I Hate My Life: 33 Stories of People who Turned It Around

The opening line to Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina is “all happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way”.

That particular wording applies to couples and families. But the main idea can easily be applied to individuals: “All happy people are alike; each unhappy person is unhappy in their own way.”

The reasons that have brought you to the point of saying “I hate my life” are entirely your own and unique to you.

On the positive side: whatever troubles haunt you are not permanent, unless you want them to be. If life has ups and downs, you’re now in a down period.  

However, you are not alone in this. Others have felt what you feel, and have likely gone through problems somewhat like yours (some easier, some harder).

Many of these people have overcome their difficult situations. It may take some time and some effort, but it’s worth it in the end.

Below you’ll find the stories of people who felt just like you feel today, and what solutions they found to get their back on track.

33 stories of people who fixed their “I hate my life” phase

Learning to say “no”

Many hard problems in life come from doing things that aren’t aligned with your personality and objectives. Instead of focusing on the things that matter to you, you find yourself constantly having to prioritize the wants of others.

Reader stories:

There’s a saying that goes “No is the most powerful word”. It’s surprising how easy it is to end up in a situation that isn’t good for you, simply for being too polite (or feeling too guilty) to refuse. 

The worst people will even make you feel guilty for turning them down and force you into giving them an explanation. But there’s another saying for that as well: “No is a complete sentence”.

John

I stopped doing things just because they were expected of me from other people. Doing so has drastically decreased my depression and anxiety, which has made me such a happy, more loving person. I was so wrapped up in trying to please everyone I lost sight of who I was and the things that make me happy.

Kaitlyn

I had definitely fallen into the category of people who needed to say ‘no’ more often, and I took that advice and rolled with it for a while. It felt really good not having to go out of my way for people when I really didn’t feel like I was up for it myself.

But wow, it can really get to you. People can really make you feel bad when you don’t do something they want you to do. It feels like I’m being attacked sometimes for saying ‘no’ to the smallest of things.

anonymous blog reader

Quitting a toxic relationship

Healthy relationships build us up, but toxic ones can damage your self-esteem and sense of identity to the point where you don’t recognize yourself.

These relationships often start out as strong and healthy, but as the negativity slowly creeps up you lose touch with the hobbies, passions and friends that made you happy. Before you know it, you end up trapped in a relationship that breeds miserability.

unconditional love, romantic couple, sarcasm

Reader’s stories

I’m 366 days out of a toxic relationship. It’s almost hard for me to believe how much better my life is now – I don’t dread going to my own home at the end of every work day, I have my own hobbies and see my friends whenever I want. I’m not constantly sick with anxiety or walking on eggshells.

It hasn’t been easy (it’s the first time in my life I’ve ever had to “adult” on my own,) but I am so, so happy. Even though life is a little harder, it is much better.

A year ago, I‘m not even sure that I believed that I could have (or deserved) this much happiness in my life.

emma

Back when I was 20ish I was dumped by my girlfriend. Went into a crazy depression for about a month where I never left my house or did anything I didn’t have to and got drunk by myself a lot. She was also messing with me the whole time and it just made me more angry/depressed.

Then one day I decided ‘screw it’ and threw all of her stuff in the garbage. I had set it aside and been waiting for her to pick up for over a month. She would text me every day ‘Hey I can’t pick it up today I’ll grab it tomorrow’ and I would sit around waiting for her the next day like an idiot. It felt fantastic to throw it all away.

Then I deleted her number, deleted her Facebook, and realized if I wanted a new girlfriend, I needed to get in shape. From then on, I hit up the elliptical for at least an hour and a half every day till I was in good shape (I realize now there are better ways to do this but it worked). I also basically decided to become Jim Carrey from Yes Man and say yes to any opportunities (that weren’t illegal) that I came across. It was great.

dave

No more zero days

If you use Reddit, then you’re probably familiar with the post below. It was written by a certain Ryan from Canada, in response to a thread opened by a fellow user titled simply: “I just don’t care about myself.”

