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Happiness is within you, or is it? Sadly, many people find themselves miserable most of the time and can’t seem to find any happiness. Not only that, they have a really hard time making and keeping friends, including relationships.

So why is this? You’ll be surprised to learn that you might be the cause of most of your own misery. Sorry, not sorry?

Here is a short list of 15 things that you’re probably doing right now that are making you miserable.

All people have at least one of these, so don’t beat yourself up about it; rather, acknowledge it and work to make changes within yourself so you can be the best version of yourself!

In a world where you can be anything, choose to be kind. It does a lot for your own mental health, inner peace, and joy and makes life easier and more pleasant. You may even make new friends!

Manipulating Others

Examples of manipulation include blackmail, guilt trips, twisting facts, and more to control or influence someone else for your own personal gain.

Example: A husband or wife might say to their spouse, “If you really loved me, you’d quit your job and stay at home. I work so hard to provide for us, it’s unfair that you prioritize your career over our relationship. You’re being selfish and neglecting us; if you really cared about us, you’d make this sacrifice.”

These behaviors will keep you in defensive mode if your partner doesn’t cooperate and will lead to unnecessary arguments. Fighting leads to stress and anger, keeping you miserable. If you find that you are being manipulative, stop yourself and take a step back.

Sometimes, it’s a good idea to put yourself in the other person’s shoes. How would you feel?

Being Negative All the Time

Have you ever been to visit someone and left feeling completely drained? Negativity is contagious and extremely draining to the person on the receiving end. It includes excessive complaining and always seeing the negative side of everything. Make the effort to see the positive in situations.

Example: “Work is such a drag. It’s always a never-ending cycle of stress and misery. I can’t stand my job and I’m stuck in this dead-end career. Nothing ever goes right and it feels like I’m wasting my life away.”

If you catch yourself being negative, stop your words and change your attitude into a more pleasant, optimistic one. No one wants to listen to someone go on and on about negative stuff all the time. Trust me on that one.


The green-eyed monster is not a pretty one and can make people do some pretty absurd things. Jealousy is resentment and envy toward others when they have something you want or when something is being threatened to be taken away from you, e.g., a partner, a career aspect, or when your friend gets invited backstage at the last Taylor Swift concert.

Try to be happy for your friends when something good happens to them. Not only will it make you feel good to celebrate their joy with them, but good things will come your way, too!

Jealousy is heavy negative energy that will leave you feeling sorry for yourself and miserable. Dump it!


Talking behind someone’s back is disrespectful and childish, not to mention rude and unfair. Very often, the facts get twisted, stories become rumors, and they spread like wildlife, hurting or embarrassing someone along the way.

Gossip is immature and ignorant behavior. And remember how you felt when you learned that someone was gossiping about you? I imagine not very good.

Example: “Did you hear about Sarah? I don’t have all the details, but I heard she got into big trouble because she messed up in a big project at work. Isn’t that crazy?”

Next time you’re with a group of friends, and someone starts to gossip, change the topic and let your friends know you are no longer interested in gossiping. If they laugh at you or keep at it, be a grown-up and walk away.


Passive-aggressiveness is when a person does not confront an issue in an open and mature way but rather indirectly expresses their anger through actions such as silent treatment, making sarcastic remarks, or using subtle and negative comments.

Example: “Oh, don’t worry about me. I’ll just do everything by myself as always because that’s the way it is, and I’m used to it.”

I’ve been guilty of this one once or twice. I try to catch myself now.

Next time you find yourself gearing up to make someone feel guilty with your passive-aggressiveness, stop and think how you would feel if they did that to you. Find a more diplomatic and compassionate way to deal with the issue at hand.

Always Blaming Others

When a person cannot take responsibility for their own actions and constantly shifts the blame to other people, they do this for many different reasons, such as fear of the consequences, lack of self-awareness, self-preservation, and defensiveness.

This is also known as gaslighting and narcissism. Yup, you read that right.

Example: “It’s not my fault that the project failed. I did everything that was tasked to me, but my teammates didn’t pull their weight. They didn’t meet deadlines and their work was average. It’s clear that they are to blame for this project’s failure, not me.”

Stop yourself before you point the finger at others, and ask yourself if your accusation is 100% true. And even if it is, is there a more gentler way of handling the situation at hand?

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Toxic Pride

These are the people who have to be right or have the last word. Whether it be in an in-person conversation, over email, or text, this person cannot let the conversation end without winning. They absolutely have to have the last word, even if it’s something simple like, “You see, I told you so.”

They have to feel like the winner, even though, in truth, there isn’t a competition. There is nothing more annoying than dealing with a person like this.

Remind yourself that we are all equal and that no one person is better than the other. When you act like this, people actually lose respect for you. You don’t always have to be right. Life isn’t a competition, and there is no prize at the end of the day.

Besides, you just make yourself look like a fool, too.

Control Issues

Some people just have control issues. For some, it’s not too bad, and they can acknowledge it, but for others, they believe that their thinking and decisions are the best and the only ones that matter. These are the people who need to control every aspect of people’s lives or situations.

