Why Misery Loves Company

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They say misery loves company. And whoever “they” are, I think we can all agree they’re right.

So why does misery love company?

We all know somebody whose outlook on life makes even Debbie Downer look good. He or she feeds on negativity, can’t seem to find any good in life, and is always the first to find fault or blame in someone or something. Ultimately, the person’s attraction to negativity always seems to find its way to anyone who will hop aboard the misery train and ride along with them.

Is there any hope for the miserable person…and his or her company?

Here are some thoughts to consider:

1. People who live in misery typically live in the past. Not only do they live in the past, but they can’t seem to let it go. Likely, someone or something has left them hurt and greatly scarred. Instead of moving on and forgiving, they still carry around the weight of the burden(s). Essentially, those who live in misery become shackled to the pain and blinded to the present-day beauty and joy surrounding them. Rather than using the past as a reminder of what they’ve overcome and marching on into the future, they’ve instead set up permanent residency in the “valley of misery.” The best way to overcome misery to move on, live in the present, and embrace the future.

2. Miserable people usually miss out on real life. Because they’re chained to the pain, most people who live in misery miss out on abundant life happening all around them. Since they feel lonely or abandoned, they tend to bask in their loneliness rather than unlocking the shackles and joining in on the friendships and relationships knocking at their doors. One of the best ways to defeat misery is to stay busy in community with others. Invest in family members you may not know very well. Intentionally plug into a small group at church. Volunteer with missions (local or abroad). Ultimately, put the energy toward serving others. That’s where real life happens.

3. People who live in misery are generally selfish. Though it may sound a bit harsh, it’s true. Misery promotes putting one’s own feelings and needs ahead of others. Selfless individuals are generally happier people. When one’s focus is on God’s will, taking care of those in need, and making the world a better place, there’s no time left to wallow in misery. Misery gets trumped when selfishness is bumped. Choose selflessness every time.

4. Living in misery is quite pointless. God created us in His image…with a real purpose–worshiping Him and helping others come to know Him. Our ultimate goal is eternity in Heaven, so no one should waste a moment making Hell on earth–for themselves or anyone else. Frankly, misery is a choice. When we choose misery, we deny who we were created to be. There’s no better strategy to combat misery than intentionally choosing joy.

When misery comes knocking, don’t answer. There is hope for the miserable person, and it’s found in living abundantly and joyfully as God has created and called us. Misery may love company, but joy loves company so much more.

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2 thoughts on “Why Misery Loves Company

  1. Great post, Adam! You nailed it. People who live in misery probably don’t even realize it, but they repel most people besides their fellow Debbie Downers. I had a family member recently text me, discussing someone she still holds a grudge against for something that happened on the job nearly 10 years ago. Instead of getting into that conversation again, I simply offered to give her a book that helped me. We have to choose to put boundaries up and make sure we allow positive influences in our life. We can’t help those who are unwilling to change.

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    • Thanks, Chris. I completely understand. I have a few Negative Nancys in my own life that I’m constantly having to steer the conversations towards positivity and focusing on the good things. What you said about setting proper boundaries is spot on. Thanks for the comments and encouragement!

      Like

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