How To Be Utterly Miserable

Life’s hard, isn’t it? There are lots of things in life that you shouldn’t have to do, and work is one of them. So don’t waste another second of your time in feeling good about it? With my top ten tips for feeling utterly miserable at work, you’ll soon be walking around with a permanent frown and a head full of misery!

Focus on problems, especially ones that you can’t control This is the most important skill to master. If you can crack this one then all the rest will be easy. Here we go. You should always look for problems in every situation. When one problem appears to have been solved, which does occasionally happen for some reason, look for others. The great thing here is that there are always problems – they are everywhere, so it’s really easy to focus on them. This means you don’t have to spend a lot of time finding problems because they tend to present themselves naturally, and you can focus all your energy on complaining as loudly and as widely as possible. As well as finding problems, it’s absolutely vital that you spend as much time and energy as possible complaining about them. This basic skill of complaining about problems is the foundation to a truly miserable life, and at work you have ample opportunity to practice this skill.

You’re not perfect, but you’re doing your best. But why extend this way of thinking to others? Why not berate and condemn other people at every opportunity? It’s especially appropriate to condemn your boss or others in some sort of authority. To make yourself feel important, consider condemning others in public. Things like inconsistency, not being perfect and making mistakes are ideal flaws for you to shout about. And remember – the louder you shout, the better.

Take everything really seriously, especially yourself Whenever someone tries to make light of a situation, tell them it’s inappropriate and that their attitude offends you. You can even take the opportunity to make yourself super-miserable by making a formal complaint against someone who behaves in such an unprofessional way. Remember – you have the right to be taken seriously at all times by all people. Don’t let others get away with levity!

Become a martyr There are lots of ways to approach this one. The best way is to volunteer to do something and then complain about doing it. The more time and effort it takes, the better. The important thing is to get everyone to realize that you are indispensable. Let’s face it, if you leave then the whole place will fall apart – they can’t possibly survive without the kind of sacrifices you make day in and day out. And they all need to know it.

Never forget an insult, however small Amazingly, and despite your importance, there will always be some people who don’t appreciate this and make inappropriate remarks (see above). It’s vital that you remember these remarks in as much detail as possible. Go over them in your mind whenever possible, and recount these incidents to an audience whenever you can. Ideally, you should weave these insults into a narrative about how bad your life is and how other people are against you – everyone loves a good story!

Remember – there’s always someone better off than you Think about it – how many people earn more than you, have a bigger office and a better job title. Lots, right? It’s vital that you focus on this fact and spend your time and energy complaining about it. Many of these ‘better off’ people aren’t as skilled or as experienced as you are, and this is really unfair. You should have that job, not them! Try to channel as much of your energy as possible into feeling bitter and resentful about this.

Accept the fact that you’re totally impotent You have so much to offer – if only people would listen to you! If only you had some authority, some power; if only your boss would take on board your ideas then things would be better. But sadly, you’re totally impotent – you have no say and no influence, and the sooner you embrace this fact the better. Ideally, you should tell the world about this fact at every opportunity.

Never try to improve anything On no account should you attempt to improve any situation whatsoever. Remember – it’s not your job. You don’t get paid to find solutions. Instead, you should focus your energy on finding problems and then complaining about them. Try to dwell on these problems as much as you can. One of the best ways to do this is to complain as widely, as loudly and as publicly as possible (see point number 1). The more you complain, the more attention you will draw to your terrible plight and the more miserable you will feel. This also has the added benefit of not getting you anywhere near a promotion because for some reason the bosses don’t like complaining. This is outrageous and unfair – an added bonus – and it also reinforces your martyr status. Great!

Learn from others Like any skill set, it’s important to copy others. You’ll have no shortage of people to copy – most work places are full of individuals who have spent a lifetime mastering these skills. Try to latch onto the most skilful and under no circumstances associate with those naive and inexperienced people who don’t complain much and try to find solutions to problems. We are very much influenced by those around us, so choose your companions carefully! All of these skills are interconnected and, with practice, you can take them to a really high level. Eventually you can become a master, but in the meantime, spend all your time in the company of those who really know how to be utterly miserable. Some of these points may, at times, seem to contradict each other. But no matter! What counts is that you feel as miserable as possible and try to drag everyone down with you as much as you can. Now you know the key skills, go to it!

Mark Harrison is a Guest Blogger for PickTheBrain and the founder of Check out his latest book, Thirty Days to Change Your Life.

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Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.

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