to ‘notice’ the things that we do that creates our unhappiness. Only when we fully accept responsibility for our own happiness will we start to eliminate the habits that sabotage our contentment and joy. They are habits that many of us have learned to justify (a habit in itself!) as we often don’t want to see and accept that they are the cause of our unhappiness. They are also habits that we sometimes want to see as ‘natural’ as they ‘seem’ to form the very fabric of our day-to-day relationships. They are the 7 habits of highly unhappy people.
Have you noticed when you judge another you lose your inner peace? And inner peace is the primary ingredient of authentic happiness. Not only do we learn to judge but close on the mental heals of our judgements often comes the sentence and the punishment! All together (judgment, sentence and punishment) they make up the package called ‘condemnation’ which is guaranteed happiness killer!
When we criticise it means we are attacking and somewhere ‘in there’ is usually anger albeit in a milder form. And when you are angry you cannot be happy. Yes some of us do attempt to justify our attack by calling it ‘constructive criticism’ but if there is any anger present it’s more often revenge or punishment in disguise! Definitely not a happy habit but a common one all the same.
It seems to be endemic in some cultures to complain. Complaining signals the presence of upsetness and therefore the absence of happiness. Whereas in ‘giving feedback’ and ‘making a request’ ensures there is no discontentment. Easy theory, but hard to practice, especially if we have been playing that old ‘complaining record’ all our life.
Projecting blame onto someone else is not only a happiness killer but usually a strategy to avoid responsibility. It’s driven by the perfect combination of anger and fear and is therefore a painful cry that sounds like, “It’s all your fault”, but which, when decoded, really means, “I have just made my self very unhappy”!
Trying to prove we are right, or attempting to make the other as right as us, is usually both a tense and grumpy affair. Neither side is happy in the process, and even if it seems one side has won, any happiness is short lived until the next opportunity to ‘be right’ is craved for and invoked! To argue is to tell the world that we prefer misery to merriment!
It’s not so easy to see why the habit of competing is an unhappy pastime. Most of us have assimilated the belief that competition is good, fun and even joyful.
But all we have to do is glance at the faces of long distance runners, tennis players and even snooker players and we will see 99% of the game is played in a state of abject suffering. Occasionally, in the middle of the game or the match, someone will let a little joy slip out, but it doesn’t last long. All competition contains fear by definition, which along with anger, are the sworn enemies of happiness.
Attempting to make others dance to our tune is always an impossible task. Expecting the world to be and do as we would wish is an expectation too far. Both are demonstrations that we still believe others are responsible for our happiness. It is a belief by which the world runs. If the truth were realise and lived i.e. that we are each responsible for our own happiness, the world would be a very different planet on which to live. One day perhaps!
So there you have it. Only seven of many habits that we activate sometimes several times a day. In so doing we block the light of the sun of happiness from shinning through our life. Each habit is embedded in a culture in which it has become socially acceptable to think and act in such ways. And so it is that we unknowingly collude with each other to sustain our unhappiness. And as we do we gift the 7 habits of highly unhappy people to the next generation!
Question: Which of the above do you find yourself doing most frequently (rate each on a scale of 1 Low to 5 high)
Reflection: Why do you think we all learn to sustain our own unhappiness and not realise that we do so?
Action: Take ten minutes and decide what would be the positive equivalent of each of the above