Vivien Leigh as Blanch Dubois in "A Streetcar Named Desire"

Vivien Leigh as Blanch Dubois in “A Streetcar Named Desire”

Let’s face it. Some people enjoy being miserable.

Here’s why:

First of all, it could be that it is simply their personality type. When I ran a business training company before I was ordained we used a personality type program to help people improve working conditions. I soon realized that there were three personality types who gain pleasure from being miserable.

The first one is what I call the Faux Martyr. They love rushing about helping people. C.S.Lewis said you could tell  this sort of person a mile off. They lived for others, and you could tell the others by their hunted look. The faux martyr gains his or her satisfaction from life by helping others. That’s how they tell themselves that they are indispensable. Then when they are not appreciated enough, or even worse, when someone tells them they are a busybody they just love being all hurt and wounded. That’t the cherry on top of their sundae. They not only help everyone and make themselves feel wonderful, but then they get to be a martyr when they are unloved. That kind of misery just feels sooooo good!

Once the Faux Martyr gets a little kick from that kind of misery, if they are unwell, they soon start to unconsciously look for that situation and those people who they can rush around helping, who will then tell them to mind their own business so they can feel hurt and wounded and important. Then on top of it all they can add a nice dollop of self righteousness.

You can’t help these people. They love being miserable.

The second type is the Drama Queen. Continue Reading

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