26 Common Habits of Unhappy People


Most of us would agree that good habits lead to feeling good and bad habits lead to feeling bad. That’s the whole point of fostering good habits. You don’t create better habits to show off to others, you do it because you hope that they will make you feel good. So, it’s understandable that if you keep doing bad habits you’ll always find yourself unhappy or even depressed.

It’s understandable that some people get bad habits. Bad habits are easy to pick up, especially if you live a very stressful life. I still have bad habits and I’m sure you do too.

The biggest problem with bad habits is they make you progressively more unhappy over time. If you don’t address them you can never really find a sense of happiness in life. After all, that’s the main goal that all of us universally have.


I know several people that seem to always be unhappy. I look at what they’re doing on a consistent basis and it seems rather obvious why they would find themselves so unhappy. When I cross-reference the things these people do there seem to be common habits that they each hold that are causing their unhappiness. Of course, there may always be a complex mix of things you don’t know about causing someone to be unhappy but below are the obvious things that we can all address.

With this in mind, here are the 26 most common habits of unhappy people that I have personally recognised.

1. They see all obstacles as roadblocks

A common habit of unhappy people is to come up against an obstacle and then fall apart instead of tackling it. Whilst a lot of people would see obstacles as something to overcome, unhappy people fear and even run from obstacles. A very wise man once said the words; “The obstacle is the path,” meaning, the only way forward is to overcome the obstacle. By doing so you get a self of self-resilience that reminds you that you are more capable than you thought you were.

2. They think the world is against them

Another habit of unhappy people is their insistence that the world must be conspiring against them when something negative happens. Lose their job? The world must be conspiring against them. Their partner leaves them? The world is such an unfair place. The truth is, the world is an unfair place. If you blame everything on the world conspiring against you, how can you ever be responsible for anything?

3. They never take responsibility for anything

One of the things you’re never told but expected to do after you leave home is that you have to start taking 100% responsibility for your actions. When you’re a child you can shy away from doing so because your parents will more often take responsibility for you. Everyone thinks you’re young and naive and you’re often let off the hook.


However, as you get older you have to take responsibility for yourself and your actions. If you blame everyone else for your misfortunes you will forever remain miserable.

4. They shy away from taking on responsibility

Taking on responsibility gives you a sense of purpose. It gives your life some meaning. If you act like a child your whole life you will end up with nothing and be consistently unhappy. You have to sacrifice your child-like existence for the responsibilities that come with adulthood like jobs and bills. Avoiding any kind of responsibility makes you almost useless to everyone around you because at different points in your life people will need help or to lean on you when they themselves are unhappy.

5. Unhappy people always focus on the bad

I myself always thought of myself as a glass-half-empty kind of person. In fact, I often have to practise focusing on the good quite often. Negative thinking is a slippery slope. Worst still, it can be an endless slippery slope that can lead you down a dark path if you entertain your negative thoughts for too long. If you’re always focusing on the bad, you’re essentially inviting more negativity into your life. You’re more likely to expect bad things and so they’re going to be more likely to manifest in your life.


I believe you really do become what you think about. If you focus your time on thinking about the good things you’re more likely to experience good things.

6. Unhappy people always want more, more, more

You always hear about very wealthy people that have everything they could ever want still being unhappy. The truth is unhappy people have a habit of always wanting more, as in, enough is never enough. If you cannot practise gratitude, you cannot ever find a sense of contentment. It’s not a bad thing to want more but you have to know when to stop and reflect on what you already have.

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7. They believe that life is always hard

Many unhappy people look around them and assume that everyone has got it easier than them. In reality, everyone has things they are dealing with. Everyone has the same concerns to some degree and everyone has to take time and be still from now and then. Life is hard, that is a fact. Unhappy people grow up believing that life should be easier than it is. Whilst life is clearly harder for some people and not as hard for others, life is not easy by default.


You have to make your own luck most of the time. Things don’t just fall into people’s laps. Even those who are very wealthy struggle with finding a sense of meaning. Once you don’t have to worry about money, you then find other things to worry about.

8. They cannot find peace in a sober state

In my opinion, true happiness comes from a couple of things and one of those things is being able to feel content in a sober state of mind. It’s understandable why some people become reliant on substances but often times they do it to escape reality instead of facing reality and trying to their reality better.

image: pixabay

9. They’re always moaning

Unhappy people have a habit of always moaning. Similarly to always seeing the bad in things, if you’re always moaning instead of seeing opportunities you’ll always be unhappy. image: pixabay

We all know these people. They go out with you and find ways of nitpicking everything. After all, while it becomes very exhausting being around them and they end up alienating the people that care about them. People don’t like to be around people who moan. People like to be around people that lift them up. Positive talk rubs off on people and so does constant moaning.

10. They’re never present

Have you ever been out somewhere with someone but they never seem as if they are actually present with you? They might be checking their phone or looking around as if they’re waiting for someone. Unhappy people have a habit of being distant or preoccupied with something other than the present moment.

With the present moment being all we have, how can you be happy if your mind is drifting off somewhere else like a worry about the future? One of the most important habits you can have is being present. It’s not always easy to do but you’ll be much happier if you can keep your focus on the here and now.

11. They are always combative

We all come across a wide range of people in our day-to-day lives. Many of us treat strangers with respect however unhappy people will more often than not be distrusting or even combative if someone says something they don’t agree with. Because unhappy people think the world might be conspiring against them, they’re cautious with new people in case they are a threat.

I see this a lot with unhappy people. It’s a terrible habit to have because you end up isolating yourself from the people around you.

