I meet with people who are miserable at work and they all share the same traits. For whatever reason, they tend to clam up about their ideas and never vocalize about work problems. Because this condition is self-perpetuating, the traits they share seem to strangle out any happiness at work. The following strategies might be a bit sarcastic (OK, they are very sarcastic) but can help if you or your employees are feeling lost on the path to success, stuck in a dead-end career, or just disconnected.
1. Don't speak up at meetings
Not sharing your ideas and plans in meetings is a good way to feed the misery monster. It's a hungry beast and will come back for more. One way to ruin a career is to never share because that means you keep all of your ideas inside locked away in a vault. You feel bitter and angry because other people constantly get the credit. It's as though they always have a Visa card ready for a pat on the back...and you don't.
Solution: Speak up even if it means you dominate the conversation a little
2. Go into conversations as blindly as possible
One way to feel miserable is to avoid collecting enough information before an upcoming discussion. Let's say you'll be meeting with someone who will ask about your credentials. Make sure you don't know what they will ask about, because then you will be annoyed when you find out you don't meet them. Bonus points if you also don't know anything about the person who is chatting with you. If you stumble into the chat as uninformed as possible, you can hurt the feelings of that person easier.
Solution: Learn as much as you can before any discussion
3. Gossip as much as possible to avoid confrontation
Gossip is a good way to destroy the reputation of someone else, right? Not really--it's actually a great way to destroy your own reputation. Here's how it works. Let's say you need to confront someone about a problem. You decide to talk to a colleague about it instead, and then the news gets back the person you needed to confront. You gossiped, but you also created mistrust and did some finger-pointing. It makes you feel miserable because you were the instigator of the bigger conflict and caused the most damage--and no one likes to feel that way.
Solution: It's much better to confront people directly and avoid gossip
4. Sing your own praises constantly
Join the choir of one. Make sure you talk about your accomplishments and credentials at every opportunity, because then everyone will know how great you are. Seems legit, right? Sadly, this outlook on life (one that involves a lot of mirrors and shoe-gazing) makes you feel terrible. Everyone hates people who only talk about themselves incessantly. If you're that person, you will have to endure the scorn of people who don't want to be around you that much.
Solution: Express interest in others and go beyond their expectations