If you’re feeling unhappy, these 14 personality traits could be why

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Are you feeling stuck and unhappy and don’t really know why? Well, that’s quite a problem, isn’t it? 

In order to start working on this, you need to see what the underlying reasons are. One way to look at it is through the lens of your personality.

Are some of your personality traits the ones keeping you from being happy? Well, let’s find out!

1) Pessimism

If you’re inherently pessimistic, it’s no wonder you’re unhappy. You can have all the objectively nice people and toys around you, and you’ll still feel dissatisfied. 

Pessimism can eventually result in a mindset that constantly expects the worst. It’s like you have a cloud of negativity hanging over you, making it difficult to find joy in life’s pleasures and positive moments.

To get out of this mindset, you need to reframe your mind and outlook. Think about and be grateful for all the good things you’re surrounded with. 

2) Insecurity

Another thing that can make us incredibly unhappy is our insecurity. In fact, feelings of insecurity can result in chronic self-doubt because you often can’t find a solution, whatever you do. 

You’re constantly questioning your worth and abilities, making it challenging to experience genuine happiness.

For example, many have social insecurity and anxiety. They’re constantly worrying about what others think of them, fearing social judgment or rejection, and being too concerned about fitting.

Obviously, we have financial insecurity, too. Struggling with financial stability, living paycheck to paycheck, or being burdened by debt results in a life of stress and unhappiness.

But insecurities often also breed this:

3) Jealousy

Jealousy stems from comparisons with others. When they’re better at something, wealthier, or simply have something we don’t, we sometimes get envious. 

I think that’s natural and even motivating. But in the worst-case scenario, instead of appreciating our own achievements, jealousy leads to an unhealthy focus on what others have, creating unhappiness.

So, what should you do then? Focus on yourself and let others live their lives. 

4) Rigidity

Most people I know who are unhappy or were very unhappy for long periods of time (including me) are unwilling to change.

Life is full of unexpected twists and turns, and refusing to adapt can result in frustration and a sense of being stuck rather than the joy of embracing new experiences.

If you’re unsatisfied with your current situation, see what you can do to get out of it. Are there any solutions to your misery? 

If you have a really crappy job that’s the source of despair, what steps do you need to take to get a job that will make you more satisfied?  

If your relationship is to blame, can you patch it? 

The mistake many unhappy people make is that they embrace the status quo because it’s the devil they know. As in, better the devil you know than the devil you don’t!

5) Self-criticism

Constantly criticizing yourself is like having an internal critic that never rests. It’s a neverending barrage of criticism, whining, and accusations. 

The result is that you’re in a chronic feeling of self-doubt, making it impossible to appreciate your accomplishments and find happiness.

But why not extend the well-known Golden Rule to yourself, too? Don’t do to yourself what you wouldn’t want other people to do to you. 

Treat yourself like a good friend in need who sometimes makes some mistakes but is generally smart. 

6) Lack of empathy

But it isn’t just the lack of empathy for yourself that could be keeping you unhappy. If you struggle to understand and connect with the emotions and experiences of others, that could also make you dissatisfied with life. 

Lack of empathy restrains you from building meaningful relationships, which are often a source of happiness.

In other words, you can’t put yourself in other people’s shoes and understand their struggles. Because of that, you don’t offer support and understanding, and you damage the relationships. 

This leads to:

7) Isolation

Isolating yourself can result in loneliness and a lack of support from others when you need it the most. 

As I said, human connections and interactions play a crucial role in happiness, and isolation makes most people extremely unhappy.

People are generally happier when they spend more time with their friends. Even introverts. 

So, if you found yourself in these words, it’s time to make some (new) friends

8) Stubbornness

Let me be frank with you, I’m stubborn. Very stubborn.

And guess what? So is my wife! That naturally leads to many unneeded conflicts where we come to a compromise (as you should) in which one side (or both) always feels like they “lost.”

And while it’s important to stand firm on your principles, excessive stubbornness often results in unproductive conflicts that overshadow moments of peace and happiness.