Below is Ryan’s comment in full.

No more zero days:

Ouch. Sounds like you’re having a tough time Max. That sucks. I’ve been there, so I kinda know what you’re talking about. I’ve been in the ever circling vortex of self doubt, frustration, and loathing. It’s no bueno. I know. If you don’t mind lemme tell you a couple things. You can read ‘em if you want, read ‘em again later if you feel like it. But honestly man, if I spend all this time typing this out to you and you don’t let it be a little tinder for your fire, well, you’re just letting us both down. And you don’t HAVE to do that. You don’t HAVE to do anything. But you get to choose.

(Who am I? My name’s Ryan and I live in Canada. Just moved to a new city for a dream job that I got because of the rules below. I owe a lot of my success to people much cooler, kinder, more loving and greater than me. When I get the chance to maybe let a little bit of help out, it’s a way of thanking them.)

Rule numero uno – There are no more zero days. What’s a zero day? A zero day is when you don’t do a single f****** thing towards whatever dream or goal or want or whatever that you got going on. No more zeros. I’m not saying you gotta bust an essay out everyday, that’s not the point. The point I’m trying to make is that you have to make yourself, promise yourself, that the new SYSTEM you live in is a NON-ZERO system. Didn’t do anything all damn day and it’s 11:58 PM? Write one sentence. One pushup. Read one page of that chapter. One. Because one is non zero. You feel me? When you’re in the super vortex of being bummed your pattern of behavior is keeping the vortex going, that’s what you’re used to. Turning into productivity ultimate master of the universe doesn’t happen from the vortex. It happens from a massive string of CONSISTENT NON ZEROS. That’s rule number one. Do not forget.

This is what improving yourself just 0.10% a day looks like over a 2 year period. The math check out.

La deuxieme regle – yeah I learned French. It’s a Canadian thing. Please excuse the lack of accent graves, but lemme get into rule number 2. BE GRATEFUL TO THE 3 YOU’S. Uh what? 3 me’s? That sounds like mumbo jumbo bullshit. News flash, there are three you’s homeslice. There’s the past you, the present you, and the future you. If you wanna love someone and have someone love you back, you gotta learn to love yourself, and the 3 yous are the key. Be GRATEFUL to the past you for the positive things you’ve done. And do favors for the future you like you would for your best bro. Feeling like crap today? Stop a second, think of a good decision you made yesterday. Salad and tuna instead of Big Mac? THANK YOU YOUNGER ME. Was yesterday a nonzero day because you wrote 200 words (hey, that’s all you could muster)? THANK YOU YOUNGER ME. Saved up some coin over time to buy that sweet thing you wanted? THANK YOU. Second part of the 3 me’s is you gotta do your future self a favor, just like you would for your best friend (no best friend? You do now. You got 2. It’s future and past you). Tired as hell and can’t get off Reddit/videogames/interwebs? Screw your present self, this one’s for future me, I’m gonna rock out p90x Ab Ripper X for 17 minutes. I’m doing this one for future me. Alarm clock goes off and bed is too comfy? Screw you present self, this one’s for my best friend, the future me. I’m up and going for a 5 km run (or 25 meter run, it’s gotta be non zero). MAKE SURE YOU THANK YOUR OLD SELF for rocking out at the end of Every. Single. Thing. that makes your life better. The cycle of doing something for someone else (future you) and thanking someone for the good in your life (past you) is key to building gratitude and productivity. Do not doubt me. Over time you should spread the gratitude to others who help you on your path.

Rule number 3- don’t worry I’m gonna too long didnt’ read this bad boy at the bottom (get a pencil and piece of paper to write it down. Seriously. You physically need to scratch marks on paper) FORGIVE YOURSELF. I mean it. Maybe you got all the know-how, money, ability, strength and talent to do whatever is you wanna do. But let’s say you still didn’t do it. Now you’re giving yourself crap for not doing what you need to, to be who you want to. Heads up champion, being disappointed in yourself causes you to be less productive. Tried your best to have a nonzero day yesterday and it failed? So what. I forgive you previous self. I forgive you. But today? Today is a nonzero masterpiece to the best of my ability for future self. This one’s for you future homies. Forgiveness man, use it. I forgive you. Say it out loud.

