People who suffer from chronic unhappiness usually have these 10 traits

Have you ever met someone who seems to carry a perpetual cloud of discontent?

Perhaps you’ve even felt the weight of chronic unhappiness in your life.

While fleeting moments of sadness are inevitable, some people find themselves in the grip of chronic unhappiness—a persistent shadow that colors every aspect of their lives.

Let’s delve into 10 traits commonly associated with chronic unhappiness.

By recognizing these traits, we can gain insight into our behaviors and take steps towards cultivating a more fulfilling and joyful existence.

1) They view the world pessimistically

Chronic unhappiness often manifests in a pessimistic outlook on life.

People with chronic unhappiness often view the world through a pessimistic lens, expecting the worst in every situation.

They anticipate a new project will fail before attempting it; they assume a social event will be horrendous and make excuses not to go.

This negativity influences their choices, leading to a cycle of disappointment and missed opportunities.

It’s a depressing cycle that colors their perceptions, weakens their immune system and leads them to overlook potential opportunities for growth and fulfillment.

Instead, cultivate a more optimistic outlook by practicing gratitude and focusing on silver linings in challenging situations.

2) They focus on the bleakest outcome

Not only is there pessimism, but people plagued by chronic unhappiness tend to focus on the bleakest outcomes, envisioning worst-case scenarios in various aspects of life.

They may anticipate failure in their career endeavors, imagining the most catastrophic consequences of their actions.

For instance, someone might fear starting a new business because they envision bankruptcy and ruin rather than considering the potential for success and growth.

This tendency to dwell on worst-case scenarios can paralyze people, preventing them from taking risks and seizing opportunities for personal and professional advancement.

Challenge catastrophic thoughts by evaluating evidence objectively and consider more balanced perspectives.

Mindfulness meditation and cognitive-behavioral techniques can help break this cycle, encouraging a more present-focused and less judgmental outlook.

3) They resist change

Change is a constant, yet for those ensnared by chronic unhappiness, it represents a source of fear and anxiety.

They often cling to familiar routines and environments for comfort and security. They fear the unknown and view change as a threat to their stability and well-being.

For example, someone might resist moving to a new city for a job opportunity because they fear leaving behind their familiar social circle and adapting to a new environment.

This resistance to change can hinder personal growth and prevent individuals from exploring new opportunities that could lead to greater fulfilment and happiness.

Cultivate a mindset of openness and adaptability.

Embrace change, seek out new experiences, and adopt a growth mindset. It might catalyze development and lead to discoveries of previously unknown sources of happiness.

4) They withdraw from social connections

Just as they resist change, chronic unhappiness often leads individuals to avoid social connections and isolate themselves from others.

They may struggle to initiate or maintain meaningful relationships, feeling disconnected and alienated from those around them.

For example, someone might decline invitations to social gatherings or avoid reaching out to friends and family members due to low self-worth or fear of rejection.

This social isolation can exacerbate feelings of loneliness and depression, further perpetuating the cycle of unhappiness.

To overcome social withdrawal, cultivate social connections and engage in activities that foster a sense of belonging and community.

Even if it means stepping out of your comfort zone, foster connections to provide support, decrease loneliness, and offer a new perspectives. 

Seeking support from trusted friends or a therapist can also provide valuable emotional support and help individuals overcome feelings of isolation.

5) They engage in unhealthy comparisons

Ironically, despite withdrawing from social circles, the compulsion to compare oneself unfavorably to others is another trait that fuels chronic unhappiness.

People who do this may measure their own worth and success against external standards. It often leads individuals to engage in unhealthy comparisons with others.

For example, someone might envy a colleague’s career advancement and feel resentful towards them rather than celebrating their achievements and focusing on their own goals.

This comparison trap can erode self-esteem and self-worth, perpetuating unhappiness and discontent.

Instead, practice gratitude and focus on your strengths and accomplishments.

Embrace your unique path and focus on personal growth rather than comparison to mitigate these feelings of envy and inadequacy.

6) They pursue perfection

overthinking root unhappiness People who suffer from chronic unhappiness usually have these 10 traits

These unhealthy comparisons can lead to the relentless chase for perfection.

They pursue perfection in various aspects of their lives, setting impossibly high standards for themselves and others.

This unattainable quest often leads to a perpetual sense of inadequacy and dissatisfaction.

For example, someone might strive for perfection in their appearance, obsessing over every flaw and imperfection instead of accepting themselves as they are.

