Ten Reasons to Avoid Taking Yourself Too Seriously

Oscar Wilde once wrote in a letter, “People who count their chickens before they are hatched act very wisely because chickens run about so absurdly that it’s impossible to count them accurately.” In keeping with this sentiment, here are ten reasons to avoid taking yourself too seriously.

  1. Those who take themselves too seriously tend to be unwilling to accept what they have. They dwell on disappointments and fears, thereby wasting time and energy on things that matter far less than an unlimited number of rich and rewarding experiences that should be enjoyed in the moment.
  2. Remaining in a persistently serious mood usually leads to a loss of interest in normally enjoyable activities. This often results in temporary depression, which can turn into a long-term emotional disorder that will probably require treatment.
  3. Taking yourself too seriously prevents you from seeing the world as it really is. Worry often stems from imaginary, not real, concerns. These delusional impressions prevent one from understanding actual circumstances, which can prove to be damaging to others and even dangerous, at times.
  4. People often dislike or avoid those who take themselves too seriously. Perpetually dismal behavior is a social insult. Happy, interesting, and well-adjusted people avoid dour buzzkills like the plague.
  5. Being too serious is boring. Laughter and levity are what make life especially interesting, and missing out on them is a lost opportunity that can never be recovered.
  6. Overly serious behavior can keep you from sharing close connections with others. Consequently, it can ruin the lives of the people around you, to include your children, who should be enjoying happy experiences.
  7. Taking yourself too seriously means you might also take competitive situations too seriously. This results in spending untold hours comparing yourself to others, which breeds envy and resentment.
  8. Excessive worry ruins your health and appearance. Grim and depressing sentiments often translate to a poor diet, lack of exercise, and worry lines.
  9. An overly serious disposition can make you less humane and altruistic. When you fail to activate the brain’s reward center (through releases of the neurotransmitter dopamine) due to an unwillingness to enjoy pleasure, you are also less likely to perform kind acts for others.
  10. Taking yourself too seriously probably means you have an inflated ego. Those with an unwarranted sense of self-importance have been responsible for most of the misery inflicted on the world throughout recorded history, and surely before that as well. Why would anyone want to perpetuate this?