1. Stop believing in yourself. Give up on your ideas, and accept that the originality and wonder you once saw in yourself was just an illusion. Fall into line with popular opinion and just mimic what you see others doing. Never try too hard or put yourself out there. Take the safe road, always.
2. Find a negative in every positive. Never take something good at face value, always assume that there will be another shoe to drop. Become jaded, find reasons to dismiss people’s altruism and generosity. Say things like, “Oh they are just acting nice for the attention,” and “Nothing will ever get better.”
3. Assume the worst in people. Dismiss the power of love and kindness. Expect to be screwed over, and accept nothing as good. Never take a chance, never make a friend, never put someone in a position to care for you—because you know they will just abuse you.
4. Assume the worst in yourself. Walk with your head looking down. Don’t believe in your own goodness or wonder. Convince yourself that you are just as terrible as the rest of the world.
5. Ignore the beauty you have in favor of the beauty you don’t. Fixate on the things you don’t have—perfect hair, perfect smile, perfect life— and forget all the things you do. We are all beautiful, we all have something incredible about us that makes us irreplaceable—but pay no attention to that.
6. Give up on your dreams. Dismiss them as the childhood fantasies of someone who didn’t yet “understand the world.” Indeed, children approach the world with the most healthy optimism—but disregard that. Just remind yourself of all the times you’ve failed in the past, and how that surely means your dreams are doomed forever. Look past successful names like Thomas Edison, Walt Disney, and Oprah Winfrey. You couldn’t ever be them! (At least, that’s what you tell yourself…)
7. Never forgive yourself for mistakes you’ve made. Hold your missteps and errors close to you, never letting go. Relive every painful moment of every painful mistake, and then do it again. Let them saddle down your enthusiasm for life, and convince you of your fundamental unworthiness.
9. Never be willing to try again. Accept your defeat, never get up off the mat. Yes, you are an inspirational human being who is invested with limitless potential—but instead, embrace defeat. Embrace settling for less and despair.
10. Compare yourself to others and measure your value up against their accomplishments. Remind yourself of how you only have value if you are the smartest, richest, funniest, hottest person in any given room. Your value is tied to other people and how “better” you are than them. Never forget this.
11. But judge people at every available opportunity. Ignore people’s stories in favor of their faults, and find error even in their actions that are well-intentioned. Apply your single set of values to their lives and ensure that nobody ever lives up to your dogmatic expectations.
12. Accept that you don’t deserve love. Embrace loneliness, solitude, and sadness. Or better yet, find a partner who doesn’t appreciate your beauty and disregards you as someone lesser.
13. Let other people define your values for you.
14. Find friends who peer-pressure you into being “more cool” with no regard to who you actually are, or what your actual wants and needs are.
15. Ignore a parade of love in favor of the dissenting hater. Yes, all your friends and family might love and support you, but that’s not what is important. Rather, focus in on the one person who dislikes you. That’s the important opinion, right?
16. Treat people like games, and let them treat you the same. Spend large amounts of your time considering how long you should wait before texting back. Never be direct, never chase after something you think might be good—just toy, “talk,” and run.
17. Be willing to use people, and let people use you. Stop thinking of people as humans with hearts and souls, but rather, start thinking of them as a means to an end. Consider what you can get out of them, what it would do for your “status” to be around them, and then cast them aside. Use someone for a one-night stand when that’s not what they want. Let yourself be used for a hookup when that’s not truly what you want.
18. Believe that pain is forever. Believe that heartbreak is forever. That disappointment is forever. That the world has one constant, and that it is pain. Turn away from the light at the end of the tunnel. Reject it.
19. Ignore the small things, but always nit-pick them.
20. Blame everyone else for your shortcomings. Your manager is the reason you failed at your last job. Your partner is the reason your relationship didn’t work out. It’s never you. Don’t take responsibility—or if you must, take all of it, make it tear you down without forgiveness until you are nothing but a shell.
21. Stop appreciating the beauty of the sunrise, and the potential of a new day. Stop believing that every day can be better. Give up.