How NOT to be Happy Tip 1: Take offense.

This is the first of 10 tips for unwavering woe.

What should you do if someone says something in an ambiguous tone of voice, or acts in an unclear way? Is she being bitchy? Was that deliberately snide? Did he just snub me? Who cares! The smartest assumption here is yes, always yes.

The key to taking offense is to operate on the premise that the other person’s sole purpose in life is to judge you and make your life difficult. It’s simply naïve to think that others are primarily thinking about their own life, or that they have concerns or preoccupations unrelated to you.

Instead, with this mindset, you can be assured that taking offense will come naturally to you, no matter what the situation.

In fact, some happiness-eschewers are so skilled they can take pre-emptive offense, feeling hurt just by anticipating possible slights that could lie ahead. The perpetrator need not even turn up, and still the damage is done, making this a very time-effective approach.

More seasoned happiness-eschewers have mastered the art of taking you-gave-me-a-funny-look-in-1989-and-I-haven’t-forgotten-it-since offense. This one’s not for beginners – it takes well-honed stamina to remain offended by a mini-slight in the face of many intervening slight-free years, or even decades.

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that a good memory is a pre-requisite for holding long-term grudges; with practice, you’ll find that the mere whiff of recollection that someone did something you didn’t like is more than enough to maintain the rage.

Your readiness to take offense will serve you well in avoiding happy relationships with colleagues, relatives, and for those offendees who still have any friends left, it will work wonders with them too. Especially effective with spouses.

Other tips in this series of 10 tips for unwavering woe:

By Michele Connolly

Choose to be happier – and you will be.

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