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Can A Person Be Addicted to Misery, Unhappiness and Complaining?

As I’ve discussed previously, being a relationship counsellor in Dubai I have witnessed how our childhood or life experiences help mould our thoughts, our adult way of life and our relationships. Often a person may have been through a lot more than others and so may tend to have more of a negative outlook on life because that is all they have known. However, there are situations where people show signs that they are addicted to depression, being miserable, unhappy and spend most of their time choosing to complain or be negative, even if they are given the opportunity to change things around in their lives.


This can be extremely challenging when you find yourself in a relationship with someone who is always negative or likes to focus on difficulties or unhappiness more than anything else. They might be the one to always turn a positive into a negative,
to turn a happy situation into a sad one and could bring the whole atmosphere down with their comments or behaviour. Many couples have booked me for anger management in Dubai and around the world because one partner’s attitude is having a negative impact on their relationship which highlights the fact this is common issue between couples.


Today I want to share the evidence to support the fact that some people can become addicted to unhappiness and negativity.

I always assess this in both my depression counseling Dubai and anxiety counseling Dubai. After this I will also explore how to know if this is something you or your partner is experiencing. Most importantly I will share some suggestions on how you can help yourself or your partner overcome this obstacle in life. What to do if you feel depressed a lot of the time.


So, what pushes people to become addicted to misery, unhappiness and complaining?


Why do people seek depression counselling Dubai or online and not follow it through?


It helps to look at the science behind this form of addiction. We have all heard of the term “Misery likes company” but there is actually so much more to this than just seeking company. In fact, a study carried out by Eduardo Andrade and Joel B. Cohen in 2017 had some interesting findings.


Eduardo and Cohen (2017) researched the impact of horror films on both horror movie lovers and people who generally avoided horror movies. The group of participants were split into two groups based on their preference of either loving or avoiding horror movies and the results were very surprising.


People who loved the horror movies were capable of experiencing happiness and fear at the same time – showing that for some who loved that feeling of being scared or seeing something sad, was bringing out a feeling of joy in them. Whereas those who preferred to avoid horror movies expressed higher levels of happiness or relief when the scary scenes were over.


This supports the idea that some people do actually enjoy being scared, unhappy or miserable. Some people choose to stay in that state of negativity because it brings out a level of happiness in them to be in that mindset.


Some people also love to play the victim in their family, work or relationship. Perhaps it has got them what they want from others, sympathy, gifts or attention and they then associate some benefit in being a victim. In fact some people book breakthrough sessions to stop being a victim or living in misery they site a benefit of blaming others and not taking responsibility or being at fault. When I dig a little deeper actually they are so scared of being at fault as they may hate themselves so deeply they will punish themselves so playing the victim is a way of avoiding self-punishment.


There is also a big body of research that suggests peoples thoughts get hard-wired into habitual thought loops and unless they do the conscious and unconscious change work they will repeat the same thoughts and this then creates who they become. As our thoughts and beliefs create our emotions, attitudes and behaviour, it will therefore affect who we become.


Read About How Childhood Experiences Affect Mental-Health, Physical Health and Relationships  Here


There many reasons why people may end up depressed and seek depression counseling Dubai or online or anxiety treatment and why they may end up in these negative thought loops and find themselves some how addicted to pain, misery, unhappiness and negativity. Here are a few examples –


  • A difficult or turbulent upbringing where parents didn’t express happiness or love and were focused on negativity and were generally unhappy. Children copy their parents and see this way of thinking, acting and responding to the world is normal.


  • Low self-esteem, lack of confidence and inability to see their worth – making them feel like they aren’t worthy of good things and being happy. It’s hard to be happy when you look through the lense of seeing yourself as not good enough.


  • Past traumatic experiences which have created reoccurring fearful, anxious and negative thoughts about themselves, life and other people.


  • Past traumatic experiences which have created reoccurring fearful, anxious and negative thoughts about themselves, life and other people.


  • Hormonal imbalance contributing to seeing things negatively or feeling sad and empty.


  • Unresolved grief and loss, repressed emotions.


  • Identity as a person who is realistic and practical, preferring to be the person that sees risks, challenges, what could go wrong. In order to prepare for the worst-case scenario.


  • Living with anxiety and seeing it as a normal, helpful way of functioning and it therefore has become a habitual way of thinking


Case Study


I worked with a couple who contacted me after searching for a relationship counsellor in Dubai, because of the high levels of negativity and misery present in their relationship. To protect their identities, I’ll use the name Adrienne and James.


Adrienne felt deeply unsatisfied in her relationship because James was always putting a negative spin on everything. It was beginning to cause tension when doing things as a family but also things Adrienne was choosing to do – including things she did in the house, how she dressed, who she spent her time talking to on the phone and even what she ate. He was “should’ing” her all the time and telling how bad everything was. For example you shouldn’t eat that your get ill, you shouldn’t drink that it’s bad for you, you should do this exercise otherwise you will get hurt, you should sleep at this time. He also pointed out her faults and how she was failing, like saying your work is taking advantage of you, they haven’t given you a pay rise. Your friends don’t respect you as they are late showing up, your parent’s don’t respect me they don’t ask enough about me. He saw negative in not only what she was doing but also in other people.


Read About Handling Emotions of Others – Empaths and Highly Sensitive Person Here


James had a habit of seeing EVERYTHING that cost money as a negative also. Moaning about the price of everything and even money spent on good times they had as a family he complained about. This was draining Adrienne. She did not feel financially comfortable or free at all, everything was tense.


She noticed the complaining was also influencing the way their two boys were behaving. She felt the house had a lot of negativity and aggressive energy which made her think about ending their relationship.