12. They have no sense of hope

Another habit of unhappy people is their lack of a sense of hope about anything including the future. When they talk about the future they often start to complain that it will probably be just as terrible as their present. In reality, the only way to ensure the future will be worthwhile is to take positive action today.

Similarly, unhappy people have little hope for their current prospects and their current situation. They often complain about how things are going wrong and spiral into depressive rants that only make them and you feel worse.

13. They’re largely selfish

Habits of unhappy people also include selfishness. With a sense that the world is against them, they often become selfish and only think about the things that might benefit them. Unhappy people might find themselves trying to protect themselves from others but end up displaying selfishness without even realising it.

They can become so preoccupied with themselves that they don’t notice that their selfish behaviour is turning other people off.

14. They worry too much about what others think

Whilst unhappy people can be selfish they can also find themselves worrying too much or too often about what others think of them. They end up thinking they need to present themselves in a certain way to be accepted and find themselves in a constant state of needing to be validated. Content people will usually not be worried or concerned about how other people think of them as it’s none of their business to do so.

unhappy people habitsimage: pixabay

15. They make things a big deal

Another one of the habits of unhappy people is their way of blowing things out of proportion. For example, if a waiter gives them the wrong food at a restaurant, an unhappy person may see the mistake as a personal insult and erupt in a barrage of complainng or even worse, aggression. Because they are already deeply unhappy with themselves, they’re already on the edge of blowing up if something small ticks them off.

16. Unhappy people can’t let things go

There have been multiple occasions where I’ve seen unhappy people lash out in a fit of rage. This usually happens over small things. However, they also can’t let things go once they’re over. They spend the next days and weeks complaining and bitterly engaging in arguments whilst most people would forget and move on.

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I’ve even known unhappy people to hold grudges for years, never really knowing why they hold the grudges in the first place. They end up becoming stubborn, not wanting to make the first move. Instead, they’d rather have people believe they were in the right by holding their grudges and digging in their heels.

17. They bury their head in the sand

Unhappy people generally avoid their problems and bury their heads in the sand rather than dealing with them. Because they feel as if the world is conspiring against them, they see themselves as victims and as therefore shouldn’t have to deal with the important things that everyone else has to.

18. They bounce from idea to idea

Another one of the habits of unhappy people is their habit of bouncing from one grand idea to the next. They can never commit to one idea and see it all the way through. They quickly become disillusioned when something is harder than they thought it would be and soon give up rather than sticking it out. This leads to nothing meaningful ever getting done and they keep finding themselves back to square one, ultimately feeling as if they are a failure over and over again.

19. They fail to celebrate other people’s successes

Have you ever been around someone that clearly found it hard to celebrate your successes? Unhappy people have a hard time celebrating other people’s wins because they’re a reminder of what they aren’t achieving themselves. Unhappy people are usually too preoccupied with their own shortcomings that they feel as if they can’t relate to people succeeding. It’s often painful for them to see other people achieving things and so often they will avoid those people altogether.

20. They don’t take up opportunities

Another one of the habits of unhappy people is their inability to say yes to potentially fruitful opportunities handed to them. Unhappy people may find that their sense of self-worth is so low that they pass up on things they could actually do well at if they stuck them out. Unhappy people often don’t even recognise great opportunities when they see them and may even view them as inconveniences that would be a waste of their time.

21. Unhappy people avoid social gatherings

We’ve all been there. You get invited out to see friends but initially, you feel like you can’t be bothered. Regardless, you show your face and come away feeling all the better for it. Unhappy people will often avoid social gatherings altogether because it’s too painful to see other people enjoying themselves whilst they feel sad. However, socialising with others is a great way to make yourself feel better. Sometimes you have to go out of your way to feel a sense of normality.

22. They get the wrong end of the stick

Unhappy people may feel as if they are out of the social loop because in reality they probably are. Because they avoid social gatherings, even with family members, they might have a deep sense of disconnection and therefore jump to conclusions. They may even feel as if they are being discussed by other people in a negative way and jump to conclusions which leads to arguments that only isolate them even more.

23. Unhappy people self-sabotage

Unhappy people get so used to feeling a negative way that even when things are going well they cannot help but sabotage themselves because they don’t feel worthy of feeling good. Although sadness is not something they desire it’s a feeling they are comfortable and familiar with. If they fail at something like a job or a relationship they can tell themselves that they were destined to fail anyway, just like they always do. It’s a vicious cycle that they find themselves trapped in.

24. They chase things that lack real substance

One of the habits of unhappy people is their continuous chasing of things that have no substance or true value. Often times unhappy people will chase the things they think will make them happy but often these are things that only give them a sense of pleasure in the short term like a fleeting vacation, a new cell phone or a new outfit. They do not strive for the things that will give their lives true meaning and substance like finding a spiritual pathway to guide them or investing in a meaningful relationship.

25. They don’t take care of themselves

Unhappy people often don’t see the point in looking after themselves. They make bad food choices and shy away from exercise, both things that are vital to feeling good all around. They avoid self-care in all its forms and do their best to be not around other people.

26. Unhappy people are disconnected from reality

Unhappy people generally feel disconnected from reality because they have a very warped view of the world. They see everything as being negative even if something is largely positive by most people’s standards. Because of this they become more and more isolated and can’t relate to most other people of their own age who are getting on with their lives.

The many habits of unhappy people

These are just some of the habits of unhappy people that you will no doubt have come across and maybe even experienced yourself. If any of these apply to you, find out how to create better habits here.

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