Example: “I don’t think you should wear that dress. It makes you look _____. I think you should wear this one instead. It will make me happier if you do.” This statement is controlling, manipulative, and slightly passive-aggressive.

Here’s a newsflash for you: you don’t have the right to control people. And wait, how would you like it if someone controlled you all the time? Please stop.

When you feel like you are about to tell someone what to do or wear, remind yourself that you don’t like being controlled and you have no right to control others either.


Gaslighting is an evil one because, as the recipient, you could end up thinking you’re losing your mind. The person will lie and distort the truth in situations and conversations to be able to control you and control the outcome that will benefit them.

Example: “You’re being too sensitive and overreacting again. I never said that you couldn’t go out with your friends. Remember that you said you were tired of them and wanted some time to yourself? It’s not fair that you twist my words and make me seem controlling. You need to work on your memory, or go and get help from a therapist.”

Gaslighting is extremely damaging and toxic behavior. If you are the victim, tell them to stop. If you are the gaslighter, stop and listen to yourself for one minute and see how ridiculous you sound. Go fix yourself!

Disrespecting People

Disrespect includes using derogatory language, insults, or belittling comments toward another person. It also includes not respecting your time, efforts, or your friends and family. Disrespect comes in so many forms that it’s hard to pinpoint just a few examples.

Example: Rolls their eyes and interrupts the other person while they are speaking, “Ugh, you always talk so slowly. Can you get to the point already?”

If you are being disrespectful and you can see the hurt in the person’s eyes, stop and apologize. Try to show more respect in the future. Why would anyone want to be your friend or hang around with you, or even be in a relationship with you if you are a disrespectful shmuck?

Think about that for one minute. Do you like being disrespected? I’m gonna guess no.


There is competitiveness, and then there are the people who take it to the next level. They can take a game, a challenge, or a sport to the extreme, making it a very unpleasant experience. Should they lose, there will always be an excuse or a reason as to why they lost.

Example: “I can’t believe you won the game. I’m just not in a good headspace and you got lucky this time. We’ll have to have a re-match so I can show you that I will beat you.”

Most people want everyone to succeed and understand that life is not a competition or a race to the finish line. If you find yourself being competitive, remind yourself that we’re all winners, no matter what. Besides, no one wants to play with someone who is only in it to win it and forgets about the ‘having fun’ part.

Violating People’s Boundaries

Some people don’t think further than their noses and disregard and cross others’ personal boundaries. These boundaries relate to a person’s physical, emotional, and psychological space.

Other people like to push people’s boundaries, showing a total lack of respect. People set up boundaries for a reason. It’s not a personal attack against you, it’s something they do for their mental health and well-being.

Example: John and Susan are friends. Susan’s privacy boundaries involve her only sharing things about her personal life with people with whom she has built relationships. John finds out some information about Susan and blabs it on their work colleagues, completely disrespecting and crossing Sarah’s boundaries.

Boundary lines are very important in everyone’s life. They allow one to maintain control over one’s life and gain respect from others. It’s important to respect people’s boundary lines as you would have them respect yours.

Showing Off/Bragging/Boasting

Some people just love to show off all the new expensive things they have or brag about how successful they are or how much money they make. No one likes a braggart. Trust me on that.

If you wonder why people don’t want to be around you, this is why. It’s boring and obnoxious. Shut up already. No one cares.

Next time you have something new or shiny to brag/boast about, try to include others in the conversation and talk about their nice new ‘thing’ as well, so it’s not a competition or an attempt to make people look small and you look larger than life.

Holding Grudges

Stop holding grudges! Life is too short for this, and the negativity is essentially toxic. Let go of past hurts and resentments, but learn from them.

Example: “I can’t believe you forgot my birthday last year. It really hurt me and I can’t seem to let it go. It just makes me wonder if you really value our friendship.”

They get it. They forgot your birthday last year. You don’t have to keep reminding them. Let it go already.

Holding on to past hurts or grudges only hurts you, not the other person. It’s time to forgive them, let them off the hook, and move on. You’ll be happier for it.

Constant Criticism

Constant criticism is when someone always finds faults and flaws in others and tells them about them in a negative and judgmental manner. It can cause self-esteem issues, erode confidence, and create a hostile environment.

Example: “Why do you insist on wearing your hair like that? It makes your face look fat and enhances the fact that your ears stick out.”

Try to put yourself in the other person’s shoes before you open your mouth to criticize anyone. Would you like it if someone was constantly doing that to you? And why would anyone want to be your friend or hang out with you if you’re always criticizing them?

It’s soul-sucking, not to mention rude! Stop doing that to people. You’re not perfect.

Author: Iva Ursano

Title: Writer

Expertise: Anti-Aging, Mental Health

Iva is a 60-something woman, originally from Northern Ontario, Canada, who now resides in sunny Guatemala. She helps women over 50 love the skin they're in and empowers them to live their best lives ever. When she's not blogging, she's out on her scooter feeding and rescuing street dogs.  

You can also check out her amazing eStore here. It is full of powerful self-help eBooks, personal development courses, and so much more—ALL at affordable prices!

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