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Company Hates Misery
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I know you’ve heard the old adage “misery loves company.” This in fact appears to be true. It is also true on the other end of the spectrum, “company hates misery.” Which I know most would agree on both accounts to varying degrees.
Again while on a walk with too much time on my hand to think, these sorts of things tend to pop into my head. And of course, it is fun to slice and dice these thoughts into palatable fit-healthy teaching points.
So in understanding that these two proverbs make complete sense in life’s drama, how could we learn to identify when one is miserable and the impact this emotion and activities has on our overall health? For one, both life philosophies provide both a degree of comfort and distress depending on who’s on the giving and receiving end.
For example, those miserable with their life circumstances may look for comfort in others that are experiencing the same situations. This in fact “can” bring about a level of reduced stress and anxiety when sharing the experience.
On the other hand, those that are happy with their life circumstances may become totally stressed out by those that impress their misery upon them. If that type of company is not embraced “misery that loves company” cannot be helped by those that don’t want to receive the negative energy.
So what do you do with this information? Good question. I came up with the following advisement for those that may fall on one side of the spectrum versus the other. The first 5 advisements deal with “If you are miserable… Then…” and the second set of 5 advisement's deal with “If you are not miserable… Then…”
1. If you are miserable and this misery is causing bad behavior or addictive habits that impact your ability to hold down a job and/or hurting your family, you should seek medical help. Addictive behaviors and habits cannot fix your underlying misery problems. And very few close family and friends have the ability to help you if you are experiencing chronic depression, addiction, or anxiety. If you continue to press family and friends over the same issues that are creating misery for you, you risk being pushed further outside of your closest circle of influence and confidants.
2. If you are miserable and your “closest” company begins to ignore you, this is an eye opening clue; they don’t want any more of your misery. It is too stressful for them and they simply don’t know how to help you. And chances are you are beginning to make them mentally and physically ill. When they begin to disappear, or are no longer accessible to you this is a serious indication of your problem. Get help!
3. If you are miserable and your company embraces your misery, watch out and ensure you don’t fall into bottomless obis of their misery, or control through drug intoxication. There is no way this type of company can help you with your problems. There is a big difference between empathizing to help alleviate misery and sinking to a new low.
4. If you are miserable and you've sought counsel from your company for years with no difference in your outlook, purpose of direction in life; it is high time to ditch this company. If not, you’ll continue to experience mental and physical health afflictions. Seek professional psychoanalytical and other medical services to get you out of this funk.
5. If you are miserable and your company is not; and they appear to be bullet proof from your misery. Beware; you can become co-dependent on these types of misery absorbers. Why do I say beware of the misery absorber? Because these types retain a degree of control over your overall happiness and health and purpose in life. If one day they are no longer available to you, the support you found in them will have to be replaced by something else. If you have not learned to be happy with yourself and are still miserable; mental and physical illness will become further thorns in your side. Unless you find another bullet proof misery absorber or you get professional help and address your underlying problem(s) things will not change. I’d say go with what’s behind door number two.
6. If you “are not” miserable and your company is, and they appear simply to need an ear to listen to something that has created stress in their life… It is often helpful and decent of you to empathize with them. Every one of us at some point or another will have a bad day. And it is a decent thing to comfort one in communicating we’ve all had these experiences and understand what they are going through. These types of sharing experiences can be quite effective in healing the spiritual being and providing a calming effect on the mental and physical well-being for those that experience temporary bouts of misery.
7. If you “are not” miserable and your company is, recall what I mentioned in the previous statement. Simply listen to their misery story and empathize with them. If they continue to “repeat” the pattern of misery impressed upon you daily, you have two choices: Continue to listen and absorb their pain. Or instruct them to seek professional treatment to help them with their problem(s). As long as you continue to absorb their drama, the misery impressed upon you will not stop and will eventually make you sick!
8. If you “are not” miserable and your company is, if they want to share their misery with you over drugs and drink, don’t get caught up in this addictive loop. Their misery “could” certainly become your crutch addiction. Many that are miserable drown themselves in toxic vices that are now priorities for them. They love to share these vices with a willing misery absorber. Remember, these types don’t really want to change; they want a miserable partner to share their hard luck stories within a mind numbing reality. A misery absorber that has addictive attributes can then convert you into a miserable soul. Don’t allow miserable people to ruin you and your family’s lives.
9. If you “are not” miserable and your company is, ensure you don’t confuse the need of a miserable soul as a romantic invitation. In many cases, within families and close circles of friends, relationships cultivated from one partner’s misery will ultimately be passed onto you and within your social circles. Avoid acting on sexual impulses when helping one that is miserable. Better yet, tell them a sexual relationship to resolve their underlying problems will not help, but would most likely become destructive. Ask them to seek professional help if they really want to get better. And later, if romance is in the cards, the relationship will have a chance.
10. If you “are not” miserable and your company is, and you feel entrapped by their dominant misery, you must remove yourself from this environment. This is especially true if you’ve been abused and have sought treatment to repair a past damaged relationship that can no longer work. And if this miserable soul has returned back into your life and will not leave you alone, you must seek protection through the legal, or police services. And if need be, and unfortunately, look to start a new life in a different community if you need to put distance between this person. Some things simply cannot be fixed and you do what you have to do for a piece of sanity.
At some point, we all must learn to lead our own lives. We would also serve our family and friends well if we could impress upon those that are miserable to learn to take charge of their own lives by getting help if the depressed misery condition becomes chronic.
If we do not learn to be happy with ourselves and situations, misery will certainly continue to radiate its negative energy within our inner core and impact our life energy. And to absorb too much negative energy for too long will make anyone mentally, physically and spiritually ill.
For your health’s sake and those that are miserable, learn to let miserable company know you care and are concerned about them. But also impress upon them you cannot help with their chronic misery and depressed condition, because you simply don’t have the skill sets to do so. Continue to promote having them seek medical, psychological, drug intervention/cessation, or psychoanalytical behavior therapy, etc.
In doing these things, you teach miserable company to stand on their own two feet to get the help they need. They can take your advice or leave it. Remember, you cannot carry others heavy misery burden on your shoulders for long periods of time. To absorb another’s misery for too long can have a compounding stress effect on your body which then can become detrimental to the encompassing being.
And recall as previously stated, although it is good to be an ear for those that are miserable in providing comfort, you must also learn to provide sound advisement and get out of the drama when you realize there is a chronic misery depression and/or substance abuse problem. If misery drama increases your stress levels and is not directly generated from within you, do not allow others misery to make you ill.
Remember, most of us are not bullet proof from absorbing too much misery. Understand life is full of drama, know when and how to help and remove yourself from the pitfalls that misery can impress upon your overall wellbeing.