Last rule. Rule number 4, is the easiest and it’s three words. Exercise and books. That’s it. Pretty standard advice but when you exercise daily you actually get smarter. When you exercise you get high from endorphins (thanks body). When you exercise you clear your mind. When you exercise you are doing your future self a huge favor. Exercise is a leg on a three legged stool. Feel me? As for books, almost every thing we’ve all ever thought of, or felt, or gone through, or wanted, or wanted to know how to do, or whatever, has been figured out by someone else. Get some books max. Post to Reddit about not caring about yourself? Good first step! (nonzero day, thanks younger me for typing it out) You know what else you could do? Read “7 Habits of Highly Successful People”. Read “emotional intelligence”. Read “From Good to Great”. Read “Thinking Fast and Slow”. Read books that will help you understand. Read the bodyweight fitness Reddit and incorporate it into your workouts. (how’s them pullups coming?) Reading is the warp whistle from Super Mario 3. It gets you to the next level that much faster.

That’s about it, man. There’s so much more when it comes to how to turn nonzero days into hugely nonzero days, but that’s not your mission right now. Your mission is nonzero and forgiveness and favors. You got 36 essays due in 24 minutes and it’s impossible to pull off? Your past-self let you down big time, but hey… I forgive you. Do as much as you can in those 24 minutes and then move on.

I hope I helped a little bit Max. I could write about this forever, but I promised myself I would go do a 15 minute run while listening to A. Skillz Beats Working Vol. 3. Gotta jet. One last piece of advice though. Regardless of whether or not reading this for the first time helps make your day better, if you wake up tomorrow, and you can’t remember the 4 rules I just laid out, please, please. Read this again.

Have an awesome day ☺

ryan from canada

Being honest with yourself, and living life on your terms

Life is complicated and has a funny way of tricking you into putting other people’s needs above your own.

There are of course situations where that’s the best thing to do. But those are the exceptions, not the rule. Ultimately, finding happiness requires a putting one’s needs first to create a stable, satisfying and enriching life.

It sound selfish, but then again, most people love to be around someone who has their life put together and is visibly content and satisfied in their attitude.

Reader’s story

I stopped lying – about anything. Stopped trying to be anything but myself (I still try to improve myself… but I don’t try to be something I’m not.)

It was a steady upward progression from there. Immediate improvements in some areas, others took a few years.

Interviews went better. They learned whether I would be a good fit and since I wasn’t worried about them “seeing me” wrong – I was just being myself and if it didn’t appeal to them, well, that was good to know from the start. Another upside was that I focused on learning more about them, and whether I liked the company or not.

That helped me get jobs that were a better fit for me.

Relationships went better. No more trying to be what somebody else wants.  Nowadays, I offer what I have and if it isn’t enough for them, ok, then we stop trying to force the relationship to be something it isn’t.

Also, and this was a big surprise, when I stopped worrying about whether I ‘won’ an argument or not, and just tried to be honest about what I was feeling, what I was going through, what I wanted and what I was seeing… it simplified things a great deal and actually lead to much more useful conversations. It’s hard to argue/fight when you’re just saying what you’re thinking and feeling… it’s clearer, cleaner.

And finally, there were a lot of things I’d hide away because they weren’t “acceptable” to people. Things that I never risked showing for fear of driving people away, but as it turns out, did not really bother people. I mean – there’s plenty of people who don’t accept me / don’t want to date me … but that was true before too ? .

Family stuff became simpler. I stopped letting my parents talk badly to me – not by getting in fights about it, but just by honestly responding when they said something. Dad talked crap about mom? “Ok Dad, I think she’s pretty good actually. She’s done X, Y, and Z for me and it meant a lot to me. She does bug me with Q, R and S maybe, but we don’t have to agree.”

