How To Always Be Unhappy

Come into this world thinking you’re owed something. Have a permanent chip on your shoulder and always feel like you’ve been slighted in some way. Expect things from people. Fail to be gracious. Take rather than give. This kind of attitude not only lends itself to complete narcissism, it sets you up to always feel disappointed in people. In your eyes, you’re never being loved enough or appreciated.

Always blame things on your parents and childhood. Maybe you were dealt a bad hand and some pretty horrible things happened to you. Or maybe your parents just didn’t buy you enough crap. Whatever the case may be, hold on to terrible things with an iron grip. Never let go. Fail to understand that when you hold these things in a suffocating grip, you’re also suffocating yourself. You’re not allowing yourself to move forward and progress as a human being. While it’s true that we had no power over how we were raised, we do have power over the way we deal with it. As you get older, you can either bathe in your own misery. You can lather, rinse, and repeat, finding comfort in dwelling. Or you can consciously start to let go and make a life for yourself on your own terms. If you pick the former, you’re bound to be unhappy.

Be a complete and total narcissist. Never stop outside of yourself to look at things through another point of view. Never meet people halfway. Ask if they can always meet you on the corner of Me Me Me street and I Am Limited Avenue. Maybe it’s because you’re lazy and don’t care enough about someone to switch your way of thinking. Or maybe it’s because you’re genuinely incapable of doing so. You’re emotionally stunted and broken in some way. That’s real. Some people actually can’t recognize their shortcomings, which is terrifying because it means they’ll never be fixed. Hence, unhappiness.

Be someone who can’t move on from things. Get stranded in a land mine of your own memories. Try to escape and find joy in the present but find it to be incredibly dificult. You’re caught on the “What If’s” and the “Coulda, Shoulda, Woulda’s”. Your fear keeps you there and it will continue to keep you there until you find a way to free yourself.

Find beauty in sadness and believe that it makes you special. It’s, like, your thing. You’re The Depressed Friend, the one who’s needy and sucks all the energy from their friends. You say you want to get better and be just like everybody else but that may not be entirely true. Some people thrive on being damaged. They don’t understand how dangerous this kind of thinking is until everyone has finally given up on them, and they’re all alone with their special sadness. Are you ready to be happy now? The Boy Who Cried Depression.

Be too smart for your own good. Understand things too much. Know just how bad life can get. It’s like there’s constant noise going on in your brain that you can’t turn off. You just want to hold a hymn, listen to some charismatic speaker and make it all go away. Because of your intelligence, you’re unable to relate to most people. You don’t understand how others can live the way they do, how they can’t comprehend the things you get. What you wouldn’t give to not understand. TC mark

Ryan O'Connell

I'm a brat.


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  • A.

    My Autobiography.

    • Guest

      How strangely self-aware of you to know that.

  • somebodycalled911.

    thanks for the wake up call.

  • Dave P


  • Dave P


  • OMG

    Be someone who can’t move on from things. Get stranded in a land mine of your own memories. Try to escape and find joy in the present but find it to be incredibly dificult. You’re caught on the “What If’s” and the “Coulda, Shoulda, Woulda’s”. Your fear keeps you there and it will continue to keep you there until you find a way to free yourself.—————————————————————

    this is totally me. I need to stop it but it’s so hard! 
    I wish I could have someone just shake me out of it. Like a dream

  • EJ

    How to be happy: If you had an unhappy childhood and/or suffered trauma, GO TO THERAPY. It may seem like naval gazing at first, but you really do need a professional to teach you how to think differently. Pills can’t do that. 

  • Allie

    Touche, sir.

  • SisterRay73

    This sounds like my ex boyfriend. It really does get old and ultra-alienating after a while to be around people who are too narcissistic to recognize their own issues and deal with it – or get help – like adults.

    • Kim

      Ditto. 100%.

  • Anonymous


  • Ethan Schmidt

    Unfortunately, there is no cure for the last one.

