Wednesday, June 8, 2011

DAY 248 – Do Some People Just Like Being Miserable?

“Some people just like being miserable”, is a rock solid thesis ... in our culture.

But, if we were to release the death grip we have on it, it would plummet like a stone.

Remember, “solid” often refers to a hardening, not necessarily to truth.

And trust me, I have heard all the “proof” supporting the fact that “they” just like being miserable. “They” just want the attention; I know.  Secondary gain; right.

I Google-searched “people like to be miserable”. Have a look at these 2 blog posts from the first page of the search results:

14 Great ways to be miserable
"I have finally come to the conclusion that some people like to be miserable, that they actually feel happier when they are miserable. I’m sure that is an oxymoron, but I am guessing you know the kind of people I mean and we’re on the same page."

Some People Want to be Miserable
"There's at least one thing I've learned in my life: there are some people who want to be miserable. For whatever reason they feel more validated or more connected to reality by feeling bad or by making others feel bad."

Notice in both posts, the leap of faith, or what might be called a leap of dogma. In the first blog the author admits that liking to be miserable “is an oxymoron”. In the second blog the author is apparently not compelled to even consider why one would like to be miserable, and instead leaves us with the worthless explanatory phrase, “For whatever reason”.

This rock solid thesis is about as valid as “some people just like to drown”. Fortunately, most of us understand that the majority of folks who drown, don’t know how to swim, or are unable to survive for other reasons. Disoriented swimmers are known to fail to grab a life-preserver that is within arm’s reach. Does that mean that they like to drown?

What about the idea that some, if not many miserable people don’t know how to swim; don’t know how to swim their way out of misery? Is it possible that many are truly disoriented, and see no life-preserver, no way out?

Would it not be more humane to at least give miserable people the benefit of the doubt until we can prove on an individual basis that they actually like being miserable? Miserable until proven guilty?


  1. That's an interesting thought. I know I have thought it about specific people, and I'm sure with all my chat about chronic illness I'm sure some people think it about me. (I consider myself a very happy person that also has a chronic health issue.)

    I very much like the analogy that they "don't know how to swim their way out." I think it's very true that some people only see one way of getting the attention that they legitimately need, and that it's a negative reinforcement model. Some people don't even recognize there's another way.

    1. Thank you Cherizac! Maybe the ill person is not looking for attention, anymore than is the drowning person.