5 Reasons Why You’re Not Happy

November 25, 2009

Not Happy With The Gardener
They are so damned annoying. You know the type of people I’m talking about. You’re not happy because your dog has eaten your passport two days before an important trip; right after you open the 111th rejection letter for your future bestseller.

Then one of those happy types buzzes in and invades your miserable personal space with their infectious cheerfulness and “Julia Roberts smile”.

On an average day, a brief encounter with one of these amazingly positive souls would leave you feeling warm and fuzzy inside for hours. But today, they irritate you to the core of your soul. You wish they’d get stuck in the elevator, or trip over their laces and fall flat on their ass. Because secretly, you want to be just like them but you haven’t got a clue where to start.

The truth is you can be like them, once you’ve figured out why you’re not happy to begin with. Here’s 5 reasons you may not be happy. Do any of them apply to you?

You’re Not Happy Because You Don’t Want To Be Happy:

It seems crazy – but some people just don’t seem to want to be happy. All they do is moan about their miserable life and how much harder they have it than other folk.

You try to offer them solutions – but for all the notice they take, you might as well waste the day trying to kick your own ass. In a funny sort of way – these people are happy just spending the rest of their lives talking about how miserable they are. And if this sounds like you, there’s probably no point in reading on.

You’re Depressed:

When I say depressed, I don’t mean you’re feeling a little bit down. I mean depressed in the medical sense of the word. And if you’ve ever been that depressed before, you’ll know nothing can make you feel happy.

Things that once brought you great joy and pleasure, like playing paintball with the neighbours cats, or pinching random strangers bottoms, don’t seem enjoyable anymore. You just feel numb inside.

If you’re that depressed, you need to visit your doctor and get some medication. Happiness will come easier, once you’re well again.

You’re Not Happy Because You’re Living In Crucible And You Can’t Escape

Are you afraid to leave a terrible relationship because you think your partner is too drunk/ill/stupid, to manage without you?

Maybe you’re not happy because you’re trapped in a job you can’t stand but you can see no way out. Or you live in the a..hole of earth but you feel like you can’t leave because the folk who own the grow-op next door give you free weed, to keep your mouth shut.

Truth is, whatever crucible you’re stuck in, there is almost always a way out. And even though it might seem almost impossible to escape right now – you’ll thank yourself later on.

You’re Not Happy Because Your Basic Needs Aren’t Being Met

It’s difficult to be happy when your basic needs are not being satisfied. And if you’re one of those people who has lost jobs and homes in the recession, you’re probably concerned about your survival. Even if you’re one of the lucky ones, you’re probably worried that next time it could be you.

So it’s important to remember that your unhappy situation is temporary. And so long as you remain in control of your life, you’ll come up with a solution to your dilemma.

For a start, if things get too bad there are things you can do to protect yourself. Some truly worthless crap can net you a fortune on ebay – like this New York Telephone Number, Jesus Shaped Oil Patch and JFK Sniper Window.

And I personally liked this family’s idea of becoming Nomads when the husband lost his high paying job: Have RV, Will Find A Job

A Few Ways To Feel Happy When You’re Not

Appreciation Makes You Happy

“We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.” Frederick Keonig

Goals Can Make You Happy – If You Choose The Right Ones

“If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things.” Albert Einstein

Some Get Happiness Through Love

“There is only one happiness in this life, to love and be loved.”

Or Through Job Security

According to this poll, Denmark has the happiest people in the world. The country has a reasonably high GDP and an amazingly low unemployment rate of only 2%.

Or You Could Follow The Blissful Brick Road

Evita Ochel says the Blissful Brick Road leads to happiness.

And You Can Be Happy Right Now

And according to Wendi Kelly, you can “Be Happy Now” so long as you avoid miserable gits and don’t mind faking it until you make it.

For Some People – Staying Single Is Your Best Bet

The Deep Friar explains why being in a relationship might not make you happy – especially if you can’t stand Celine Dion, or you’re allergic to dogs: Ramblings of A Single Bachelor – Top Reasons Why I’m Single.

Related Reading On This Site

6 Little Success Tips
So Why Do I Feel Like Shit? Silva Life System Review Part 2
How To Attract Amazingly Positive People
You Can Overcome Lack Of Self Confidence

Image Credit: Ashleigh Nushawg

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38 Responses to “5 Reasons Why You’re Not Happy”

  1. Friar on November 25th, 2009 10:52 pm

    Well, not saying I wouldn’t be happy in a relationship.

