The Most Common Habits of Unhappy People


Psychotherapist Hina Khan came by to talk to us about the most common habits of unhappy people*, and strategies to turn this type of thinking around.

Acting Like a Victim

Unhappy people don't take responsibility for the results they are getting in their life. Instead, they play the victim and blame others. It's a thought pattern that's hard to move out of, because letting go of their story can feel terrifying — their sad story becomes part of their identity. 

Turn this around: Take responsibility for every single choice you have made in your life. Remember that you also have the power to change the dynamics in work and relationships that are bringing you down, and sometimes that means moving on.

Seeing the Glass as Half Empty

Unhappy people tend view any challenge or wrinkle as a sign that things are futile and hopeless. This type of negative energy can be difficult to be around, especially for those who work hard to shape a positive outlook. 

Turn this around: Make it your habit to praise the good things first before pointing out the bad. By giving your negative thought patterns a lower priority, you also deprive them of power and change your thinking patterns for the better.

Trusting No One

Once bitten, twice shy? Unhappy people are hard to get close to because they don't let anyone in, so meaningful connections can be difficult. They also tend to believe the worst in people.

Turn this around: Start to trust yourself first and then extend it to others. And don't let small disappointments set you back. Understand your own and others' boundaries and let your instincts and common sense lead the way.

Comparing Yourself to Others

This path is a dangerous one to go down because people who compare themselves to others can never win: it is a futile endeavour that leaves your self esteem in tatters.

Turn this around: By accepting who you are. There is no one else out there like you, so why compare yourself to anyone? And know that what you see on Facebook is only an edited snapshot of a more complicated life.

Believing That You Don't Have Enough

Unhappy people often believe there is not enough for everyone (work, clients, money, single men/women, etc.)

Turn this around: The way out of this to focus on abundance and gratitude. Be grateful and be aware of all there is and all you already possess.


Feeling Like Everything is Urgent

Unhappy people who carry themselves like everything is urgent feel panicked because they have a huge to-do list and not enough time, so their energy always stressed.

Turn this around: The way out of this is by practicing being in the present, because that’s where all the time exists.

Being Needy and Greedy

Unhappy people may drain those who are around them, and they tend to have a sense of desperation which can be a repellent.

Turn this around: Instead of thinking about what you need, ask what you can give in a situation, and how you can be of use to others.


*Note: This article is not meant to address the realities of depression and other mental health conditions, which are best discussed with a qualified mental health professional