emotional wellbeing Mandy Kloppers

Ten Characteristics of Unhappy People

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1)They are in denial

Unhappy people are often in denial about their true circumstances in life. They use a series of defence mechanisms to prevent them from having to face various issues in their life. Denying that a problem exists does not make the problem go away. As a result, an unhappy person has to increase the defence mechanisms in order to keep reality at bay.

2)They blame others

Unhappy people do not take responsibility for their own lives. Instead they prefer to blame other people or general circumstances for their woes. They find it very difficult to accept that the situation they are in is due to their own choices that they have made in the past. This links in with the first point about denial. As they blame everybody else for their troubles, they do not realise that they have the power to fix things. This leads to inner tension and so the cycle continues.

3)They stay in their comfort zone

I often find that the people who are most frustrated with their lives are the ones that do not see life as an adventure. They prefer to stay in their comfort zone and surround themselves with things and people that make them feel comfortable. Monotony becomes the order of the day, and despite believing that staying in the comfort zone is best for them, this only serves to increase their feeling of insecurity in the world.If you do not explore what is out there, you do not have any other choice than to believe your dysfunctional beliefs. The trick is to do things anyway and then make a more realistic assessment.

4)They use a negative filter

Using a negative filter is a cognitive distortion whereby everything in life is viewed in a negative way. Have you ever been around somebody that scoffs at every suggestion you make tries to tear down your positivity by reminding you of all the things that could go wrong? This is an example of somebody using a negative filter. They find it impossible to see the positives in life. Again, this may be a defence mechanism associated with a core belief that if they expect the worst, they will never be disappointed. The problem with this attitude is that if you expect the worst, it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. The more negative you are, the more you notice all the bad things in the world. This can lead to resentment and bitterness.

5)They enjoy other people’s misery

Too much happiness and frivolity make unhappy people uncomfortable. As they say, misery loves company. They also don’t like it when other people are successful or seem to be having a full and happy life. Being reminded of what life can be like affects unhappy people and creates cognitive dissonance. Somewhere beneath all of that resentment and bitterness, they are aware that their lives could be happier. Staying grumpy works for them on many levels though and misery can become a normal way of being.They almost become irritated with happy people. Sadly, they often rejoice in other people’s misfortune as this serves to confirm to them that they were right all along.

6) They don’t have many friends

When somebody exudes negativity constantly, it can become a drain for people around them. As a result, miserable and bitter people tend to have fewer friends. Another factor that influences their social standing is the fact that they do not trust others easily. They are constantly suspicious of other people’s motives and build barriers around themselves, to prevent others from getting to know them. Instead of seeing friends as a positive and a good source of support, they see potential friends as people who will probably betray them.

7) They have an air of superiority

As part of their strategy to keep other people at a distance, unhappy people often act haughty or superior. They can act very opinionated and are often very judgemental of other people’s behaviour.

8) They often have unresolved issues

If you look back into an unhappy person’s past, it is highly likely that there will be an incident or an experience that has contributed to their negative outlook. Sadly, this shows that this person did not have the skills to manage the trauma or distress, effectively. Instead of dealing with the trouble and gaining closure, the challenges that life throws at them grind them down and leaves them with emotional scars. Due to the fact that they are often in denial, they will refuse to acknowledge that they have any unresolved issues. In fact, they will often be one of the first to scoff at the idea of counselling or therapy.

9) Unhappy people are eternal pessimists

Optimists have an uncanny way of buffering themselves emotionally from the difficulties we all face in life. Pessimists on the other hand, tend to always see the glass as half empty. They anticipate trouble. For them it is not an issue of “if”, but rather “when”.

10) They give very little back

People who have become bitter and resentful tend to have very little to give others.As a rule, they lack kindness and compassion for others. this is partly due to the fact that they have become thick-skinned due to past disappointments. The harder they become, the less emotion they have. They end up living in a very insular world consumed by their negative thinking.If you think that you are a negative person, or you know somebody who exhibits negative traits, it might be worth trying to find out why you/they are this way. No one is born angry and resentful. This is a learned behaviour. The younger person is, the more chance they have to rearrange their thinking and adopt a more positive attitude to the world. A negative mind cannot create a positive life.

Seek therapy if you are an unhappy person

Therapy can be a godsend if you are an unhappy person. No doubt you have become stuck in unhelpful thoughts and behaviours and this has become normalised. A therapist can help you to see the world differently and shake up your habitual patterns of being. Get in touch. I am happy to help you to become happy again!

Mandy X


Mandy Kloppers
Author: Mandy Kloppers

Mandy is a qualified therapist who treats depression, anxiety, OCD, PTSD, trauma, and many other types of mental health issues. She provides online therapy around the world for those needing support and also provides relationship counselling.