    But it would have to be the RIGHT one. And I’m perfectly happy to take my time looking for it.

    I’ve seen too many people, so afraid to be alone…that they’d rather be in ANY kind of relationship, than a good one. With often disastrous results.

    Friar’s last blog post..Friar’s Ass-Hat Cartoon Hall of Fame

  2. Friar on November 25th, 2009 10:53 pm

    PS. Dogs , I have no problems with. They’re kindred spirits.

    It’s CATS I’m allergic to! :-D

    Friar’s last blog post..Friar’s Ass-Hat Cartoon Hall of Fame

  3. vered | blogger for hire on November 26th, 2009 2:05 am

    I have someone in my life who doesn’t want to be happy. It’s frustrating, but I have learned to accept it.

    vered | blogger for hire’s last blog post..Crispy, Golden Potato Latkes

  4. Lance on November 26th, 2009 3:07 am

    I’ve heard a lot about Tim’s book. And the more I hear, the more I like the way it sounds…hmmm….

    Me? I do “try” to be happy…and when I am (mostly I am) I really do feel good. And that’s a good place to be!

    Lance’s last blog post..Exposed

  5. Kelvin Kao on November 26th, 2009 4:31 am

    Some people are so used to being unhappy. If you try to get them to be happy, they feel like they are being pushed out of their comfort zone (and refuse to leave). It’s sad that some people just want to be… sad.

    I’ve been reading Tim’s blog so I am interested in the book too. I am going to read the sample chapters when I get time. (It’s funny. Though I’ve been reading his blog all this time, I wasn’t aware of the sample chapters…)

    Kelvin Kao’s last blog post..Puppetry Classes

  6. Arafat Hossain Piyada on November 26th, 2009 4:48 am

    I think, I should recommend this book to one of my friend who always look depress, he never satisfied whatever he get from life. I think this book might help him out.

    Arafat Hossain Piyada’s last blog post..Simple Trick To Test New Google Search Page

  7. Dominique on November 26th, 2009 7:29 am

    I believe that being happy is a personal choice. There are many people around me who I think enjoy being unhappy. I just stay away from them as they are not benefiting me.

  8. Hilary on November 26th, 2009 8:07 am

    Hi Cath .. I hope that wasn’t your car – and I hope you’re safe and not too inconvenienced with this weather.

    Bustling happy can be very irritating – being positive for yourself is fine. Bustling positive is not being empathetic to the other person – sometimes, things may just have got on top of them and there may be a good reason. Being supportive and being there for them is the relevant thing.

    Thanks and have a good weekend -
    Hilary Melton-Butcher
    Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

  9. Mike CJ on November 26th, 2009 10:02 am

    Just to back up your post – How to be rich and happy is a tremendous book.

    The two key things for me are the writing style (which is modern and easy to follow) and the fact that it forces you into action. It isn’t one of those books you can read and think “I’ll do something about that later.” You actually have to work through some exercises while you’re reading it.

    Mike CJ’s last blog post..One legged salsa dancer

  10. Todd Morris on November 26th, 2009 11:43 am

    Hi Cath,

    “Appreciation Makes You Happy”

    That one has always been my favorite. Anyone who can’t look at what they already have and find at least something to be happy about will most likely never be truely happy … even if they do get the “more” and/or “better” that they dream about.

    Todd Morris’s last blog post..Todd’s Best Home Business Tips

  11. Walter on November 26th, 2009 12:54 pm

    Happiness cannot be without misery. In life, we need to experience some discomforts so that we are able to appreciate the sweetness of our triumphs. The secret to being happy is to endure adversity. :-)

    Walter’s last blog post..Nobody wants to listen

  12. Brad Shorr on November 26th, 2009 2:34 pm

    Cath, First of all, that’s some picture. Outside of situations such as clinical depression, I really do think your state of mind is something you can control … but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. It starts with a desire to be happy, which like you say, isn’t always the case with people.

    Brad Shorr’s last blog post..A Thanksgiving Thank You

  13. Rita on November 26th, 2009 2:47 pm

    Thank you so much for this post. It made me so happy to read it. Sometimes we need to look for happiness in the most simple places. Your friendship and unwavering support (not to mention your blog) have helped to make me a happier person.

    In short, you rock, Cath!