She was getting tired of constantly battling the negativity and was struggling to focus on the positives or good things in life because she was surrounded by James’ pessimistic attitude. He asked me Nicola are some people addicted to unhappiness and negativity, can they change. To which I responded yes of course all thoughts and behaviours can be changed, however their needs to be


  • A willingness to change, a motivation to change that comes from them. For this I explain to them that the current way of thinking is not serving their health negative thoughts can create disease in the body, it often dampens relationships and can affect the work life and even financial success also in some cases.


  • An agreement to shift the thinking at the conscious level and subconscious level. It is often not enough to use talk therapy to go over the negative thoughts, if it is ingrained in the subconscious mind then a shift here is also needed. This is where I create a deep trance track to flood the mind with positive thoughts and the talking we do is on actions to feel better and become free.


When working with Adrienne and James, it was important to gain agreement for them both to make changes to support one another.


For Adrienne and James, I facilitated a 3 Day Intensive Breakthrough for James where we had 3 x 2.5 hour appointments 3 days in a row, first we got clear on the factors contributing to James’ thought processes and behaviours, then released them through learning from the wisdom of this thoughts and emotions. Lastly we looked at his values, goals and dreams in life and ways to keep positive through actions. To install this I did a subconscious mindset enhancing mediation for him which he could listen to daily for 3 weeks and then we had 2 joint couple sessions focusing on steps to bring them closer and to communicate more effectively. Enabling them to move on as a healthy and happy couple.


I want to admit here for years I had negative self-talk that was over powering, I used to take things personally. I thought people didn’t like me as I didn’t like myself and I found it hard to believe peoples compliments. I had a breakthrough session done on me that I now do for others and it changed my life. When you think positively the world opens up for you and life is simply amazing, because when you believe in yourself, believe that good things will happen you see more opportunities.


I’d love to connect with you more closely I have my facebook group if you want to be in touch there and if you have anything you want to change in your life or relationship right now and are ready to invest in yourself I have 4 audio programs and of course my 1 to 1 programs for individuals and couples. All you need to do is email me for info at


Mila TutorMila Tutor
07:10 25 Mar 23
I have worked with Nicola for some time now and have found her to be compassionate, kind, and extremely helpful. She has helped me a lot.
Riti SajitRiti Sajit
06:58 25 Mar 23
Nicola is a wonderful human 🤍 Thank you for helping me through my difficult time.Still living by your words and advice. I would definitely recommend anyone needing relationship counseling to try Nicola :)
Mihaela BotnariMihaela Botnari
12:54 17 Mar 23
Thank you for destroying my relationship. My partner reached out for support and you advised him that there is nothing for him to heal and that he should send his girlfriend for therapy, like this is your place to tell him. I’ve been through therapy myself and I know how to make the difference between a good therapist and someone who just wants to get more money, and the second seems to definitely be your purpose!
Helen HHelen H
19:13 10 Nov 22
Nicola’s support and advice proved invaluable when my marriage was struggling. Over a series of meetings (online and fact to face, to suit our needs), Nicola helped steer us through a very difficult time. She was always calm, neutral and never made us feel like we had failed or had ‘messed up’. Nicola has a wealth of experience and keeps up with current research, but has a very unique approach to getting you back on track. With regular support materials and just being there, she helped us realise that our relationship could go on; by making us look at ourselves and helping us consider the tools we needed to move forwards. I can honestly say that I don’t think our marriage would have survived such a difficult time without Nicola’s expertise. I often listen to Nicola’s podcasts on Spotify when I’m needing a bit of extra support. Thank you, Nicola
Justin LossJustin Loss
13:23 30 Jun 22
Nicola has been a massive help. I had tried traditional counseling and it had seemed to be moving me further away from what I wanted. After listening to several of Nicola's podcasts I decided to reach out to her. The discovery call was enlightening and she described a process that was more focused on creating a better future vs reliving the pass. From there I went through her Breakthrough Program...All I can say is Wow! Her program and guidance has quickly changed my mindset which has in turn improved all my relationships and overall stress level. I highly recommend working with Nicola and can't thank her enough for her help and care.
Ciaran CarlisleCiaran Carlisle
22:16 23 Jan 22
My partner and I spent a number of sessions with Nicola discussing our relationship difficulties, both together and one on one sessions. She has been so good to talk to - incredibly helpful and understanding with our problems.My partner and I have come out of this with a better understanding and move love for each other. Nicola has taught us many techniques to use in situations were we feel at odds which has been fantastic. We would recommend Nicola 100% for relationship advice.Thank you so much again.
Loida Delgado-PerezLoida Delgado-Perez
03:09 22 Jan 22
Nicola's marriage counselling have been life changing for both my partner and I. The learnings have been exponential and have transform us individually and as a couple. We reached out to Nicola at the lowest point of our relationship and about to break apart. Her compassionate and smart yet practical advice and exercises transform us in such a way that we are now at the best we've ever been personally and as a couple.As a result we've decided to get married and book Nicola every year for a couple's check in! I couldn't recommend her sessions more to anyone feeling stuck and wanting to be in a better place. Best investment of time, money and effort EVER. Thank you Nicola, you are an inspiration to me and many others :)
Christianne KaddoumChristianne Kaddoum
17:19 20 Oct 21
The hours I’ve spent working with Nicola have been the most valuable of my life.I now feel equipped to do things differently. It’s been the most liberating and empowering experience and I’ve learnt things that will stay with me forever.Through the excellent help from Nicola, it is now possible for me to have a different and healthier approach to various situations.She has professionally helped me to consider my perspectives in a way I hadn’t before.I can finally begin to reframe my life experience and see them in a whole new light.Thanks Nicola!