I still stress and fear and have disagreements – but I stress less, and when I fear something I just talk about – still scary, but easier when you talk about it – and disagreements are… easier somehow (or impossible – this doesn’t help me ‘win’ life or anything – but either way, my part is simpler).

I guess it was as much letting go of the worrying about what other people thought about what I was saying as it was committing to sharing my honest self … but whatever, basically I stopped being “false” and that made everything… if not always better, almost always simpler.

victor

Doing things even when you’re not in the mood

Chances are you already know what needs to be done to get yourself back on your feet, but you just can’t find the motivation to do it.

Sometimes, life requires work

Lots of self-help books, guides and courses and other similars have been written on how to find motivation. But all of them just complicate the obvious: if you want something, just do what you need to get it, whether you’re motivated or not.

Reader stories:

Realizing I’m never going to be in the mood to do anything. I would literally live the life of a cat if left to my own instincts and someone would feed me. To get things done I have to ignore my instincts and get out of my mind. Activate yourself.

liz

Actively deciding to make myself do things – go for a walk, go to the gym, call up a friend – has made a huge change in my life. Because otherwise, I would just browse the web and play video games all day. Yesterday I made plans with a coworker to go to the gym after work today. This morning I spent 30 minutes trying to come up with a reason not to go before deciding to bite the bullet and go. I’m pretty pleased with myself.

anonymous blog reader

I have been struggling with depression for a while now. It got to the point where I shunned my friends, and would prefer to stay home and play video games instead of hang out with friends. My group of friends have a weekly D&D session that I would attend, but then stopped going, making excuses that I was working too late and was “too tired” to go to D&D after work. I’m pretty sure my friends saw through the excuse, and my friendships suffered, because they thought I didn’t want to see them.

Recently I started forcing myself to go to D&D again. I treat it like a commitment that I am beholden to. It’s been very good decision, as now I am forced to hang out with my friends at least once a week. I am rebuilding my friendships, and I totally feel like I’m a part of the group again.

I think it’s really helping my depression.

alex

Shortening a commute to work

You may or may not have heard of the “commuter’s paradox”. In short, commuter’s paradox describes how people severely underestimate just how much a long daily commute can decrease their happiness. Instead, they’ll overestimate how much happier they’ll feel with a bigger house, yard or an extra room.

However, study after study has shown that long commutes (1 hour or more) decimate a person’s life satisfaction, overall health and narrows the freedom they have in life.

Reader’s stories:

I had a 90 minute commute before and hated it. I solved that problem by moving across the street from my job after I worked there long enough to determine I enjoyed the job.

The problem for me was that the drive in traffic was so stressful that I was showing up to work already wiped out. Additionally, it basically means you’re spending 12 hours a day (assuming an hour lunch) on work. If you get 8 hours of sleep and spend 1 hour each getting ready in the morning and eating dinner/unwinding at night, that leaves you with 2 hours of free time which are probably going to be spent doing chores, buying groceries, etc.

I’ve heard of other people who don’t mind long commutes and think of the drive as quiet time to themselves for relaxing. I personally never felt that way.

sean

I live less than 10 minutes from my job. No highway travel. It is fantastic. I feel guilty smiling internally as I listen to my coworkers talk about how bad traffic getting in/out was and how long it took them. I realize there’s a lot of reasons to have a longer commute, but I personally can’t tolerate it at this point in my life. I’m sure once I have kids or something that will change. Also, I spend next to nothing on gas each month as I often just take the bus to work.

jenn

Someone recently left our workplace over their commute time. She now walks to work in 10 minutes and has the time to drop off her kids, make dinner, etc. We totally undervalue the amount of time we can save if we had the ability to have closer workplaces. And the recouping of sanity.

anonymous contributor

Moving closer to my workplace, reducing my commute from 1 hour to 25 minutes changed my life and I was much happier.

