How do people unknowingly sabotage their own happiness?

Sean Kernan, Son of Quora

Answered Dec 24

Deep down, I knew I didn’t want to be with her anymore.

We were headed in two different directions. And I knew she wasn’t the one.

I should have just done it, ended it. But I delayed.

I began to pull away. I became less engaged, more difficult to be with.

Subconsciously, I’d decided to try to get her to break up with me instead.

I was young, inexperienced and afraid. Afraid of breaking up with a girl. Afraid of hurting her feelings. Afraid of doing the right thing.

It didn’t end well.

She got her feelings hurt far worse. Rather than rip the band-aid off. I unknowingly added more band-aids to pull off.

It made us both miserable. It wasn’t fair to her. It wasn’t fair to me. And it delayed the inevitable.

Now don’t feel bad.

I’m not sitting here writing this hating myself or feeling sad.

This was years ago. I’ve made my peace with this experience. I learned a lot.

And – I’ve spoken with her in the years since. Talked it out. Explained my conduct to her. Apologized wholeheartedly.

Which she thankfully accepted. We are good now.

What happened in that relationship is what happens to so, so, so many people.

They aren’t happy on a deeper level. So rather than confront the problem head-on and work to resolve it, they begin to self-sabotage.

Rather than look for a new job they begin to underperform.

Rather than exercise, they eat more and nap away their sadness.

Rather than study, they wander in their distractions.

Or in my case, rather than end a relationship, I let it drag out to the bitter end.

Self-sabotage is like an internal eject button. If we don’t take action to fix something, to stare down our problem, our inner self will take over.

Rather than solve the problem, it will make it worse, it will turn one bandaid into many.

Don’t let your internal self take over. When it pushes eject, it doesn’t check for a parachute.


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