  14. Keith on November 26th, 2009 2:59 pm

    Hello Cath!

    This is both a great article and a very useful one! You bring out so many good points and ideas. I am a big fan of “the ability to choose” and you did such a wonderful job of highlighting that here. Sadly, many are unhappy simply because they choose to be.

    I love your “Routes to Happiness” section. Appreciation is a great path to happiness as is it’s twin “Gratitude”!

    Great post Cath, seriously! :-)

    Keith’s last blog post..Choose Your Path!

  15. cathlawson on November 26th, 2009 5:26 pm

    Sorry Friar – it was an easy mistake. They both have four legs. I hear where you’re coming from. I bet a lot of folk wish they’d been more fussy when they were younger. Davina Haisell is in a similar situation to you and she just wrote about it: Midnight & I’m Still Single

    Hi Vered – It’s difficult just watching someone in that situation but as you probably know already – there’s not a lot you can do about it.

    Hi Lance – I think you’d like Tim’s manual. You should check out the free sections to see what you think.

    Hi Kelvin – That’s a good point – some people refuse to do a thing to move out of their comfort zone.

    I think he only just started giving out the sample chapters.

    Hi Arafat – It’s really useful. Tell him about the sample chapters so he can see if it’s for him.

    Hi Dominique – Being around those folk who choose to be unhappy can really wear you down can’t it?

    Hi Hilary – It’s not my car – thank goodness. And that’s a really good point. Being OTT happy around someone who is going through a bad time can be really insensitive.

    Hi Mike – Glad you enjoyed it too. It’s more fun to read than many other self help books isn’t it? I agree on the exercises. The manual is well designed to make sure you have to do them before you read on.

    Hi Todd – That is true. I guess folk who lack appreciation will always be in the position of wanting more.

    Hi Walter – That is so true. However hard it seems at the time, those bad things happen to teach us something and make us stronger.

    Hi Brad – There are so many people like that in the world. I wonder if it has to do with not wanting to move out of their comfort zone – as Kelvin suggested.

    Hi Rita – Thank you. It’s good to be appreciated. And thank you for the help and advice you’ve given me recently. It really helps to learn from the wisdom of someone who has been in the same situation. You rock too.

    Hi Keith – Thanks. Appreciation and gratitude are so important. We don’t have Thanksgiving over here and it always impresses me how so many people from the US write and talk about the things they are grateful for, at this time of year.

    I really think our country would benefit through adopting your tradition.

  16. Jannie Funster on November 26th, 2009 8:14 pm

    Super-insightful stuff here, Cath.
    I guess I’m one of those annoying happy ones.

    Sadly, some are not able to choose happiness, so what can you do for them, as the person Vered knows? Each person has to change for themselves.

    867-5309, does that really have VALUE?? :)

    Jannie Funster’s last blog post..10 Top Blogging Addiction Signs + Recommended Treatments

  17. Evita on November 26th, 2009 10:42 pm

    Hi Cath

    This was so fantastic! You gave me a great laugh many times along the way.

    LOL…okay I am still laughing a little.

    But all jokes aside, what you wrote is so true. I know personally many people, as we all probably do, that fall into at least one of the 5 points you mentioned.

    One of the most peculiar things that I learned as I grew up, is that seriously, not everybody wants to be happy. Some people just love misery, drama and problems way too much. I know some can argue this, but I beg to differ. For when these souls are given every opportunity to be happy, they don’t take them. I am sure this alone can be discussed in many articles, but the bottom line – is thank you so much for the wonderful way you have explained things here.

    And thank you for the link to the article I wrote – it is much appreciated :)

    Evita’s last blog post..Essential Energy with Cyndi Dale: Beyond the Golden Rule

  18. Davina on November 27th, 2009 2:01 am

    Hi Cath. If you were a man AND you were single, I’d move to the UK and marry you :-) I giggled all the way through this post. I’d have to say that if you like playing paintball with the neighbour’s cats, or pinching random strangers bottoms then you need medication anyway.

    RE those people who just don’t want to be happy… they’re in control of their whining and THAT makes them happy.

    “playing paintball with the neighbours cat” – HAHAHAHAHAHAH. PS. thanks for sneaking in that link to my post.

