Unless you’re living in a cave, it is impossible to avoid the assault of online self-improvement advice. It’s all over and it covers everything from stress management to changing habits. Pearls of wisdom are overflowing from all corners of the internet.
I don’t know about you, but for me this continuous flow of (mostly) unrequested advice makes me want to break something. I mean, I can live with the fact that so many people feel entitled to give advice. But often the advice is just generic stuff regurgitated from other sources. You can immediately tell when you stumble upon pompous bullshit.
Instead of breaking stuff, I will offer my own advice on how to be utterly and completely miserable.
I am well aware that many of us manage extremely well to be miserable without any external help. However, I feel that additional structure and reasoning can only improve the quality of one’s misery.
I. Follow all the possible advice on how you can improve yourself. This will offer a unique opportunity to feel inadequate, as it’s simply impossible to assemble it in a coherent whole that actually benefits you. To add insult to injury, you will also feel like a total loser for not staying the course. For not mastering self-control in five weeks, like this random guy that offers you a discount on his course on self-control.
II. Get into arguments on social media. Everybody knows that this is how people change their opinions – by being lectured or insulted online by strangers.
III. Publish everything you create (be it writing, photography, drawing, music, anything really). Then agonize over the lack of sufficient validation in the form of likes, comments, shares, or anything else you tend to consider a sign of interest or appreciation.
IV. Be harsh on yourself over every little perceived failure. Tell yourself that you are simply unable to get it right. Don’t let it slide. Squeeze all possible self-loathing out of it.
V. Don’t be satisfied with current failures. Dwell on the past and replay mentally your moments of low and embarrassment. This will ensure that, rather than going through the normal process of gaining perspective and healing, you have the chance of keeping these wounds open.
There it goes. Actionable advice for both amateur and professional self-saboteurs. My modest contribution, based on personal experience, to the underrepresented field of self-undermining therapy.