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  • The three horrors of modern life — talk without meaning, desire without love, work without satisfaction.

  • There is a stage in any misery when the victim begins to find a deep satisfaction in it.

  • When you are unhappy or dissatisfied, is there anything in the world more maddening than to be told that you should be contented with your lot?

  • Real misery cuts off all paths to itself.

  • Life for the unhappy is an endless search for 'the good parent,' one who will truly love him instead of making him afraid ...

  • Unhappiness makes beggars or accountants of us all.

  • Great unhappiness is incompatible with the belief that it will ever end.

  • Those who are unhappy have no need for anything in this world but people capable of giving them their attention.

  • Misery generates hate ...

  • Submission to poverty is the unpardonable sin against the body. Submission to unhappiness is the unpardonable sin against the spirit.

  • Unhappy people are dangerous.

  • I lie all day and wait for night, / I lie all night and wait for day.

    • Edith Södergran,
    • "Days of Sickness" (1916), in Samuel Charters, trans., We Women ()
  • As anyone who has ever fallen foul of an airport, a conventional hospital or a bad restaurant knows, misery is made up of little things ...

  • Misery is a guest that we are glad to part with, however certain of her speedy return.

    • Fanny Burney,
    • 1769, in Annie Raine Ellis, ed., The Early Diary of Frances Burney, vol. 1 ()
  • ... real misery delights not in reproaches and complaints. It is like charity and love — silent, long suffering and mild.

  • Happiness is a specific. Misery is a generalization. People usually know exactly why they are happy. They very rarely know why they are miserable.

  • Everywhere I see bliss, from which I alone am irrevocably excluded.

  • I feel so small I could sit on a dime an' my legs wouldn't even hang over ...

  • Ah! Those strange people who have the courage to be unhappy! Are they unhappy, by the way?

    • Alice James,
    • 1889, in Anna Robeson Burr, Alice James ()
  • For the first time she had dimly realized that only the hopeless are starkly sincere and that only the unhappy can either give or take sympathy — even some of the bitter and dangerous voluptuousness of misery.

  • Some people pursue unhappiness because happiness is too mild a sensation.

  • There are many more attempts to define happiness than unhappiness. It is because people know all too well what unhappiness is.

  • By becoming more unhappy, we sometimes learn how to be less so.

  • She seems to be in chronic mourning for all the relatives who have died within her memory and in a state of chronic resentment over the neglect of all those who haven't died.

  • Take away the miseries and you take away some folks' reason for living. Their conversation piece anyway.