People who struggle to feel happy in life usually have these 12 character traits

We sometimes include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Read our affiliate disclosure.

Ever wonder why some people struggle more than others to feel happy? Turns out, there’s actually a reason for it.

Certain personality traits can make happiness a hard game to play. But here’s the thing – knowing these traits isn’t about judging or pointing fingers. It’s all about understanding and growth.

So, buckle up folks! We’re about to delve into the 12 traits commonly found in people who find happiness just a bit out of reach.

Trust me, you’re in for an enlightening read!

1) Perfectionism

We all want to do our best, but for some, ‘the best’ takes on a whole new meaning. It becomes ‘the perfect.’ If you’re a perfectionist, you’re never quite satisfied with what you’ve achieved.

There’s always that nagging feeling that you could’ve done better. This constant chase for perfection can make happiness hard to hold onto.

2) Overthinking

Ever find yourself caught in a whirlwind of thoughts, analyzing every single detail? That’s overthinking for you. Overthinkers often struggle with happiness because they’re too busy worrying about the ‘what ifs’ and ‘might haves.’

It can be like walking on a tightrope of stress and anxiety. If this sounds like you, try practicing mindfulness or meditation. They can help clear your mind and bring you back to the present moment, where happiness resides.

3) Fear of failure

This one hits close to home for me. For the longest time, I was terrified of failing – whether it was in my career, relationships, or even simple day-to-day tasks. This fear was so paralyzing, it stopped me from trying new things and taking risks. Instead of enjoying life’s journey, I was constantly worried about falling flat on my face.

This fear of failure can be a huge hurdle on the path to happiness. It’s important to remember that everyone fails at some point, and that’s okay. Each failure is just a stepping stone to success, and there is so much joy to be found in learning and growing from our mistakes.

4) Pessimism

Did you know that your outlook on life can significantly impact your happiness? Studies have shown that pessimists, those who tend to see the glass as half empty, often struggle more with happiness. They are more likely to focus on the negatives in life, which can overshadow all the good stuff. But here’s the interesting part: optimism can be learned!

So, if you find yourself slipping into pessimistic thoughts, try challenging them with positive affirmations and focusing on the brighter side of things.

5) Inability to say no

We’ve all been there. Someone asks a favor or invites us to an event, and even though we’re exhausted or uninterested, we just can’t seem to utter that two-letter word: No. It’s a tiny word with a massive impact on our happiness.

Continually saying yes when our heart screams no can lead to burnout, resentment, and a loss of joy in life. We need to remember that it’s not just okay to say no—it’s essential. Protecting our time and energy isn’t selfish; it’s self-care. And self-care is a crucial ingredient in the recipe for happiness.

6) Comparing oneself to others

I’ll be the first to admit, I’ve fallen into the comparison trap more times than I can count. It’s an easy spiral to get sucked into – glancing at someone else’s life and suddenly feeling like yours doesn’t measure up.

But here’s what I’ve learned: Comparison is the thief of joy. It shifts our focus from our own progress and unique journey to someone else’s highlight reel. Everyone is on their own path, with their own set of challenges and victories. Embrace your journey, because it’s yours and no one else’s.

7) Neglecting self-care

Here’s the raw truth: if you’re not taking care of yourself, you’re going to find happiness a tough nut to crack. Self-care isn’t just about bubble baths and face masks – though they can be part of it. It’s looking after your physical, emotional, and mental health. And also setting boundaries, eating well, getting enough sleep, moving your body, and taking time to unwind and do things you love.

It’s not always easy or glamorous, but it’s absolutely vital. So, if you’ve been neglecting self-care and wondering why happiness seems elusive – it might be time to shift your priorities.

8) Difficulty in letting go

Did you know that holding onto grudges or past hurts can impact your happiness?

Studies have revealed that people who struggle to let go of past negative events often find it harder to feel happy and content. It’s like carrying around a heavy backpack – it weighs you down, making it difficult to move forward.

