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  • Writer's pictureDr. Jon

Jon's Rules For Being Miserable [Satire]

Updated: Mar 16, 2023

I’ve worked in the mental health field for 16 years.

I’ve been a triage counselor at a psychiatric hospital, an elementary school counselor for 8 years and the past several years I’ve spent as the Executive Director of Peace Partnership, a non-profit counseling cent focused on providing low-cost, high-quality counseling for those who wouldn't otherwise be able to afford it.

During that time I’ve experienced a lot of... ahem... stuff.

I’ve been spit on, hit, kicked, and called the entire spectrum of colorful adjectives.

I’ve also been blessed to be a part of hundreds of successful stories too.

All of these experiences have given me much insight into human behavior.

Despite my best efforts (and the best efforts of an army of additional mental health professionals and support services) some people never seem to make any real progress in life.


Why are some people able to overcome the problems bedeviling them while others never seem to master them? Like a moth to a bug zapper, some people always seem to gravitate towards what will burn them. Why is that?

Oftentimes the answer is choice.

Anyone can learn to be miserable if they set their mind to it, and the best news is that it’s achievable right now. If you want to crank up the dial on misery to the next level, here’s how to do it:

1. Focus on whatever is awful.

The best part about living in a sinful world is that there is never a shortage of awful things to focus on. The human brain is an astonishing organ that scientists estimate is 30 times faster than the fastest supercomputer.[1]

Why not use all that raw power for something negative?

  • Just got married? 50% of marriages end in divorce.

  • Just won the lottery? People will only love you for your money.

  • Finished a good book? You’ll probably have to read 10 bad ones to find your next good one.

The world can be really miserable if you let it.

2. Argue about everything and refuse to admit when you’re wrong.

Not everyone is as smart as you are.

So when people try to convince you of something start an argument with them. If you’re unsure about the most effective way to do this, attack their character.

This type of argument is called an ad hominem argument. It’s Latin and means, “to the man,” or, “to the person.” Basically, you want to bypass the issue in question and attack the person. It looks like this:

“Well, obviously your political party doesn’t know how to be fiscally responsible so I wouldn’t expect you to, either.”

Do you see how I insulted the other person’s intelligence and cleverly disrespected their political views at the same time? Technically, ad hominem arguments are classified as a logical fallacy, but don’t let stupid details get in the way of the bigger picture –

You always being right.

3. Always be a victim.

Here’s a brilliant example: Al Capone once said,

“I have spent the best years of my life giving people the lighter pleasures, helping them have a good time, and all I get is abuse, the existence of a hunted man.”

Rationalization is your best friend. No matter how many people you’ve alienated, offended, left deeply hurt, or bloodied along the road of life always remember:


An added benefit of playing the victim is that most everyone around you feels obligated to make you feel better, which in turn gives you the opportunity to argue with them.

4. Make vague generalizations a part of your everyday speech.

Generalizations are easy once you get the hang of them. Here’s what they are: a broad statement or idea that is applied liberally to specific situations.

Here’s a few great generalizations I’ve heard:

  • “All men are pigs and only think about sex.”

  • “All women are greedy, gold-digging manipulators.”

  • “Europe is better than the US. They’ve got it figured out.”

  • “Poor people are lazy.” [2]

Generalizations make it easy for you to play God by thinking you have everything in life neatly classified and categorized. It also helps you exercise self-righteous indignation over just about anything.

But remember not to actually DO anything about what you're complaining about. If you did, you might fail, and you’re above that. Besides, (a.) you need to maintain your special role as the victim, and (b.) you need to have something to argue with everyone about.

Remember these easy-to-follow guidelines and you’ll never be in any fear of losing what makes all dysfunctional people really happy:

The ability to be really miserable.


[1] Crazy, right!? [2] There are several more rules for being miserable than I’ve listed here (for example, incessant complaining) but I wanted to give you a solid foundation from which to build a miserable existence.

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