Sabotaging Happiness

Every comedian talks about the one person at their shows who isn't laughing.

It makes me wonder: how did it get that way?

That person paid money, cleared his calendar, made special arrangements, and got all dressed up. And for what? To sit in a room of strangers and scowl?

How was the comedy show, Billy? 

Terrible. I paid $75 and didn't laugh once.

I understand. Maybe the comic was too foul for Billy's sensibilities. Maybe the comic had political views that made his blood boil. Maybe the comic hit on a sensitive subject. 

All of those things would be problematic. 

And avoidable...if Billy's goal was to be happy. 

A few minutes of internet research would show that the comedian was profane or politically incompatible. The sensitive subject wouldn't feel great, but surely the comedian didn't know Billy's specific situation. It would be easy to let that topic slide and go back to having a fun night out.

Any of those options would have allowed Billy to spend his money elsewhere or given him the night out he supposedly wanted. Instead, knowing that he gets mad at bad words or politics or a number of other things, he blindly went to a comedy show that most likely will touch on those hot-button topics. 

It's almost as if he wanted to be angry.

The same is true in our personal lives.

How's your relationship going, Johnny?

Terrible. She's acting like a total psycho.

I understand. She flew off the handle at something she technically had no right to be angry about. Johnny said he'd be home later. Two o'clock in the morning definitely qualifies as "later."

She's crazy.

But, again, it was 100% avoidable...if he wanted the relationship to be happy.

Johnny didn't have to be vague. Vague equals shady and vague equals undependable. He could have said he'd be home after 2 am. He could have said that he wasn't sure about when they'd be done and that he would call her around midnight to confirm. He could have decided to not go one more bar and gone home. 

Do any of those and no one would act crazy.

It's almost as if he wanted to cause trouble.

And it's all unnecessary.

There's a old saying, "You can be right or you can be happy."

The truth is: with a little less sabotaging, you can be both.

My latest book is The Inevitability of Becoming Rich, and you can find that here.