20 Habits that Make your (and Everybody Else’s) Life Joyless

Sick of tired of being so happy all the time?

Has your easy ebullience and shrug-it-off attitude become a source of frustration and irritation?

If so, it might be time to diversify.

Being joyless gets a bad rap, but it has its plus sides. For a start, it makes you more relateable to the other lack-lusts. And everybody knows that being unhappy makes you more creative and interesting. It’ll also improve your empathy no end.

But best of all, being joyless is even easier to do than being joyful. Here’s a list of some effective ways to deduct joy right out of your day.

With these, you might ruin other people’s days too. Bonus.

1. Let others decide your mood

Pay very close attention to what the people around you say and do. Be hyper-vigilant for signs that they no longer love you, and for other slights and minor acts of aggression.

Never ever assume it’s something going on with them. Always assume it’s about you.

Punish people for spoiling your mood with their ill attention Click To Tweet

Be very specific in your mind about what constitutes unacceptable behaviour from people. Don’t worry about keeping the same standards yourself.

Give yourself license to get angry, irritated and insecure when they don’t hit the mark. And then maybe punish people by ignoring them, being passive aggressive or directly nasty.

And remember the golden rule: accept responsibility for nothing.

Don’t just restrict yourself to people you know: give your emotional wellbeing over to strangers you encounter in the shops, on the roads, and on the bus. Allow their poor self awareness and (god forbid) loud eating wreak havoc on your day, every day.

It’s the only way to live.

2. Count on everything in life staying exactly the same

Rely on both the positive and negative aspects of life staying exactly the same. This way, you’re guaranteed to be able to stay entitled and avoid responsibility at the same time. Perfect!

Get upset immediately when something happens that wasn’t in the plan.

Be irrationally annoyed when your train isn't on time. Or when your partner improves themselves Click To Tweet

Feel betrayed by your partner for working on self betterment. Go into mourning when your lover stops pursuing you quite so heavily (how dare they?)

3. Be very apathetic about your life without trying to change things

Don’t hold back on bitching about how pathetic your well paid job is. Everyone secretly enjoys hearing you complain after all.

4. Be really unaware

Don’t have a scrap of self-awareness.

Allow your psychological projections and defense mechanisms to run riot. Don’t bother noticing that the common thread between them is you.

Let it all hang out.

5. Take yourself extremely seriously

Put on a bit of weight? Let the number on that scale determine the quality of your life today.

Say something dumb at your meeting yesterday? Relive it in close detail. Imagine how disgusted people were.

6. Always, always focus on what’s missing

Be keenly aware on how – whatever you are doing – it falls short on your expectations.

Really zoom in on the specific way they, or it, has let you down.

7. Prioritise other people’s agendas

From the moment you wake up, make sure that the day isn’t yours. Respond to people’s texts and emails immediately.

Actually, be selective about it; respond to the people who massage your brain’s pleasure centers, and ignore everybody else. They can wait.

8. Spend days (weeks, years, etc.) procrastinating with your projects

Do only what pleases you, not what needs doing. Allow your creative projects to stop at the point they get hard. Because who really does what they say they’re going to do anymore?

And don’t you deserve to do what’s fun?

9. Waste a lot of time doing stuff you don’t care about, whilst kidding yourself that life is long

Spend days on end surfing the internet and updating your social media.

You did your time at college/University. It’s time to kick back.

10. Judge other people mercilessly

What are they wearing? What are they doing?

Why don’t they get a life already?

Forget grace; be unrelentingly unforgiving.

11. Contribute nothing

Make sure the Universe rotates squarely around you and yours.

12. Overthink and over analyse everything

Spend the whole day in your head.

What did that look mean? And what did they mean by that?

Second guess other people’s intentions and motivations.

13. Pretend everything’s perfect when it’s all gone to shit

What, there’s no problem! Nothing to look at here.

Get really fed up whenever anyone asks you to confront anything difficult. Tell them they’re over-analysing. That will shut them up.

14. Deny your needs

Take pride in the fact that you aren’t relying on anyone. Over-help everyone else (it’s not your fault everyone is so needy). That way, you can resent them when they aren’t suitably appreciative.

15. Trust nobody

Size up everyone’s potential to threaten you. Presume deceit; trust needs to be earned. Don’t believe anything the first time you hear it.

They’re either on your side or they’re not.

16. Focus on the imperfections

Why is the world so full of mistakes? And why has nobody got any high standards anymore?

Allow the world's poor standards to depress you Click To Tweet

Become depressed by the fact that no-one seems to care about the spelling errors in the coffee shop menus.

17. Expect people to do exactly as you do

You’re always so considerate. Why can’t everyone be more like you?

18. Eat crap, under-sleep, never exercise and have no routine

Stay under the rock you’ve been under since the health/wellness revolution.

19. Spend time with people who depress you

Carefully select people who will sap your energy with their self-entitled complaints and vitriolic rants. Misery loves company.

20. Use people to fulfil your transient wants and needs

Don’t choose your friends because you simply enjoy and like them.

Use people to support your agendas and affirm your self image Click To Tweet

Use people to prop you up, emotionally regulate you and entertain you as you procrastinate your life away. Also, use them to distract you from the parts of your life you’re in denial about. And drop them the second that they stop playing ball.

No-one is indispensable.


Obviously, this post is intended to be tongue-in-cheek. I’m not really encouraging you to become devoid of joy.

That said, we all do this shit – so no shame.

Sometimes seeing it in black and white, and laughing at yourself, helps.