In college, I remember having a “Real World 101” class where they invited past graduates to talk about their experiences and share lessons learned. Housing, insurance, taxes, jobs, etc.

One speaker highlighted the point you made. “Try to shorten your commute as much as possible. Pays off in so many ways:”

– You can wake up later, get more sleep and still get to work on time.

– You can leave work on time and get home faster. Get a head start and beat the rush hour traffic.

– If you forget something at home, you can go back and get it quickly. Lifesaver for important meetings.

– If you have to work overtime, it’s not a big deal. Staying an extra hour won’t result in you getting home at 10 p.m

– You can go home during lunch hour to eat or maybe even take a nap.

– When you get home, you’re more relaxed and less stressed because you weren’t stuck in traffic for that long. You have the energy to do things with your free time. You have free time because you’re not wasting it on a commute.

– More time to go out at night with friends, on dates, to concerts, indulge in hobbies, etc. Easier to maintain friendships and enter new relationships.

anonymous contributor

Getting better sleep

Besides the obvious effects on energy levels and mental health, sleep has a very strong correlation to our emotional state.

Sleep deprivation activates “worry” centers in our brain, specifically the amygdala and insular cortex.  This in turn increases our levels of anxiety and feelings of unease, which in turn discourages us from getting better sleep.

Furthermore, sleep deprivation weakens the communication between the amygdala and the frontal lobes of our brain, the ones responsible for rational control of our actions. Worded differently, this means you have less control over your emotions and they are now capable of overpowering your rational mind.

A straightforward solution to this is to just sleep more. Unfortunately, for some people this isn’t easy to do (because of medical issues, loud environments & other stressors).

Source

Reader stories:

Sleep more. Used to sleep 4-5 hours a night. Couldn’t concentrate, exhausted, my cycle was messed up (3 months between) and I was sick all the time. Now I get 7-8 hours a night. I feel so much better.

richie

Socially, it’s not “acceptable” to sleep a lot — those of us with lower tolerance for sleep deprivation often get branded as being “lazy”. It’s not that we don’t want to sleep, it’s that we get more pressure to make do with short sleep than those who can manage it do. We have to change social attitudes toward sleep. “Sleep shaming” is a real problem. If I’m responsible, make the time for it, and prioritize my 8 hours of sleep, I still get questions about what’s wrong or if I’m eating well. Insane.

ben

Hopefully my story reaches someone.

People seem to drastically underestimate the importance of quality sleep. My entire life I never had problems falling asleep or staying asleep, but I would never wake up refreshed – I’d get 8 hours of sleep but wake up with a headache and feel like I didn’t sleep at all.

Eventually I saw a sleep doctor, where I found out that I had an extremely deviated septum.  Because of this I couldn’t breathe well while asleep, which basically prevents your brain & body from entering and staying in your deep sleep cycle.

I had surgery to correct this deviation a couple weeks ago and am already noticing a difference. I can remember my dreams, which was something I couldn’t do in the past. More energy, better mood, better ability to handle stressors & anxiety. I’m still healing from the surgery so I’m hoping the results will only continue to improve.

Obviously, this isn’t to suggest that everyone has a deviated septum, but you may consider taking a hard look at the quality of your sleep and acting accordingly. It can be a life changer.

mary

Quitting a smoking habit

If you’re a smoker, you probably already know all of the major negative effects of smoking. There’s been a lot of research on the topic, as well as heavy discussion in the media.

What isn’t so heavily talked about are the health benefits of quitting smoking, and their cascading effects in improving your overall health as well as mood and mental health.

Reader stories:

I stopped smoking cigarettes. just doing that has snowballed everything else for me to get healthier.

