Why You Love to Be Miserable and What to Do About It
It’s a common misconception that people don’t like to be angry, sad or miserable. A prolonged pity-party or rant-fest can actually be a form of emotional masturbation. Often we feel good whining, we feel good cussing, and dammitwe feel good beating ourselves up. We absolve ourselves of responsibility by being the victim while delighting in the pleasure of being our own abuser. For some of us, being upsetis often the closest we can get to feeling alive, and that can be addictive. Everybody does this to an extent…it’s normal, but there aretwo big problems:
Problem 1: You can’t abuse yourself in a vacuum. All thought creates form on some level. You’re living in a fool’s paradise if you think your behavior is excusable because you’re onlyhurting yourself. You are not onlyhurting yourself. The world needs you to be bigger, better and stronger. Abuse creates more abuse and the people around you WILL feel it. Most often the people around youwill feel this in the form of passive aggressive behavior. DO NOT beat yourself up out loud in someone else’s direction. That person will feel as if THEY are being punched.
Problem 2: The payoff is not worth the cost. The temporary relief we feel when we engage in this kind of emotional masturbation is ephemeral and surface-level. Much like drinking away your problems, this kind of behavior may give temporary relief but the hangover isn’t worth it. It’s one step forwardand six steps back. You can not grow if you are constantly fighting on behalf of your own worthlessness.
Solution : When you find yourself in the middle of this storm, notice it. Name it. “I’m in the storm.” DECIDE THAT YOU WANT TO FEEL BETTER. Take control. Acknowledge that you are in the driver’s seat and you would like to handle this situation differently. If you absolutelymust throw a fit or a pity-party (sometimes you have to) then take complete ownership of it. Knowthat your behavior is self-indulgent and you are allowing yourself this indulgence as an act of love to yourself…but don’t overdo it. Set a timer. No, FOR REAL SET A TIMER. Ten minutes. Twenty minutes, whatever you need. When the time is up, the time is up. Thank yourself for taking the time to feel what was present and move on. Shake it out. Run. Dance. Sing. Take a cold shower and literallywash this feeling off of you. It’s time to turn the page.