For the sake of simplicity, and for analytical neatness, let us divide people into two broad classes: The perennially happy and cheerful, and the perennially miserable and sour. Of course, most of us are sour and grouchy once in awhile, and even the most grumpy might see a ray of sunshine once in a decade. But as an economist, I can assume anything I want to assume, and so I have classified everyone into two classes, miserable and happy. Neat classification, just like Supply and Demand, or like Marginal cost and Average cost. So here are five habits of perennially miserable people:
- Miserable people continually seek new and creative ways to remain chronically miserable. Not wishing to spoil their reputation, they spend their minutes looking for things to complain and gripe about.
- Miserable people love to recite long litanies of their woes and catastrophes when asked "How are you?"
- Miserable people dwell on the past, on all of their past mistakes, on all of the people who have "done them wrong," on all of the injustices of their lives. They never forgive anyone for anything.
- Miserable people never smile (why would they?), never say thank you, never say please, and go around like the dark little man in the old L'il Abner comics named Joe Blptsk something or other who carried a dark, dark cloud over his head everywhere he went. Miserable people, thus, are chronic pessimists
- Miserable people always criticize, find fault, belittle, run down, humiliate others as a crutch to their own inferiority and miserable selves.
If you find yourself on this list anywhere, maybe it's time to do something about it!