By Emsie Martin
Most people just want to be happy. They want enough of everything, be healthy and don’t want to struggle. But how do you know whether you’re happy? Or rather, what are the signs that you are unhappy?
Dr ST Potgieter, a psychologist from Bellville, gives a few guidelines that can perhaps tell whether you are unhappy.
You persevere in a bad situation
Many people get caught up in a bad or an unpleasant situation, for instance in a mind-numbing job, but you have no choice than to carry on with it. Or you could be in a relationship or marriage that is draining you, and yet you have no other option than to stay in it. Or you are in a precarious financial position and don’t know how to get out of it.
In many cases it feels as if there simply is no solution. It is this whole concept of impossible circumstances that makes you carry unhappiness with you.
Doubt and fear
The big sadness is that emotions of doubt and fear can upset your whole life. Think of your own life: Do you fear the future – fear about your finances, fear of illness, fear of old age, and a whole lot of other fears. In the same way doubt is another thing that can keep you awake at night. The aspects of doubt and fear are hostile insurgents that leave you scared, doubtful and undecided.
You keep on procrastinating
Procrastination is often an indication that you are unhappy. Because you doubt, are uncertain, or are caught up in the wrong occupation or relationship, it hampers decision-making. One assumes that procrastination is a personality trait, and it could very well be, but it could also be symptomatic of an unhappy person.
It is easier for happy people to make a decision and take action. Unhappiness often prevents you from making a decision, precisely because you fear the consequences.
Your self-confidence is stolen
Doubt and fear erode your self-esteem. This causes a poor self-image in which you feel unsure and inferior and have a problem making decisions. This affects your self-confidence negatively.
Unhappy people are often offensive and aggressive towards other people. They have a short fuse and a prickly disposition. It could be part of a person’s character. So, when somebody attacks you verbally and fights with you, it could be that that person is carrying a big chunk of unhappiness inside of him.
Well, negativity must be one of the surest signs that a person is unhappy. Somebody who complains about everything, is always finding fault and gets fussy about the smallest thing, is probably also an unhappy person. The disposition of a happy person is one of “let’s give each other space, grant the other person his perspective, let us forgive each other and live and let live”.
You feel like a failure
You look around you and see all the other happy people but your own life is an example of stagnation and lost chances. You feel you are living your life and people may think you’re happy, but actually you are angry at life and angry at yourself. You see people who love each other and you wonder why you have never really been allowed happiness. In short: your life feels meaningless and you feel like a failure.
You feel that you’re not good enough. You have failed so many times. You feel ensnared in your situation and it is as if other people perform and prosper. And then people come and judge you. You feel inferior and disappointed in yourself. You tried, but people don’t appreciate you. You have tried to help so many people, but nobody cares about you.
The question, of course, is how to get out of this state of unhappiness. Help is available. Go and talk to somebody, go for counselling, get somebody else’s perspective. You may find answers and direction among the multitude of counsellors. Do not despair, keep faith, there are solutions.
Solidarity understands that health practitioners and even people in other professions face unique challenges, such as working under a lot of pressure and having to have a wide range of information, knowledge and skills and even having to work with people with unique health issues and negativity, and therefore Solidarity Occupational Guilds offer you an opportunity to join any of its guilds. Do visit the link https://gildes.solidariteit.co.za/ for more information.
Dr. ST Potgieter, sielkundige in Bellville. Tel: 021 949 5007, e-pos: firstname.lastname@example.org