40 Foolproof Ways To Ruin Your Own Life (Without Even Noticing)

Happiness? What's that?

sad woman Lola Russian / Pexels

From ignoring your intuition to allowing your inner critic to bully you into submission, there are plenty of ways to ruin the time you spend here on this earth. And sometimes, you may not even realize you're doing it.

So, if you're looking for ways to stay miserable, unsuccessful, and anxious, read on. Because there are plenty of ways you can sabotage your happiness.

Here are 40 ways to ruin your life — without even noticing.

1. Never take any time to get to know who you truly are.

This one is important. The less you know about yourself, the less you will know about what you want, don't want, and who you want to associate with.




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2. Don't give your full attention to what it is you're doing or to the person with whom you're speaking.

Paying attention will only get things done better (and faster). It will also help build bonds and improve existing relationships. Who needs that?


He or she who stays calmest gets out of a chaotic situation the fastest, freaks out and causes a high-drama in everyday situations.

3. Jump to conclusions or make assumptions.

Never give the benefit of the doubt. This will allow you to make quick judgments and ruin relationships before they even get off of the ground.

4. Change who you are to become who you think others will love and not leave.

Allow your fear of rejection to be used against you. Change yourself on the inside and outside, and you will be accepted in no time.

5. Live in fear of being judged.

You know that people are going to have opinions about what you say, do, wear, and who you date. You'll have ample opportunity to allow those opinions to dictate all of your decisions, from your hair and career choices to who you choose to date, and how authentically you live your life.


6. Hold out for someone who fits every 'box' you have for your dream partner.

You may never find your ideal mate, but at least you'll know you never "settled."

7. Compare yourself to others.

Use their bodies, relationships, your own projections about who they are, and their happiness to really showcase all the ways in which you fall short. We're all a culmination of our own unique experiences, which means we're going to walk alongside one another, but not always in the same direction.

This makes comparing yourself to others a supremely effective way to make yourself miserable. Chase their dreams while you're at it (this way you'll never realize your own).

ways to ruin your own lifePhoto: Felipe Balduino / Pexels


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8. Stay in a relationship with someone who lets you know they do not fully accept or respect who you are.

Trying to change who you are to please them will definitely lead to increased confidence. Why wouldn't you want to switch up everything about who you are at your core to be in a relationship you don't like?

9. Ignore your health.

Keep smoking. Keep eating garbage. Continue to ignore your need for rest, water, and peace of mind.

10. Hold tightly onto old habits, thoughts, and feelings.

Just like those old jeans you'll never wear again take up space in your closet, holding onto thoughts, ideas, and habits that no longer fit the person you are is a great way to waste time and avoid moving forward.


Besides, if you keep doing what you've always done, things will never improve. Then you can complain more.

11. Have long-winded, important discussions via text message.

Forget calling people on the phone or meeting face-to-face for in-depth conversations. It's completely mature and totally effective to do everything via text. Let's hear it for smart decisions.

12. Don't learn the lesson, move on or do better next time.

Just do the same thing over and over again. It will lead to the same results each time.

13. Spend your time attempting to be perfect.

Perfection isn't arbitrary at all, and if you just pick, poke, push and put down enough, you'll achieve it, right?


14. Don't trust your intuition.

Gut feeling? What's that? Avoid all urges to trust your gut to keep your life miserable.

ways to ruin your own lifePhoto: mikoto.raw Photographer / Pexels

15. Allow fear to guide you.

Don't do things you ache to do out of fear that you'll get hurt or not achieve success. For added misery, sit on the sidelines and complain the whole time. Never train and join the race at all.


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16. Expect others to live up to your expectations.

Then punish them severely when they don't. If they want to be in your life, it's your way or no way.

17. Wait to be in a relationship before you start living your life fully.

Oh, and be sure to use every bad date and failed relationship as proof that you're not lovable.

18. Gossip about others.

This will make you look small and jealous, and effectively deter those with positive and productive attitudes from associating with you.

19. Hate on everyone and everything.

Project, roll your eyes, judge, and let them know it by way of out-and-out criticism or delicious passive-aggression.




20. Refuse to communicate.

Give the silent treatment or just freak out. Both are equally as effective.

21. Be defined by the negative comments of people who don't really know who you are.

Don't ever let comments roll off your back; instead, take them to heart. You're so basic and easily figured out that they must be right.

22. Over-commit yourself.

It's the quickest way to stir up resentment. You'll resent having to go to events you don't want to be at, or your companions will resent that you're last-minute flaking.


Do it often so people stop inviting you altogether.

23. Don't ever stand up for yourself.

It's more important to be perceived as "nice" than self-respecting. So when people put you down, just accept it, don't speak up.

24. Attach your opinion to your ego.

Assume that you're always right and argue with anyone who challenges you as though your very identity depends on it.

25. Live in the past.

You never know when that time machine will be invented (so it's good to be prepared).

ways to ruin your own lifePhoto: Deden Dicky Ramdhani / Pexels


26. Attach a string to all favors, compliments, emails, and calls.

Those on the receiving end will feel effectively manipulated and used.

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27. Be jealous of the happiness and success of others.

And use it as proof that you'll never have what you want. Assume that those who are happy are conceited, and deserve to be put down or taught some kind of lesson.

28. Don't honor your word.

Say one thing and do another. Never stick to promises you make.

29. Complain about everything.

Point out all the reasons we have to be miserable. When anyone shares something positive, remind them of your own misery or why what makes them happy really isn't worth celebrating.


Do this in person, in texts, and in social media posts. Anywhere you can get your point across.

30. Beat yourself up constantly.

Your thighs? Huge. Your face? Getting old. Blow off all of the compliments your loved ones give you and ignore the tangible proof of your success.

31. Criticize those around you.

They need to hear how they can look, think, and do better all the time. Besides, it will make you look superior, right?



32. View kindness as weakness and approach kind people with a 'survival of the fittest' mentality.

Not you? No problem. Let people who think like this walk all over you and use your gentle nature as proof that you're a doormat.


33. Talk yourself out of taking the steps towards your goals.

Convince yourself that you'll never achieve your goals, and then beat yourself up for not making progress.

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34. See passive and overt aggression and rudeness as power over others.

It's better to control and criticize than to help and understand, after all.

35. Hold on to resentment.

Forgiveness is for weak people and suckers. And that's not you.

36. Lie.

Especially to people who really trust you and about super important things like, oh, fidelity.

37. Share your secrets with people who haven't earned your trust.

And spill the secrets of those who have trusted you. Part of ruining your own life is to take others down with you.


38. Don't help people.

Convince yourself that their success will only result in your own failure.

39. Analyze everything.

You're sure to come to the right conclusions 100% of the time because you're a genius.

ways to ruin your own lifePhoto: Alex Green / Pexels

40. Don't say you're sorry. Ever.

Whatever bad things that happened were only a "reaction" to their initial misstep. No need to apologize.


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Brenda Della Casa is a writer, speaker, digital strategist, and author of "Cinderella Was a Liar." Her bylines have appeared on Medium, Huffington Post, Glamour, Thrillist, Thought Catalog, MSN, Thrive Global, among many others, where she covers lifestyle, relationships, and human interest topics.