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ETpro's avatar

Why does misery love company?

Asked by ETpro (34466points) November 19th, 2010

We hear the saying all the time. Is it true? If so, why? What good could come from knowing someone else is miserable too?

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20 Answers

ZEPHYRA's avatar

Just the comfort of knowing that others are boiling in the same pot, sailing in the same boat on choppy seas. Human need to feel that you somehow “belong” and are not the odd one out!
Added to all that is the fact that you have someone you can whinge, whine and whimper to, who know what you are going through. It is a form of mutual support!

Berserker's avatar

I have no idea what the hell it even means. I often guess something about whoring for attention, but true misery does not entail this.
Still, Metallica did this cool song that mentions the saying. Do the lyrics help a bit?

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

People who have a defeatist nature can’t tolerate or be tolerated by happy people.Itis birds of a feather…
I don’t like to be around bitchy,whiny,complaining, crybabies.
Life is too short ;)

Seaofclouds's avatar

I think some of it is also because negative energy and attitudes tends to draw in more negative energy and attitudes. If one person is venting about a bad experience, more people are likely to join in and vent about their bad experience and so on. People don’t gush about good stuff as much as they do the bad stuff though, so the opposite doesn’t happen as often.

jlelandg's avatar

Ask Paul Sheldon.

ETpro's avatar

@ZEPHYRA Yeah but if I was truly the most miserable guy on all God’s green Earth I could go on Oprah and make everybody so sorry for me they’d send lots of money. Then I’d be happy—I think.

@Symbeline Metallica’s great song makes me feel much worse. I’m closing in on being ready to contact.Oprah! :-)

@lucillelucillelucille I guess all the bitchy whinny people need to hang together then. Maybe that’s what’s behind the saying.

@Seaofclouds That makes perfect sense. I’d guess that’s a major part of what’s behind the saying.

@jlelandg Ha! Not going to read a whole Stephen King horror just to figure this one out. :-)

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Uhmmm, no. At least not for me. When I’m miserable, it’s best to leave me completely alone. That’s the way I want it.

Confucius says:
“The noble man is not without troubles. And it is no trouble that others do not know of them.”

ETpro's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies That’s my method of handling trinulation as well. That’s why I wondered what others see in that saying. I hear it all the time and today caught myself saying it to someone else. That’s when I decided to see what others thought about it.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@ETpro -Yes,and they do.Birds of a feather. ;)
@RealEyesRealizeReaLies-Exactly!

iamthemob's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies, @ETpro – I also prefer to be left alone when I’m feeling terrible. But that’s also because I know that it will get better – well, feel like it will based on past experience.

I think others have it right here – when they talk about being able to commiserate with someone. Regardless of whether there are happy people around you, you want to talk to people ho at least know where you’re coming from. A miserable person can’t really be assured of empathy from a happy one – at least not while the happy person is happy.

ucme's avatar

She loves pigs?

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

I understand @iamthemob. There are those who benefit from sharing their woes with others. I am not one of them. Three reasons…

If I share, I end up feeling more miserable because I see what a whiner I’ve become. Not who I want to be.

I want everyone out of my way so I can concentrate on fixing the trouble. Not concentrate on anyone else’s feelings about my troubles. I’ll either piss you off exposing your unqualified assessment for what it is, or get caught up in falsely praising you for your wisdom. Neither solves my troubles. It’s just in the way, and adds to the trouble.

I can’t remember the last one. Memory is in fact one of my troubles you know. But we don’t need to get into that here… pah-leeze.

Berserker's avatar

@ucme Lmfao. You’re a genius lol, this is the second awesome movie reference you’ve made. :)

ETpro's avatar

@lucillelucillelucille Great answer. Explain one old saying with another.

@iamthemob I guess things are different for someone facing trouble (health, legal, ?) that they know full well has no end in sight.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@ETpro -I’ll explain it this way then…Bitchy, whiny people hang together because happy people don’t want to listen to their shit. ;)

ETpro's avatar

@lucillelucillelucille You got that right. :-)

ucme's avatar

@Symbeline Yeah I guess I got em on my brain. Can’t…..help….....myself :¬)

DerangedSpaceMonkey's avatar

Everybody needs somebody sometimes. I think misery should only love the company of the person that made them miserable.

ETpro's avatar

@DerangedSpaceMonkey Ha! Misery would then taste sweet revenge and no longer be so miserable.

DerangedSpaceMonkey's avatar

@ETpro Quite true. There is no sadness that can’t be turned into a beautiful flower with thorns that will prick the fingers of the hateful.

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