How NOT to be Happy Tip 2: Never take responsibility

This is the second of 10 tips for unwavering woe:

This is a big one. You can’t be truly out of the shadow of happiness until you master the art of responsibility-dodging. In essence, the challenge is to thwart all attempts by the universe to offer you self-knowledge. It involves deflecting each piece of negative information away from yourself with a laser-like beam of blame.

Relationship gone sour? It was so their fault. Your moods, personality and habits are beyond reproach.

String of disappointments behind you? It’s your star-sign, the economy, your mother was too strict, they want someone younger, you’re addicted to carbohydrates, your mother was too lenient, they want someone older – you get the idea.

Job that didn’t work out? The work was beneath you.

Note here the clever use of arrogance. While not essential to escaping self-knowledge, arrogance offers an effective all-purpose deflection system. Everything and everyone can be beneath you, saving you the trouble of finding individual points of blame for each new personal drama.

There’ll be times when you’re tempted to own up to your part in something that goes wrong in life: to wonder if throwing fewer missiles during arguments might communicate your point more effectively; to ponder whether a less pornographic tie might enhance your interview success. This is a mistake.

Many have come close to relinquishing happiness once and for all, yet, poised on the verge of true woe, have fallen prey to the dreaded reality check. Do not check reality. Leave reality alone. Stay oblivious and woe shall be yours.

At times of such temptation, you must remain strong and remind yourself that there’s nothing to be gained by an honest appraisal of your own weaknesses – nothing but pesky self awareness and an annoying insight into what you could do better next time. These things are overrated. They simply burden you with lifelong personal growth, wisdom, deeper and more honest relationships and – you guessed it, the possibility of happiness.

A woeful man once said, “‘Tis a far better thing to blame and be clueless, than to learn the dang lesson” (the man was a British hillbilly).

Learn the lesson and you just graduate to new and more challenging lessons – with greater self-knowledge.

Who wants that?

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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