    Davina’s last blog post..It’s Midnight & I’m Still Single

  19. Rita on November 27th, 2009 4:43 am

    I believe that the historical record shows that it was YOUR country who (rather circuitously) gave us the original celebrants of Thanksgiving itself. So, it is appropriate that you should be thanked as well! Why not adopt the tradition? Though each day should be on filled with counting one’s blessings, Thanksgiving is a great reminder that we all need to do just that.

  20. Marelisa on November 27th, 2009 7:45 am

    Hi Cath: You know, number one doesn’t sound crazy at all. I know people who have identified themselves with a certain dramatic persona and they don’t seem to want to get themselves out of it. It’s almost like they purposefully go out and create drama in their lives (the negative kind) in order to get attention from others. The first step toward being happy is definitely wanting to be happy.

    Marelisa’s last blog post..More on Your Blog’s Unique Selling Proposition

  21. Tim Brownson on November 27th, 2009 3:01 pm


    Thanks a lot for the mention of HTBRAH, although I’m a little perturbed you didn’t know God was in on the act too. We couldn’t credit him directly for legal reasons, but I most certainly was talking to him on a regular basis.

    His says hi btw.

    Tim Brownson’s last blog post..A Very Black, Black Friday

  22. John Hoff - WP Blog Host on November 27th, 2009 5:37 pm

    I’ve lived with a little depression in my life. I wouldn’t say it was the medical kind, more of the “why can’t this ever happen for me” kind.

    Luckily, meeting my wife and having a family has brought me out of that grey area.

    As I always like to say, my horizon is always bright.

  23. Patricia on November 27th, 2009 10:27 pm

    Great post and I was delighted to read your list…
    I would add lots of people use food as a drug to create satisfaction in their brains and they confuse that with happiness…brain satisfaction is not happiness…or even contentment.

    Good and funny writing. Many thanks

    Patricia’s last blog post..Harvest Potluck UNICEF Fundraiser

  24. cathlawson on November 28th, 2009 7:20 am

    Thanks Jannie – It’s true – change comes from inside of you.

    Thank you Evita – I can relate to the type of people you mean. When I was younger, I often felt bored when I had no stresses in my life and I’m sure I created or attracted more. I guess a lot of people must do that but it’s a crazy way to live.

    Thanks Davina and you’re welcome. But I don’t think I could go through the whole sex change thing.

    I used to pinch strangers bottoms sometimes but make sure they didn’t know it was me. I thought it would make them feel good about themselves.

    But it ended when I accidentally pinched a female bouncer’s bottom thinking she was a man and she realised it was me. Looking back – I probably did need medication :)

    Hi Rita – I’ve thought about that but realistically, I’m too lazy to make two turkey dinners within one month.

    In Canada they have Thanksgiving in early October so I’d probably do it if I move there.

    Hi Mare – a lot of people are like that. Hopefully – eventually most learn that all the attention and drama is really making them unhappy and modify their behaviour.

    Hi Tim – You’re welcome – I love the manual. But I didn’t know you’d been talking to God. Some folk credit whole books to him. I wish he’d come along and tell me what to write. Do you think you could put in a good work for me?

    Hi John – “Medical” probably wasn’t a good choice of words. I guess what I meant was that depression is usually caused by some chemical change in your brain.

    Maybe it was the same in your case. I sometimes wonder if just feeling really low is enough to cause those chemical changes. And maybe meeting your wife caused them to change back again.

    I wish someone knew all the answers but there are too many grey areas.

    Hi Patricia – That is interesting. I guess that would be why so many people eat when they’re feeling down.

    But it sounds like they’re creating something that isn’t really happiness. That must be hard because I guess until you break the cycle, you’re not going to figure out what happiness really means to you.

  25. J.D. Meier on November 29th, 2009 8:28 am

    Sometimes it’s just a case of the Mondays, right?

    “You don’t know how to be happy” is an interesting angle. While some people are happy by default, I think for a lot of people, happiness is a skill. Luckily, there are plenty of patterns and practices for improving happiness.

    J.D. Meier’s last blog post..What 16 Movies Can Teach Us About Life and Leadership

  26. Tom Volkar / Delightful Work on November 29th, 2009 12:03 pm

    I’m blessed to be a natural optimist and I really don’t see the point in unhappiness. It takes so much energy to maintain. I’ve tried depression and found it lacking in so many life affirming ways. It’s all about what we really want to create. It’s up to us.