Stubbornness simply holds you back in your personal and professional lives. So, be willing to consider alternative views, even if they challenge your existing beliefs. 

Remember that being open to change doesn’t mean you have to change your mind, but it’s about considering different perspectives. 

9) Perfectionism

Being a perfectionist is yet another way to make your life miserable. Just look at the Japanese. Perfectionism is a way of life there, and it’s making as many people miserable as it’s making them happy.  

In fact, perfectionism is often overlooked when we’re talking about suicides. But in countries like Japan, this is more than obvious. Failing in school exams or at work are common reasons for suicides there. 

Perfectionists often set exceedingly high standards for themselves. Or their environment does. And if they don’t meet them, it results in self-criticism and anxiety. 

This obviously overshadows any feelings of accomplishment and happiness that usually come from doing things successfully.

And what most people don’t have in today’s world is this:

10) Not being present in the moment

An impatient attitude means you’re always rushing through life. You miss out on the beauty of the present moment, which is a great source of happiness.

Many people find it challenging to fully engage in the present moment. Instead, they’re preoccupied with thoughts of the past or the future, which makes them dissatisfied.

Not to mention that when you’re constantly on your phone, your mind is elsewhere, causing you to overlook the simple pleasures and connections that can bring pleasure.

Perhaps more than anything on this list, practicing mindfulness and focusing on being present in your daily experiences will bring you a greater sense of happiness and fulfillment.

It might help you with the following, too. 

11) Narcissism

Are you focused too much on yourself? Do you feel like you’re more important than others? Well, that’s probably one of the main reasons why you can’t find happiness or fulfillment in your life.

When you prioritize your own needs and desires over those of others, you don’t make genuine connections with others.

Paradoxically, narcissism can sometimes mask underlying self-doubt. You see, many narcissists are constantly self-criticising, feeling that they’re never good enough. 

This internal struggle can prevent them from experiencing lasting happiness.

12) Cynicism

And then we have cynical people who are holding their happiness hostage. When you have a cynical outlook, you have distrust and skepticism towards others and the world in general. 

Frankly, it’s hard not to be a cynic in today’s world, isn’t it? Politicians, corporations, tech, AI, wars, news, and many other things make us cynical and not see the light at the end of the tunnel.  

How can you find happiness when you’re constantly questioning the motives and intentions of those around you? 

Oh, it’s tough. 

13) No resilience

Older people typically think younger generations lack resilience and grit. They had to climb a mountain to go to school in six feet of snow, and young people these days have it incredibly easy, right?

It’s the same old story, but the fact remains: if you aren’t resilient, you’re much unhappier because you don’t know how to deal and cope with issues and setbacks.   

Resilience is the ability to bounce back from adversity. Without it, your problems and difficulties result in long periods of unhappiness as you struggle to move past them.

14) Impulsivity

Acting impulsively without considering the consequences means you often make decisions that bring you despair. 

It’s like you’re prioritizing short-term desires without thinking about the long-term implications.

For example, I ate two donuts after yesterday’s breakfast, and it made me feel f***ing depressing. 

I kept thinking about it the whole day because I’m trying to keep my high blood pressure and high cholesterol under control. 

Eventually, I had to drop everything and jump rope (my go-to exercise) for half an hour to start feeling better about myself. 

Final thoughts

Although it’s easy to blame everyone and everything for our unhappiness, sometimes we just have to take a long look at ourselves, our habits and behaviors, and our personality. 

Until we find the underlying reasons for our happiness, there’s no going forward and really enjoying life. 

Adrian Volenik

Adrian has years of experience in the field of personal development and building wealth. Both physical and spiritual. He has a deep understanding of the human mind and a passion for helping people enhance their lives. Adrian loves to share practical tips and insights that can help readers achieve their personal and professional goals. He has lived in several European countries and has now settled in Portugal with his family. When he’s not writing, he enjoys going to the beach, hiking, drinking sangria, and spending time with his wife and son.

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