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The 7-Step Guide to Misery

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I doubt that anyone would say out loud that they love being miserable. Yet many people wallow in misery, doing the same things over and over that create their misery. While life is often challenging, lonely and heartbreaking, misery is a choice.

Why would someone make the choice to be miserable? Because it is often a way of getting attention and of attempting to get someone else to be responsible for them. If this is what you want, here is a roadmap to make sure you accomplish your goal!

1. Get Angry, Blame Others

When you blame others, you are being a victim. You are making others responsible for your misery, which is a sure-fire way of remaining miserable. While you might think that getting angry and blaming others is powerful, it actually renders you powerless. If others are the cause of your misery -- and you actually have no control over them -- then you are just a victim and there is nothing you can do to make things better for yourself. So for sure, do not stop blaming and don't take responsibility for yourself!

2. Listen to Your Inner Critic

One of the best ways of staying miserable is to blame and judge yourself. Telling yourself what a jerk you are, that you are not good enough and will never be good enough, that there is something basically wrong with you, that you are ugly or too fat or too skinny, that you are unlovable and no one will ever love you, that you are a loser and will never get anywhere, that you are stupid, that you are weird and will never fit in and so on, will ensure your misery. So to stay miserable, be sure to never value your beautiful, divine soul.

3. Fear Failure

Be sure to tell yourself that you must never, ever fail. Be sure to lie to yourself and tell yourself that failure means that you are stupid and a loser. Ignore the fact that every successful person has experienced many failures on the way to success. Never mind that happy and successful people take the risk of making a fool of themselves, and don't care if they do. By making failure a big deal, you guarantee that you will stay stuck in misery, staying too afraid to try something different.

4. Avoid Your Feelings by Using Substances

The last thing you want to do -- if you want to stay miserable -- is take responsibility for your feelings. You want to completely ignore the fact that your feelings are informational -- letting you know when you are rejecting yourself or when you are being loving to yourself, and when others are being loving or mean. Instead of embracing and learning from your feelings, you want to avoid them with sugar and junk food, as well as with drugs, nicotine and alcohol. Remember, the more you ignore your feelings, the worse you will feel. Eventually, ignoring your feeling may lead to illness, and then you can really be miserable!

5. Avoid Your Feelings With Process Addictions

If substances are not your thing -- or if they don't completely blot out your feelings -- there are many other ways to avoid your feelings. Instead of learning from your feelings and releasing them so they don't get stuck in your body, keep them stuck by watching too much TV, overworking, playing video games, turning to sex and porn and to love addiction, over-spending, gambling and so on. I'm sure you can find many ways to continue to avoid your feelings, which will continue to support your misery.

6. Strive to Be Perfect, to Be Right, to Win, and Don't Forget to Compare Yourself to Others

Striving to be "perfect" (whatever that is) is a vital choice to keep you miserable. Since "perfect" changes with each person, it will keep you dancing as fast as you can and wear you out. You will lose yourself as you give yourself up to others in your attempts to be perfect, and losing yourself is a sure path to misery. Be sure to focus on having to be right, to win, and frequently compare yourself to others. Above all, do not accept and value yourself as you are. Accepting and valuing yourself as you are is a major aspect of happiness, so you need to be sure not to do that.

7. Try to Control What You Can't Control

A great way of staying miserable is to keep trying to control what you can't control. Misery and frustration thrive on futile attempts to control others and outcomes. Keep on convincing yourself that if only you try harder or get more angry or more blaming, become more perfect and judge yourself more, or give yourself up to others, you will finally have the control you are seeking.

I'm sure there are others ways of staying miserable, but these are the ones I've found to consistently work. By following these guidelines, you are guaranteed to stay miserable!

Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is a relationship expert, best-selling author, and co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding® self-healing process, recommended by actress Lindsay Wagner and singer Alanis Morissette, and featured on Oprah. To begin learning how to love and connect with yourself so that you can connect with others, take advantage of our free Inner Bonding eCourse, receive Free Help, and take our 12-Week eCourse, "The Intimate Relationship Toolbox" - the first two weeks are free! Discover SelfQuest®, a transformational self-healing/conflict resolution computer program. Phone or Skype sessions with Dr. Margaret Paul.

Connect with Margaret on Facebook: Inner Bonding, and Facebook: SelfQuest.

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