Recently, my wife and I have been talking a lot about the reality that there are many people who do not like themselves at all. No exactly a startling revelation I know. As a couple we have observed many people make life changing decision after life changing decision.

And they are still unhappy with their life. If single, they hold out hope for a spouse. That will satisfy them! If married but unhappy, they blame their spouse, or their job, or their faith community, or their parents.

They blame everyone but themselves. There is no area in their life, where someone or something isn't out to get them.

The idea that they are responsible for their own happiness is ludicrous.

And so they run from one friendship to another. They dash from one job to another. They leave one relationship and up with the same person, only a different name. Their Facebook updates are angry and complaining. How do we know if we've found one, or worse, how do we know if we are one of these chronic complainers? Well, answer these questions:


  1. I am primarily responsible for my own happiness.
  2. If __________ would just happen then I would be happy.
  3. If ______________ person would just treat me right then I would be happy.
  4. I can't help being unhappy, it's just who I am.
  5. I try to control everything around me.
  6. If my spouse were a better spouse, I would be happy.
  7. If I had more money, I'd be happy.
  8. If __________ change happened in my life, I'd be happy.
  9. Satisfaction comes from having things
  10. Once I have _________________, I'd be happy.

If you answered False to number 1 you may need to reframe your perspective regarding happiness. If you answered true to any of the following you may need to reframe your view. If you answered true to multiple questions you will probably never find happiness until you change some thinking patterns.

Most of the time, we are solely responsible for our own happiness. People who have learned to be content (and from contentment comes happiness) realize that the things that happen outside of them do not control them.

What if you find yourself stuck with someone like this?

  1. Don't allow them to drag you into this mindset. Work diligently to recognize your own potentially negative patterns.
  2. Limit your time with the person. We influence and are influenced by the people we hang out with. Choose the people you spend time with carefully.
  3. Work hard to examine your own thoughts and patterns. When you encounter areas where you realize you are becoming entrenched in negative thinking patterns, exercise some thought stopping techniques
  4. Call them on it. This is the hardest thing for people to do sometimes. Especially, if the person is a spouse or family member. Often spouses will fear that the other spouse will leave if confronted. This is a legitimate concern. The spouse may leave. Of course, the spouse may leave anyhow. Sooner or later, the "my problems are everyone else's" will have to be turned on home. If you know someone who is angry at the world, the best most loving thing you can do is to call them on it. Life is hard. It is often grossly unfair. Living a world that doesn't exist believing that some day something magical will happen and make us happy is a patented recipe for misery and being alone.

No matter, where we go, we will be there. Until we learn to change the things in ourselves that we don't like we will never be truly happy. Most people who cannot learn to be happy with who they are will never be happy with someone else. It's just too hard, there is just too much opportunity to be offended or hurt. What about you? Do you have a story from your past where you had to make a change in real life? How did you do it? What did you learn?

Similar Posts