In How to Be Miserable, psychologist Randy Paterson outlines 40 specific behaviors and habits, which—if followed—are sure to lead to a lifetime of unhappiness. On the other hand, if you do the opposite, you may yet join the ranks of happy people everywhere!
There are stacks upon stacks of self-help books that will promise you love, happiness, and a fabulous life. But how can you pinpoint the exact behaviors that cause you to be miserable in the first place? Sometimes when we’re depressed, or just sad or unhappy, our instincts tell us to do the opposite of what we should—such as focusing on the negative, dwelling on what we can’t change, isolating ourselves from friends and loved ones, eating junk food, or overindulging in alcohol. Sound familiar?
This tongue-in-cheek guide will help you identify the behaviors that make you unhappy and discover how you—and only you—are holding yourself back from a life of contentment. You’ll learn to spot the tried-and-true traps that increase feelings of dissatisfaction, foster a lack of motivation, and detract from our quality of life—as well as ways to avoid them.
So, get ready to live the life you want (or not?) This fun, irreverent guide will light the way.
About the author
Randy J. Paterson, PhD, is director of Changeways Clinic, a private psychotherapy practice in Vancouver, BC, Canada. He is author of The Assertiveness Workbook and Your Depression Map, and he conducts training programs for professionals on evidence-based treatment. Through Changeways Clinic, Paterson presents lectures and workshops internationally on topics including mental health policy, cognitive behavioral therapy, the nature and treatment of depression and anxiety disorders, and strategies for private practice management. He is the 2008 recipient of the Canadian Psychological Association’s Distinguished Practitioner Award. For more information on Paterson, his presentations and workshops, or Changeways Clinic, visit www.changeways.com. To view Paterson’s blog on psychological and practice issues, please visit www.psychologysalon.com.
“Randy J. Paterson has failed miserably in his quest to create a recipe for unhappiness in How to Be Miserable, and instead has written a gem of a parody on how to cope with the inevitable difficulties we all must face in order to live a happy and fulfilling life.”
—Simon A. Rego, PsyD, ABPP, associate professor of clinical psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Montefiore Medical Center in New York, NY
“How to Be Miserable is a different kind of self-help book. By learning the forty traps that lead to unhappiness, readers will actually discover how to create the life they’ve always wanted—one filled with lasting happiness.”
—Matt McKay, PhD, coauthor of Thoughts and Feelings
“Randy J. Paterson has hit a home run with this highly accessible, engaging book. How to Be Miserable uses tongue-in-cheek humor, scientifically grounded practical advice, and a healthy dose of what is colloquially known as ‘reverse psychology’ to help put an end to common behavioral patterns that contribute to unhappiness. Anyone who wants to be less miserable should read this book and do the opposite of everything it recommends!”
—Martin M. Antony, PhD, ABPP, professor of psychology at Ryerson University in Toronto, ON, Canada, and coauthor of The Shyness and Social Anxiety Workbook and The Anti-Anxiety Workbook
“Randy J. Paterson’s How to Be Miserable contains practical, witty, and wise advice, and is based on the premise that we have become our own worst enemies. Confronting our ‘management’ strategies consciously is the only way our life actually begins to turn toward better outcomes.”
—James Hollis, PhD, Jungian analyst, and author of The Middle Passage and Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life
"...for fed-up self-help readers, it may be the panacea they need."
"What makes this book from Paterson ("Your Depression Map") so delightful is that the author's obvious use of reverse psychology actually works as readers can laugh at their own behaviors. For instance, Paterson says that if a person wants a miserable life, then he or she should eat junk food, dwell on what "could be," read online news in endless detail, and eliminate the word "no" from their vocabulary. Although most readers will be accustomed to positive and negative behavior patterns, this work outlines the results of their favorite excuses for not acting in mentally healthy ways."