It’s not easy to be unhappy all of the time, especially when you’re dealing with recovering from narcissistic abuse – even more so if you’re still in the relationship or dealing with the after-effects of it. You have to really work at it by developing and maintaining habits that prevent happiness and encourage unhappiness. Just as certain habits will fill your bank account or keep your waistline under control, there are several habits that will ensure that you’re unhappy.
See how many of these habits you’re currently guilty of applying to your own life.
These habits create an environment that allows unhappiness to flourish:
Pessimism. Research shows that pessimists tend to be more accurate than optimists, but optimists are much happier! Expecting bad things to happen ruins your mood and increases the possibility of negative outcomes. This can be a challenging habit to change. Ask yourself what you’re gaining by holding negative expectations in your conscious awareness.
Failure to remain focused on the present. Everything that’s meaningful is happening in your life right now. The past is over, and much of the future is completely beyond your control.
Thinking about enjoyable experiences from the past is distracting. Focusing on negative past experiences creates regret. Any time spent thinking about the past is ultimately counterproductive.
Thoughts of the future create anxiety. When you focus on the future, you tend to worry and experience stress.
One of the biggest regrets anyone can have is the belief that they’ve wasted time. Spending too much time thinking about the future or the past is a waste of time and creates a more challenging present.
Placing too much emphasis on money and possessions. Our society places a premium on the wealth and impressive items that often accompany success. However, there is a poor correlation between wealth and happiness. Studies show that an income above $75,000 does nothing to increase happiness.
You’ll also find that the neighbors are a lot less concerned with your swimming pool and fancy car than you expected.
Being financially secure is a worthy goal. An obsession with wealth is more likely to create unhappiness than to cure it.
Comparing yourself to others. While everyone might look more or less the same, there are significant differences between people. Some have more education than others. Some had kinder parents. People come from different economic backgrounds. There are a plethora of differences between you and others.
The best comparison you can make is between your present self and your past self. Maybe you’re overweight, but if you’re less overweight than you were last week, you have plenty of reason to be happy with yourself.
An obsession with perfection. Striving for perfection is a waste of time. Do the spoons really need to be perfectly stacked in the drawer? Nothing can ever be 100% perfect, so you’re setting yourself up to be miserable. Creating a standard that can never be reached is unhealthy and unproductive.
Complete tasks at an appropriate level and avoid trying to be perfect. Consider how to best use your time. The time you spend on perfection could be spent on something else.
If you’re less happy than you’d like, your habits might be to blame. The way you view the world and engage with it has an impact on your ability to experience happiness. How many of these habits are you guilty of committing? Are there any other habits you have that could be contributing to your unhappiness?
Examine your own habits and look for habits you can drop or alter. Think about new habits you can create that will move you toward happiness, and instill those habits instead.
“You can make more friends in two months by becoming genuinely interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.” ~Dale Carnegie
So listen, no one is liked by everyone—but most of us secretly wish we were. Whether or not you’re into the whole being popular thing, you need friends—and you need friends who aren’t your husband.
I know it’s hard to hear, but listen up: studies show that women who have close girlfriends are happier, healthier and live longer. No joke.
“The famed Nurses’ Health Study from Harvard Medical School found that the more friends women had, the less likely they were to develop physical impairments as they aged, and the more likely they were to be leading a joyful life,” reported Gale Berkowicz in a UCLAstudy on friendship among women.”In fact, the results were so significant, the researchers concluded, that not having close friends or confidants was as detrimental to your health as smoking or carrying extra weight.”
Right. So it doesn’t make you weird to want to be liked by everyone. But do you have to stop being who you are or go against your personal morals to make it happen? Nope. Absolutely not.
There are simple steps you can take to help you stand out to others in a positive way. And the best part is you won’t need to answer to your conscience.
Follow these guidelines and become popular with your morals intact:
Tell the truth–but be nice about it. Others appreciate when you’re honest. However, the way you say things matters greatly. You can make your point politely to avoid unnecessary drama.
If someone has done something offensive, you can point it out in a subtle way. Avoid making declarations in a crowd.
It sometimes helps if you state your concern as a question to the other person. Give them the chance to figure out what you want to reveal to them. They’ll appreciate you even more.
Develop a well-rounded knowledge base.The more things you know, the more easily you’ll fit into crowds. Having factual feedback makes you a point of interest and a “go-to” person for others.
Be careful to avoid sounding like a know-it-all. People can feel intimidated by that slightly arrogant approach.
Although you want to be likeable, gain the additional knowledge for yourself. Being well-rounded makes you a more marketable person. Other opportunities can come your way as well.
Volunteer your assistance. When you take the time to offer your help, it shows that you’re interested. Whether in a personal or professional circle, volunteering your assistance leaves a mark in the minds of others and makes you more likeable.
Avoid being too pushy, as if craving attention. Make a subtle announcement of your capabilities and willingness to help.
Sometimes, providing assistance without being asked can be amazing. Just be sure to not intrude on others, as it can sometimes be viewed as offensive. Instead, point out that you recognized a need and decided to offer your assistance.
Ask people what THEY think.Let them know you value their opinion. Whether good or bad, people like to feel important! Without being too dramatic or pushy with the approach, get some real help when you need it.
Let’s say you have a presentation to do. If you know a particular co-worker is good at presentations, ask them to rate the one you prepared. Take the feedback constructively, and say thanks at the end.
When you ask someone for help it shows that you recognize their strengths and it’s a great start to fostering a positive relationship.
As you follow these tips, you’ll see that gaining popularity isn’t about just doing whatever others want to do and going along with the crowd.
That strategy could, indeed, bring challenges to your moral code. Instead, by enhancing your personable nature, you can expect greater popularity in return.
Avoid dwelling on trying to make people like you. That never works. Just work toward enhancing your positive qualities and helping others to feel good about themselves. You’ll shine in any crowd!