    • Chickabbee

      I think it’s called a sense of humor and a little bit of humility.

  • Anonymous

    This pissed me off but I think that’s a good thing. A+

  • Alejandro Ramos

    I love you but didn’t you already write this? You should get some more variety.

  • goldglass

    How many pictures of yourself do you have on your computer, Ryan O’Connell? I picture you scrolling through whole iPhoto albums looking for the one that inspires your next piece.

  • Raegan

    I liked it. It’s incredibly accurate and refreshing. This applies to a handful of people I know in my life and had me saying, “I KNOW RIGHT??!! GET OVER IT!” The whole time I was reading it.

  • Anony


  • Kristinwhite84

    Damn.  My fear comes from the last one.  Don’t get me wrong, there are times when each paragraph applies to me.  I am definitely too narcissistic and entitled by far.  But the last point speaks to hope and reason.  If one sees the world too clearly (like HD television does to the skin of most actresses and actors) and knows that others don’t even try to see the world clearly… then what would replace the narcissism and self-prescribed “darkness” but a pervasive and intellectualized sense of despair?  Not useless self-perpetuating despair, but logical, rational despair.

    That frightens me more than knowing I can suck as a person in shallow ways.

  • Julz

    Hahahaha this is like, a plate of Republican with a side of Buddism and Astrology for a dressing. I am sure you mean well (or I hope) but I don’t know if “you’re lazy” and “get over it” is ever really useful commentary, for, well…anyone. In fact, arguably, it’s abusive and dismissive. Healthy detachment is fine. I am sure there are people out there who are irritatingly dwelling for attention, like people with an exorbitant amount of privilege, but trying to tell people who’ve lost family members to murder, who survived wars, who have been raped or sexually abused continually or beat or verbally abused and raised poor that they should “get over it” is completely discounting any real useful advice, or systemic criticism…like the fact that the trauma of all of these issues are ignored by the government on a daily basis (hence the constant cuts in funding for social programs). Clumping this kind of pain in the same category as “not getting enough toys from your parents” is like saying “it’s all relative” to the outcome of a gun versus a pebble. Some circumstances really don’t compare. “Pain” is not some blanket term. Some people don’t even have blankets. 
    Like someone posted, therapy is a great solution, sliding scale therapy too.

    • Raegan

      It’s basically saying that your past is your past and you can move on or you can dwell on it. You can’t change history and if you continue to prosecute the person who abused you continue the cycle of abuse.

      • Raegan

        My dad and other family members constantly pull the, “YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT I’VE BEEN THROUGH” card while at the same time abusing the rest of us. All you can really do is treat people with respect and forget the past no matter how hard it can be.

    • Anonymous

      Couldn’t of said it better myself.

    • Anonymous

      All that you’ve described is still happening. I guess it’s just another typical day in this evil world.

  • Guest

    “What you wouldn’t give to not understand.” Can’t tell what this means.

  • Jrdumais

    It means ignorance is bliss

  • Arwenivy77

    Speaking as someone who had an abusive and fanatical religious upbringing, and who has subsequently spent many years in and out of therapy, the moment I “got it” was when I stopped making excuses to continue to be anxious and depressed and started to live in the moment and be happy. It doesn’t mean life is perfect, it just means I have choices about how to see it. This is spot-on.

    • Mike

      Exactly.  Helps a lot with my study’s.  I just take things like you do and just live.

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  • Vicky Nguyen

    Please stop describing my existence in such concise, accurate-to-a-fault details. I cannot love the way you write any more than I already do right now, surely.

  • Enah Cruz

    How true can this really get? Oh Ryan, I just love you.

  • K

    Genius. And apparently, the person who resembles this the most is out of my life now. Maybe…? Luckily, I’ve pulled myself out from this rut a long time ago. Although I still visit it from time to time. Heh.

  • Angie Bitchface

    this describes my mom exactly, except for the last two paragraphs.

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