Release the grip of the past, not to erase it, but to heal it. Choose yourself, choose peace, and watch your burdens melt away.

9) Fear of change

I used to be someone who feared change. I preferred the comfort of routine and predictability, even when it was unsatisfying.

The problem with fearing change is that it can keep you stuck in a rut, unable to grasp the happiness that might be waiting just outside your comfort zone. It took me a while to understand this: Change is a part of life. It’s often through changes – both big and small – that we grow, learn, and find new avenues of happiness. So don’t fear change, embrace it!

10) Putting others’ needs before one’s own

We all want to be the supportive friend, the reliable colleague, the loving family member. But when we consistently prioritize everyone else’s needs over our own, it’s like pouring our energy into a bottomless cup. This can lead to exhaustion, resentment, and burnout, leaving us feeling drained and unable to truly care for those we love.

It’s okay, and even necessary, to prioritize your own well-being. You can’t help others if you’re running on fumes. By taking care of your physical and emotional needs, you’re building a stronger foundation from which to support others.

This doesn’t mean becoming selfish; it simply means recognizing that your well-being matters and is essential for healthy relationships and a fulfilling life.

11) Fear of being judged

The unvarnished truth is, people will judge you no matter what. Your hairstyle, your career choice, even your choice of coffee – everything is open to scrutiny. But here’s the liberating secret: those judgments say more about them than they do about you. They’re reflections of their own biases, insecurities, and experiences.

Living in constant fear of these judgments is a thief. It steals your peace, your joy, and your freedom to be authentically you. Instead of shrinking under the weight of potential criticism, choose to stand tall. Own your choices, embrace your quirks, and let your inner light shine.

Be yourself, unapologetically and beautifully, and the right people will appreciate you for who you truly are.

12) Not living in the present

Life, in all its messy, magnificent glory, happens right here, right now. It’s in the rustle of leaves beneath your feet, the warmth of sunlight on your skin, the spark of an idea in your mind. True happiness doesn’t reside in the regrets of yesterday or the anxieties of tomorrow; it blooms in the fertile soil of the present moment.

So, take a deep breath, and let go. Release the grip of what was and the fear of what might be. Open your eyes, your heart, and your senses to the vibrant tapestry of the now. Savor the taste of your morning coffee, the scent of raindrops on pavement, the melody of a bird’s song. Let the present wash over you, filling every corner of your being with its radiant light.

Final thoughts

Do you recognize any of these traits in yourself?

Recognizing these tendencies is the first step toward change. By understanding what might be holding you back, you unlock the potential to cultivate inner peace and happiness.

Remember, you have the power to write your own story, one filled with joy and fulfillment. Let’s support each other on the journey to finding and cultivating joy in life!

Lost Your Sense of Purpose?

In this age of information overload and pressure to meet others’ expectations, many struggle to connect with their core purpose and values. It’s easy to lose your inner compass.

Jeanette Brown created this free values discovery PDF to help clarify your deepest motivations and beliefs. As an experienced life coach and self-improvement teacher, Jeanette guides people through major transitions by realigning them with their principles.

Her uniquely insightful values exercises will illuminate what inspires you, what you stand for, and how you aim to operate. This serves as a refreshing filter to tune out societal noise so you can make choices rooted in what matters most to you.

With your values clearly anchored, you’ll gain direction, motivation and the compass to navigate decisions from your best self – rather than fleeting emotion or outside influences.

Stop drifting without purpose. Rediscover what makes you come alive with Jeanette Brown’s values clarity guide.

 

Lucas Graham

Lucas Graham, based in Auckland, writes about the psychology behind everyday decisions and life choices. His perspective is grounded in the belief that understanding oneself is the key to better decision-making. Lucas’s articles are a mix of personal anecdotes and observations, offering readers relatable and down-to-earth advice.

If you’re constantly feeling tired, you need to stop doing these 10 things in the first hour after waking up

7 morning habits of people who never feel tired or lazy