Why some people enjoy being miserable


Ever since Zimbabwe’s disputed elections, and more recently, when prices started escalating, I have noticed some Zimbabweans enjoying, and even celebrating, the predicament in which most people are, including themselves.

I asked myself, why would people enjoy, their own suffering because I do not believe that those who are celebrating are any better off.

Here are some of the reasons I found on why people enjoy their own misery:

“People who find joy in the misery of others are those who feel imprisoned within their own misery and feel helpless and wholly unable to escape.  They get some sense of relief witnessing that they aren’t the only ones being beaten down by it.”

“It’s because they are so unhappy with their own lives that, instead of changing things for the better, they would rather enjoy someone else’s misfortune. This gives them bitter satisfaction.”

“Miserable people are paralysed by fear and as a result they rarely leave their comfort zone. They often end up resenting those that are more adventurous as it threatens their safe and boring lifestyle. Instead of facing their own fears and being more brave, they find it far more satisfying to judge and scoff at others. The issue isn’t actually other people who are getting on with their lives, it’s the miserable person who wants everyone to feel just as trapped as they do.”

“Miserable people focus entirely on what is wrong with the world and scoff or discount the positives in life. It is much easier to moan about all that is wrong than to adopt a more optimistic mood. Many miserable people believe that it is better to expect nothing, that way you are less likely to be disappointed.”

“Miserable people do not have faith in the world and as a result, they almost give up before they have tried. They shrug their shoulders but do very little to try change their circumstances. They rarely know where to even begin to solve problems effectively as they are too caught up in the process of complaining.”

“Miserable people never accept any responsibility for their attitude. They are negative because of the way others treat them, how the world is. They never stop to think about the fact that they can still choose how they wish to interpret things that happen to them.”

“Miserable people like nothing more than to revel in other people’s bad luck….They always look at what they lack and how deprived they are. This false sense of comparison leads miserable people to feel even worse about themselves. They hate it when someone else gets ahead. They love it when someone else fails though. They see success as finite, the more success others have, the less is available for them – which is, of course, complete nonsense.”

“Everything is doom and gloom for those who wallow in misery. Misery has become a comfortable place, almost preferable to feeling alive and exhilarated. It is so easy to moan and complain about the world as it takes much less effort than it does to actively try and improve your life.”

Do you have any suggestions?


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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.


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