Chapter Eight


last updated 1.17.21

Justified Unhappiness is a term that applies to the widespread, yet unhealthy, behavior of one person trying to blame another person, or the world, for their own unhappiness. All this really is, if you look past the incident that sets this person off, is their attempt at using something outside themselves to justify their behavior when the reality is that they're just not a happy person. Growing up in a place where this behavior was acceptable, if not condoned, it took me a long time to realize, for example, that when someone cuts you off in traffic it's not ok to give them the finger. It's actually sad and pathetic to act this way, but, unfortunately, it's very common.

Even within the family dynamic, justified unhappiness can be a routine occurrence or even considered fair play. In fact, this is often where a child learns this unhealthy behavior. According to this unwritten rule, if you make a mistake, someone else can unload their anger, or unhappiness, on you. The truth, however, is that one thing has got nothing to do with the other. This is why it is important to recognize that adopting this behavior only perpetuates the cycle rather than identifying the real problem. People who subscribe to justified unhappiness are simply living far below 50%, but instead of addressing this fact and focusing on taking responsibility for the state of their life and how they feel, they focus on trying to control or blame other people for not behaving they want them to which is impossible so when they fail it's the world's or someone else's fault. When a person keeps score with life, they're already losing. They're so unhappy that they can't afford to lose one argument.

Communication turns into a competition when one person is trying to take something from the other person rather than provide it for themself. They're so afraid of losing because this will lower their already low fuel tank even more while, in their mind, giving someone else permission to unload on them because that's what they would do. When a person lives at such a low level of energy, they are easily triggered into fight or flight mode making it almost impossible to communicate without scaring them. Not until they are able to calm down and feel safe will a resolution be possible, bearing in mind that it is hard to feel safe when running this low. Jumping at any chance to get upset at someone else and justifying it because the person happened to make a mistake, or is simply doing something they don't agree with, is the behavior of someone who is failing at life. The true measure of a person's strength, and happiness, is their ability to not let the world bring them down. Because they are willing to participate in the true formula for life, they can always afford to make a mistake or be wrong because they are willing to do the work to make it right. Using their energy in this way is an investment in their happiness and in life.