Why people become UNHAPPY


Every now and then I will encounter a person who is claiming they are unhappy with their place of employment.  It almost always baffles me when I know they have a tremendous amount going for them where they work.  They are making a good amount of money, they are being productive, they are providing a good life for their family, and the work around good people.  So what gives?  Why do they feel unsatisfied?

I heard a statistic about marriage that also matches the people who aren’t satisfied with their job.  In a marriage a spouse can only provide you with about 70-80% of what you desire, leaving them with 20-30% of their needs unmet.  Being the wonderful and well-informed spouses they are, they tend to focus their attention on those unmet needs.  Their minds become so ingrained in their desires for that missing 20-30% they seek it out in other places.   Often they will find it in other people.

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43 thoughts on “Why people become UNHAPPY

  1. This is so very true! Might I add that it can help to be clear about what we value most, for our job and marriage, and ensure those values make up the 70-80%. Then it’s easier to feel comfortable with what we have.

  2. If you get a chance, take a look at Jason Womack’s “Your Best Just Got Better”. There’s a section on identifying what your perfect day might look like. When you become aware of what that wonderful day might look like, the next realisation is how much of your current life is already perfect. Nourish that 80%. Great blog post. You’ve reminded me to nourish and focus.

  3. Good One! It resounds the good old adage – “Look at the glass half full, not half empty”. Optimism is an important component of emotional intelligence and is one of the key habits of successful and happy people.

  4. Great post! I disagree on the judging people by job jumping but otherwise, I enjoyed it. I don’t think that looking at a resume and seeing multiple jobs is always a bad thing. Sometimes there was a period of transition, sometimes one bad job followed another and sometimes still one went through something huge that disrupted life for them. Enjoy the day!

  5. I agree, there is no perfect job, you just have to put on your “happy face” and do your job to the best of your ability and not get caught up in all the “office politics”. Don’t join in the gossip and backbiting and just be thankful that you have a job. Be friendly and helpful and just remember that when it gets bad “this too shall pass”!

    I loved the picture of the “sad” sunflower. Did you do that?

  6. I think part of the problem is that people aren’t honest with their spouse or employer about what they want. They put up with not getting what they want rather than rock the boat. Also, some people don’t realize that they are only providing their spouse or employer with 70-80% of what they’re looking for. If they were the 100% employee or spouse (or as near as they could be), they would probably get closer to the 100% they’re looking for from the other person. As with most relationships, you get out of it what you put into it.

  7. I agree with you. Now this may sound a little exaggerated but I feel our desperate pursuit of happiness also stems from how our society conditions us. Our society discourages us from setting an equilibrium with our lives and promotes having more. This is complimented by consumerism from which the society eventually benefits. I am not sure if this is desirable or undesirable. But I feel it is the truth.

  8. Excellent post! Focus on the good and not on the evil. Godliness with contentment is great gain. I Timothy 6:6. See the good in others and see the good in yourself too.

  9. so true! you should focus on what you have and be thankful for what you have! the problem is the people don’t trust in their own decision and always ask theirself if they made it right or not.

  10. I think this is a good post. But, I would like to add that there are always exceptions to every rule. I believe that not everyone who jumps form job to job, or has a poor work history is someone who wouldn’t be a committed satisfied employee is given the opportunity.

    There are some people who work jobs they are overqualified for based upon the fact that they have to settle for opportunities that are available to them.

    I have a Master’s degree, and I apply to jobs daily, and the only job available to me is a part-time kitchen dishwasher, and server. No one likes to work a job where they are more educated than their managers and supervisors.

  11. Wonderful post and absolutely true!! We as humans are on a quest for perfection everywhere. We need to learn the art of contentment instead-contentment with our jobs, etc. and contentment with ourselves.

  12. Well stated. Complaning about one’s job also becomes a trait that can be passed along. “I saw mom and dad complain about their boss, therefore I am supposed to complain about my boss.” That attitiude will get you one of two things, at the best, miserable, at the worst, fired. A lot of this, I believe, as a career counselor, stems from folks inability to ask good questions in an interview. “But I don’t know what to ask.” I always hear. Well, for crying out loud ask things that help determine whether or not you would be happy there. For example, if you like to have your hand held a little ask “What type of feedback would I receive and how often?” If you are really particular about your quiet, private time ask “Describe for me the work environment and daily interactions in this work role.” Or if you don’t like bosses who are top down, do as I say types (I don’t like them either) ask “How free would I be to create, develop and run with my own ideas in this role?” I believe everyone should have at least 7 questions to ask at any given interview.

  13. Love this – I usually stayed at a job for 3-4 years and never left because of disinterest or dissatisfaction, but because I had learned all that I could learn and there was no where else in the company for me to go (of course, I work in a very specialized field, not typical). Each move was putting me a little higher up and in a different department so that I could learn and continue to grow. Now I’ve been where I am for over 6 years, but it’s the top of the field and something new everyday – I’ve been able to take all of the knowledge I gathered in my job jumping and put it to use every day. But – again – that is all the exception to the rule. The nice thing is that when people ask why I put up with this or that – I have an answer – the stuff that just drives me nuts is offset by all of the good things about my job! I can handle a boss that calls at all hours of the day and night because I have tremendous freedom during the day. It’s all about being happy with what you have!

    Okay – I’m done – I swear! :)

    1. It always nice to be able to grow in the positions we have. Of course I don’t advocate staying in a job if its putting a lid on your growth. Who you become while growing is what’s important.

      Thanks and have a good day Kate

  14. Whereas for many people the grass is always greener on the other side, I can only say that happiness comes from inside a person. It is a way of being and living in the present moment, accepting who you are and what you stand for. This basic happiness from within will then accompany everything you do, be it at work or elsewhere. The fundamental question is however: if your life is a street and you are in a car, where do you sit? Left in front, fully in charge or in a back seat, only observing how your life unfolds in front of you?

  15. So true. People always seem to focus on what is missing or point the blame. we each have a say in our happiness and personal development is what many are lacking. Focus on what you have and foster an attitude of gratitude and attract that which is missing.

  16. Great post… Many of us are suffer and feel unsatisfied with our lives. By coming back to the present moment and realizing that we have so many things to be grateful for, we can avoid this delusion that our needs are not being met.

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