    Tom Volkar / Delightful Work’s last blog post..Wounds + Authentic Makeup = True Calling

  27. Davina on November 29th, 2009 5:20 pm

    “Sex change thing” — LOL! That’s ok, I’ve learned to not expect people to change.

    Davina’s last blog post..Where Did that Crummy Paddle Go?

  28. Annaly on November 29th, 2009 5:57 pm

    Very intuitive. Many people (me) spend years in therapy to discover these things about themselves.

    Annaly’s last blog post..Stressed About 2012?

  29. cathlawson on November 29th, 2009 6:45 pm

    Hi JD – That is so true – I guess it’s just like any other skill we have to learn. And I guess many people are learning from the wrong folk to begin with, which is why it takes them a bit longer.

    Hi Tom – That is so true – being unhappy or depressed is bloody hard work. And worrying is definitely one of the worst habits I ever had.

    Hi Davina – I have friends who will meet someone then expect them to change. I don’t understand them – what’s the point in staying with someone when you wish they would change into someone else?

    Hi Annaly – If you live in the US, I’m betting therapy is expensive too. I visited a pychotherapist for a while a few years ago when I was really ill. But I honestly found talking to folk on internet forums about non-depressing things a whole lot more useful.

    Now I need to read your 2012 post as my daughter is worried about it. One of her teachers has told her that if we survive it, we can probably expect a Chernobyl type disaster in the next few years.

  30. Melissa Donovan on November 30th, 2009 7:08 am

    This is a great post, Cath! I truly believe that happiness is a choice. It’s not found by reaching a goal or attaining something you desire. It’s a state of mind that you choose to adopt and then work at. It’s good to be happy!

    Melissa Donovan’s last blog post..The Poetry of William Shakespeare (Conclusion)

  31. Chris Edgar on November 30th, 2009 7:44 pm

    Hi Cath — #1 is a good observation, I think — a lot of us base our identities around our unhappiness, and the idea of happiness threatens our sense of who we are. I know that meditation has helped me to see the ways I saw unhappiness as “part of me” and to let go of those attachments.

  32. cathlawson on December 1st, 2009 4:42 am

    Thanks Melissa – That’s so true – you definitely have to choose to be happy. It’s like when you’re trying to persuade a friend to give up a habit that is ruining their lives – like drugs. No matter what you do – if they don’t choose to quit drugs themselves, they won’t do it.

    Hi Chris – That is an excellent point. I can relate to that in terms of giving up a bad habit but I never connected it to happiness before.

    Mind you, I used to visit a writers forum years ago and many of them couldn’t write unless they were depressed. I guess they connected depression with the “real writer” inside of them. So, I suppose that’s kind of similar to what you experienced.

    I’m glad meditation helped you. It has been great for me in many ways.

  33. Peter on May 18th, 2010 12:28 am

    Wow, wouldn’t you be pissed if that was your car?

  34. cathlawson on May 18th, 2010 5:15 am

    Just a bit :)

  35. Weird Sea Monsters on June 2nd, 2010 7:59 pm

    i so agree with everything you say..especially the first point, there are ppl out there who just seem to refuse to be happy and u know what? if thats what they want then thats how they should feel..im sick and tired of always trying to encourage ppl and be on the positive when theyre not even making the slightest effort!

  36. Are You Looking For A Cure For Seasonal Affective Disorder? | Catherine Lawson on June 30th, 2010 7:19 am

    [...] 5 Reasons Why You’re Not Happy Sometimes You Need To Hit Rock Bottom How To Attract Amazingly Positive People [...]

  37. Wendi Kelly on June 30th, 2010 2:19 pm

    Hi Cath,
    I do think that we can choose to be happy. Not perhaps every moment, for example, at the moment- my brother in law just passed away and I am sad about that- but the state of happiness as a lifestyle as opposed to the gloom and doom approach- short of clinical depression- is a lifestyle and thought pattern choice. And It’s also a reflection of who and what we surround ourselves with. It is hard to maintain a state of happiness when we surround ourselves by negative energy. Not Happy? Look around. What are you allowing into your sphere of influence?

    Thanks for the Link Cath, it was very appreciated.

  38. cathlawson on July 2nd, 2010 9:05 am

    Hi Wendi – Sorry it pinged you again. I was updating old posts. I’m not surprised you’re sad right now and I hope you’re all coping ok.

    Who we surround ourselves with is so important. I used to have a few negative people in my life and it was so draining.

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