HANDLING CHRONICALLY MISERABLE PEOPLE

In Relationships
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Chronic misery is a disease. It takes a toll on the host and it takes a toll on everybody around the host.

Such people have a hard life for themselves. They find some or the other reason to become unhappy about. They become unhappy over things that do not warrant any unhappiness at all. They make a mountain out of a molehill. By the time, the issue is resolved they will find something else to be unhappy about. They thrive on misery. They also create challenges out of nothing so that they have something to be bothered about and something to overpower. As if becoming unhappy is their biggest love, their biggest hobby, their biggest pleasure.

SUPPORTING CHRONICALLY MISERABLE PEOPLE

Such people deserve love more than anybody else. They deserve our support more than anybody else. Ironically, despite our support they will continue to be miserable. One sometimes wonders whether supporting them is worthwhile. And if they are narcissists to boot, they will never be satisfied how much you support them. They will always find your support far lesser than their expectation.

SUPPORT IS A TRAP

Far from being relieved by your comforting presence and supportive acts, they will also draw you into the their whirlpool of woes. If such a person is an intimate relationship, there is a far greater chance that you have a history of love and hate with them. Your love for them will get you to empathize with them and will get you to make endeavors to support them. During these endeavors, your issues with them and their issues with you, will however not stop from coming into play. You too have an appetite for misery. Both of you will together create circumstances and have friction so that both end up being miserable. You might wonder whether both of you were better off without one person being empathetic to another.

SCIENCE BEHIND THE FRICTION

It all begins with surfacing of old issues or old patterns during a discussion. The discussion converts itself into an argument without you getting any wind of it. Eventually leading to an upset followed by expression of the upset that is full of anger, fear and blame. Once this game of casting aspersions out of blame is over, there is the downside of the sinusoidal curve that’s characterized with sadness, guilt and shame. It may last for a few minutes or few months.

Since there is essentially a bond of love too in the relationship (which got you empathetic in the first place), both parties now relate to each other’s misery and seek each other’s forgiveness whether within their own minds or through overt expressions. It appears that this is the end of the story and you can heave a sigh of relief.

THE VICIOUS CYCLE OF RELAPSE

But the truth cannot be further than that. During this phase, both or all the parties that are involved are gathering momentum to repeat the cycle just waiting for the next appropriate trigger. The pendulum is simply swinging on the other side so that it can come back with equal gusto.

The misery doesn’t seem to end with chronically miserable people and their near and dear ones. Sometimes not for decades. It seems God exacts a price out of you in return of giving you the privilege of having people around you to love or relate with. It is questionable if it a privilege though. And it is also absolutely questionable whether the pleasure from the love and warmth that you get from and give this person is worth the amount of upset, blame, anger, fear, grief, guilt and shame that is exacted in return.

Relatively unemotional people have it easy here. They leave the chronically miserable to handle their life in their own way. They do not enter the picture first riding upon empathy nor they end up running out of the picture ridden with a host of negative feelings.

Learn to be helpful but relatively unemotional with such people to stop subjecting yourself and them to repetitive misery.

7 Comments

  1. What is the root cause of Misery?
    If the roots are taken care— as in case of a tree by nourishing , watering, sun shine etc– Let us idenify the roots & how to nourish them -‘ is the way out

  2. Uparaam thai javu… Is the secret of being able to get through with life with such people….

  3. This type of person is fairly common in everyone’s life, but we seldom discuss managing relations with such person. I like the way you provide a top view of how the needle of clock moves through your article.

    I agree with the suggestion of handling these people unemotionally. However my personal experience is that if their is no reason to remain bonded to this person (i.e., if you are not relatives, or not a couple of very close friends), one tends to simply walk out of this and stay away from such people, and thus , their misery fuels itself.

  4. Insightful n Incisive to d core….I completely buy;what u suggested . Although it’s important to support such people….one’s got b nonsupportive of d misery they thrive on.

  5. The last paragraph sums it beautifully.

    Thank You for bringing the discussion on very imp subjects.

    They are a source of great learning.

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