This relentless pursuit of perfection can lead to anxiety, depression, and a diminished sense of self-worth.

To break free from this cycle, practice self-compassion and embrace imperfection.

Recognize that nobody is perfect and that mistakes are a natural part of learning. Learn to accept and embrace imperfection and celebrate progress over perfection to foster a sense of accomplishment and self-worth.

7) They lack self-compassion

As we have seen in their sense of inadequacy, chronic unhappiness often stems from a lack of self-compassion, as individuals struggle to extend kindness and understanding towards themselves.

They may be overly critical of their perceived flaws and failures and engage in negative self-blame.

For example, someone berates themselves for making a mistake at work, interpreting it as evidence of incompetence rather than viewing it as a learning opportunity.

This internalized self-criticism can erode self-esteem and perpetuate feelings of unhappiness and inadequacy.

To cultivate self-compassion, practice self-care and self-kindness.

Treating oneself with the same kindness and understanding that one would offer to a friend can help individuals foster a more compassionate relationship with themselves.

8) They fear failure

The last two traits come from the fear of failure, which significantly paralyzes individuals from pursuing their goals and dreams. 

This fear often arises due to a lack of self-confidence and an overemphasis on perfectionism, resulting in procrastination and avoidance of challenges. 

Chronic unhappiness is often rooted in this fear, as individuals shy away from taking risks or following their passions due to apprehension of judgment or rejection.

For instance, someone might hesitate to chase their dream career, fear they don’t meet societal expectations or anticipate criticism from others. 

This fear of failure confines individuals to unfulfilling jobs or relationships, favoring familiarity over potential growth and fulfillment. As a consequence, they may harbor feelings of regret and unfulfilled potential.

Reframing failure as a natural aspect of the learning process is crucial. Embracing a growth mindset, where challenges are opportunities for growth rather than threats, can fundamentally alter your approach to fear and failure. 

Resilience and perseverance can help navigate setbacks with optimism and resilience.

9) They struggle to express emotions

Despite such intense emotions, people grappling with chronic unhappiness often encounter difficulties in expressing their emotions effectively. 

This struggle may result in suppressed feelings, leading to heightened stress, anxiety, and even depression. 

For instance, someone might conceal their sadness or anger behind a façade of happiness, reluctant to burden others with their emotions or fearful of appearing vulnerable.

This emotional suppression hampers individuals from forming genuine connections with others and impedes their ability to seek support and validation. 

Encouraging open communication, fostering supportive relationships, and potentially engaging in therapy can facilitate the articulation of these pent-up emotions. 

Practices such as journaling or engaging in creative arts can also serve as outlets for expression, offering a pathway toward healing and emotional clarity.

10) They disconnect from the present

Perhaps the last trait, a coping mechanism, means those afflicted by chronic unhappiness struggle to stay present in the moment, dwelling on past regrets or worrying incessantly about the future.

They may miss out on simple pleasures and opportunities for joy by constantly ruminating on what could have been or what might be.

For example, someone might spend an entire vacation worrying about work deadlines instead of immersing themselves in the present moment and enjoying their surroundings.

This detachment from the now robs individuals of the joy found in daily experiences and the beauty surrounding them.

To reconnect with the present, practice mindfulness and cultivate awareness of your thoughts and emotions.

Engaging in activities such as meditation, deep breathing, and yoga can help individuals develop a greater sense of presence and appreciation for the beauty of each moment.

Happiness is a habit

Recognise these traits to embark on a transformative journey toward happiness and fulfillment. 

From the pessimistic outlook that clouds judgment to the fear of failure that stifles growth, each trait presents both an obstacle and an opportunity for personal development. 

The pursuit of happiness is an ongoing journey, not a final destination. 

Every small step forward represents a victory towards a brighter, more hopeful future.

Picture of Pearl Nash

Pearl Nash

Pearl Nash has years of experience writing relationship articles for single females looking for love. After being single for years with no hope of meeting Mr. Right, she finally managed to get married to the love of her life. Now that she’s settled down and happier than she’s ever been in her life, she's passionate about sharing all the wisdom she's learned over the journey. Pearl is also an accredited astrologer and publishes Hack Spirit's daily horoscope.

Enhance your experience of Ideapod and join Tribe, our community of free thinkers and seekers.

Related articles

Most read articles

Get our articles

Ideapod news, articles, and resources, sent straight to your inbox every month.

0:00
0:00