Changed my diet, started exercising, lost a good deal of weight, depression is getting less, and more good things that come with quitting!

another alex

If you stick with it (quitting smoking), you may very well wake up one day like I did and realize how crappy you felt for years. You’ll realize this because you feel really, really good. Your body feels healthy. You don’t stink. Get your teeth cleaned. Your breath will not be foul. You can take in deep breaths and enjoy it. You stop coughing things out of your lungs every time you take a shower. You can sit through a terrible movie without going outside. Wash all your clothes, because they will stink and you won’t anymore. You can get through your day and not feel a slave to the cancer sticks. You’ll feel deep down that if you wanted to run a marathon, you really could after some training. You will feel great for no real reason and look back and realize how terrible you had been feeling.

henry

I have energy that I didn’t know I didn’t have. Tons of extra time that I’m not going outside to choke myself on some cigarette. The smell and taste of food. Waking up refreshed. I feel like I have more clarity, my brain is more focused. I’m not panicky anymore. I still get cravings, but I remember how I’d seriously lose my temper if I was stuck in a meeting at work past my break. Now I control myself… not the cigarette. That is a great benefit. My acne is clearing up. The dark spots under my eyes seem to be going away. When I take a super deep breath, it doesn’t hurt. I can laugh without coughing.

chloe

Starting an exercise regime

Physical exercise is an incredibly powerful mood booster. In one famous study, physical exercise was found to be a better treatment of depression than medication.

Exercise releases chemicals that boost your mental wellbeing such as endorphins (reduces pain, stress, anxiety and improves sleep) and serotonin (mood booster, relaxation, and combating headaches).

Cardio will greatly increase your energy levels by strengthening your heart and circulatory system in order to cope with the strain of exercise.

People who exercise don’t tire easily in daily life because their bodies are built to cope with long exercise sessions.

For them, everyday life is like living on easy mode since it only uses maybe 30%-40% of their physical capacity.

Reader’s stories

Go to the gym. It’s an almost instant relief. You don’t have to be a gym rat, but running, or lifting releases endorphins and makes you feel good about yourself. After a week or two of going I WANT to go and it gives me a reason to leave the house. I start looking better, and my mood improves. I swear you might not think it’ll work for you, but just go to the gym for a week and really try, don’t kill yourself, but put in some effort. It helps.

gabe

Physical activity: I can’t believe how many times I’ve learned, forgotten, and re-learned this lesson. All of life’s nonsense seems so much easier to deal with when you’re working out regularly.

nat

Some time ago, I was hitting it off with this girl and we met a few times and she just stopped talking to me. My weight may not have been it, but in my mind that was the most likely reason. Started running, couldn’t even run a quarter mile. Within 6 months I was running 8 miles and had lost 50lbs, found an amazing girlfriend and my general health is a million times better. Also, the compliments make you feel great.

For any of you that are thinking, I’m too fat I can’t do it or worried about people seeing you run (some of my friends have this excuse) just get out there and do it! You are most likely doing way more than those people have done in months.

Also, buy some good shoes like, ‘wow these shoes are kind of expensive’ kind of shoes, totally worth it. And, of course, a decent diet helps enormously.

chris

Stop drinking

Long term drinking has a severe impact on the body. The liver is perhaps the hardest struck organ, immediately followed by the brain. Alcohol damages our mind by reducing gray matter in our brains (source 1, source 2), which is responsible for sensory coordination, learning ability and more. Other major side effects include (but aren’t limited to) memory loss, poor attention span, and inability to think abstractly.

On a more positive note, quitting alcohol will often lead to a recovery of those mental abilities. It may take months, and the recovery will not be 100%, but it’s better to have most of something, than to have none of it.

