Me: Rambling on about my day, blah blah. Kind of bummed out, feeling generally dissatisfied with life, would like a cookie.
Person: Have you ever tried (typical self-help thing that is supposed to improve happiness)?
Me: Yes. Did not produce happiness. Why?
Person: You always seem so saaaad.
I get that I am a miserable, whiny person. I'm sad, often, and I recognise it. I realise that doing xyz may create an opportunity to a) be happy, b ) make friends, or c) learn how to pretend to be happy. However, let me explain a few things.
I have a chemical imbalance and an illness that makes me feel pain fully 70% of the time. I sometimes am as happy as it is possible for me to get, but that is still not happy enough for other people. Even when I am complaining, I may still be "happy". Even when things are going well, sometimes there is a weight of sadness and misery that I can't wade through enough to be happy enough for other people.
I talk to people freely about how I am feeling that day, what I am thinking about, etc. I do tend to on-and-on. If you do not want to talk to me, do not want to hear about it, whatever, just say so. Don't disappear from my life entirely, avoid me, or try to figure out what's wrong with me - I've been to counseling. I have a diagnosis. I know what is wrong with me, and will easily tell you what is wrong with me if you ask.
Do not try to fix me. I realise: I'm so down, I complain about my life, I whine. This illness cannot be fixed by getting a hobby, talking repeatedly to someone whose only intent is to bring up memories from my childhood or nightmares that I don't want to relive. I talk to normal people every day about the things that upset me right now because if I talk about those things to someone, they might change the subject or say something to keep my mind off of the oppressive weight of my undefined sad feeling.
I have so many flaws. Everyone has them, though, and you wouldn't walk up to someone and say "You know, your hair looks dull. Have you washed it lately? Do you go to a stylist?" or lecture someone about their teeth needing braces. My sadness is a part of me, no matter how much I dislike it.
I will not get offended and stop talking to you, but I will be disappointed, if you continue to try to "fix" me. I will make jokes, answer your questions, and admit eventually that the things people are suggesting will not work because I am sad. Not all of the time, sometimes I'm ridiculously angry and hate everything or sometimes I think that the stove is too dirty even after I've used bleach on it, or obsess over organizing my inbox and feel euphoria at the sight of an empty room because there is nothing to worry about!
I have tried to "get hobbies" to make friends. Contrary to popular belief, this does not work for everyone. You can find hundreds of people with common interests, but there will still be flakes and egotists and cliques that leave behind you, standing in the corner, trying not to cry because your personality is not good enough but neither is anyone else's. Dedicating excess amounts of time to finding a group with common habits and interests is great, so long as you actually feel like you're getting something from it. When it feels like wasted time, or you get ignored or dismissed or avoided again, it can just make it as worthless as it would be to someone who wouldn't be interested.
There are people I know who I have everything in common with - we like the same books, movies, music, have the same career goals or at least very similar ones, are both right handed and like the same foods and even feel the same about the way other people act, but these people don't want to spend time with me. They have never asked me for coffee, or gone for coffee with me when I asked them. They don't want to "hang out". They want to go about their own business, hang out with their friends they already have, and pretend I never existed. Sometimes, even worse, they'll be nice to me and semi-socialize - never outside of work/a group/a specific time period, never initiating it themselves, and always at just enough of an emotional distance that it's polite, restrained, and disappears the moment we separate.
It has been a long time since someone called me to hang out or visit. Even when someone does, it's reactionary - to be blunt, it's out of pity or guilt. That is not the type of friendship I want.
I am not a good enough person to maintain a good relationship with people. I have accepted that I just simply do not have my own friends. I rent friends, or am a friend-of-a-friend, or they are "family friends" or "work friends", but never my real, good friends. I am beginning to think that is too much to ask for someone who is "always so sad". It probably is.
The simple fact is that I will continue to be sad, and continue to not have friends, until I am willing to completely change myself, and it will be a cold day in Hell before I change myself to make other people happy. I have done it before, and it has only ever resulted in regret.
I cannot be fixed. Either toss me out or keep using this malfunctioning device.