1. Overanalyzing everyone’s intentions/thoughts
What did your fifth grade teacher mean when she told just you that kids your age should start wearing deodorant? Did your brother know something you didn’t when he called you Gayson when you were a kid? Did your bestie not respond to your texts about plans for a Friday night apple bobbing on purpose? Is he secretly trying to eliminate you as a friend? Is the grocery store clerk staring at you because you haven’t washed your hair in three days and you wear the same clothes every time you come in? (It’s a co-op for crying out loud; no one bathes. Who is she to fucking judge? Her nose piercing is looking a little crusty, anyway.)
2. Truly believing that other people are the secret ingredient to happiness
Nope. They’re not. Sorry. You’re on your own. Depending on someone else is perhaps the quickest way to arrive at the Big D. Other people can make you smile, but they can’t make you think you’re worthy of your own life. You are your own problem, and you always will be. Also worth noting: you’re the biggest problem you’ll ever have. Better figure out how to deal with yourself.
3. Being insecure all of the time
Lighten up. If you’re pissed off all of the time it’s because you’re too insecure to have fun. Been a while since you’ve giggled to the point of snorting? Can’t remember the last time your testicles hurt from laughing so hard? (What? You say you don’t have testicles? What is this, a convent?) Life is silly. It makes no sense. But this is nothing to be sad about. There’s plenty of shit to make fun of, and even more shit to laugh at. There’s a widely speculated fear, perpetuated mostly by the media and aged people who do nothing but watch the media, that the world is constantly becoming a more dangerous, less funny place. It’s not. Things have always been shitty. There’s just a new balance of shitty that’s different than the old shitty. So, serious sack, be confident and laugh at the stuff that doesn’t make sense. Also, drink whiskey when you’re afraid. Be ballsy. Be an asshole sometimes. Think of yourself.
4. Creating a skewed, imaginary internal world in which everyone cares way more about you than they actually do
Sad people spend a lot of time just thinking about how other people thought they looked or wondering if someone “misinterpreted something [they] said.” Sad people will ask you if they hurt your feelings even when everything they’ve ever said is innocuous. Sad people believe that no one likes them. Sad people usually have a lot of time to think.
- Jason Zabel knows that it takes one to know one
From The Tangential archives: August 2011