Reader’s stories:

I remember waking up one morning, and seeing a packed suitcase. On that occasion, it didn’t mean she was leaving me or that I’m off to rehab. The suitcase was there because my wife and I were going on a vacation and she was excited enough to pack days ahead of time. Damn it feels good to wake up sober.

ian

Quitting alcohol gets much easier when you reach about 5-6 months of not drinking. That’s about the point when youREALLY start noticing physical and mental changes as well. It took about that long before I was able to sleep well on my own and when I realized that my memory was much better than I thought it was. It’s weird remembering things from a year or two ago clearly when I struggled to remember small things for more than a week or two when I drank. It was around that 6 month mark when I also noticed that I was better able to cope with stressful situations. I’d turn to drinking before when things got stressful but I no longer thought about that anymore at that point. Also, I was actually resolving issues rather than putting them off and ignoring them. On top of that, hitting yearly anniversaries is a great feeling of accomplishment.

george

Eating better

As the saying goes, “we are what we eat”. Food has a direct and indirect impact on mental wellbeing. In some cases, it can be the food itself that affects one’s outlook on life.

Other times, bad eating habits affects one’s physical aspect and self-image, which then have cascading effects on one’s confidence levels, positivity and quality of life.

Reader’s stories:

I started eating better. Its more complex than that, in terms of what actually changes, but as an umbrella rule eating better will have crazy beneficial impacts. I started doing this in January and have stuck with it. It really is amazing how much better I feel. My body doesn’t hurt anymore (I’m 44, so everything hurts for no reason), I no longer have heartburn and as a side bonus, I’ve lost almost 30lbs.

anonymous contributor

I was reading a book about changing the way you think about eating and came across the phrase “I am not a garbage disposal”. It was in reference to always feeling the need to eat everything on your plate. I try to remember this – I’m NOT a garbage disposal and don’t have to cram everything on my plate into my body.

jeanie

I believe this to be the #1 problem nobody wants to address. People will address how they deal with depression or victim blaming often (which are issues to deal with) but after seeing how some people eat on a regular basis I’m no longer surprised why they are tired or feel like crap. I’m not saying I eat salads and lean meat for every meal but learning to cook most of your meals if you have time, with lots of healthy ingredients, has made me feel better from day to day.

anonymous blog contributor

I quit my job late September-ish because I was in despair about my weight. I was managing a convenience store, and that made it difficult to make good choices, food-wise. Not impossible, but difficult. That fact, combined with a growing hatred of higher management convinced me.

I cashed out my retirement and am living on that while I lose weight and readjust to life as a normal human. I’m down more than 100 pounds so far, and I already feel like a different person.

carlos

Working around one’s own personality limitations

Nobody is perfect, and nobody will be perfect. Everyone has limitations that can prevent them from living the life they want. It can be temper issues, extreme shyness, lack of confidence, laziness etc.

Sometimes it’s possible to fix these personality traits. Other times, these traits aren’t truly “fixable” so the person has to learn how to work around them.

Reader stories:

Being more positive:

Making a conscious effort to try and be more positive.

I’m quite cynical, and I’ve recently tried to be optimistic/positive rather than leaping to the worst conclusions. I do this by making a list of potential solutions when I have a problem rather than just dwelling on the fact it happened, if I’m having a bad day and people ask how I am I don’t reel off all the bad stuff – I just say I’m not having a great day but I think it’ll get better and ask how they are instead, I pick out good things and try to learn from stuff when it goes wrong rather than just feeling I failed.

It’s been quite tough but I do feel happier and more hopeful, it’s not a fix-all for all my problems but it’s really helped adjust my attitude.

emily

Controlling one’s anger:

Every time I’m angry at someone for something I try to give it 20 mins before I say or do something. Usually I’ve cooled off or the situation has been explained. If not my argument/grievance is articulated way better than it would have been. It wasn’t easy at first. Anger is a reflex so it takes conscious effort to control yourself. But there’s no better feeling than someone apologizing to you before you bring up what upset you.

eric

Being easier to be around:

I realized I was a difficult person and started making changes to make me easier to be around.

To be honest, I just saw how others reacted to situations and copied them. A “fake it till you make it” sorta thing, after some time you just start naturally responding and soon it’s just who you are. I practiced emotions (and still do) when I watch movies. Probably not the best way to go about it but that’s what’s been working for me. I’m the happiest I’ve ever been. You will lose some people along the way but those are the ones that were holding you back.

julian