George: My life is the opposite of everything I want it to be. Every instinct I have, in every of life, be it something to wear, something to eat… It’s all been wrong.
Jerry: If every instinct you have is wrong, then the opposite would have to be right.
There are happy optimists; happiness zealots, undisturbable by reality, soldiering on unwaveringly in their Great Leap Forward of relentless positivity. They would earnestly read self-help books except they don’t even feel the need to.
Avoid if possible.
There are miserable optimists, always looking upwards only to have life repeatedly headbutt them in the nose; recognizable at their uneasy smiles, unreflected in their absent stares and hinting at a dash of cognitive dissonance.
Pity them; lend them a hand and try to gently drag them downwards.
There are happy pessimists, ever pleasantly surprised that reality exceeded their gloomy expectations. They make self-deprecating jokes but actually laugh at them, and make sincere attempts to develop self-avoidance strategies. “No, we don’t”. Shut up, this is my own personal fantasy, truth is an irrelevant attribute here.
Try to be more like them, which is to say, to act more like them (no, your hypothetical “inner self” mysteriously never coalesced into actual action is just narcissistic wankery).
Finally, there are miserable pessimists, for whom pleasurable and satisfactory events lead to a flash of optimism which is then instantly replaced by seemingly unsurmountable dread at how, if everything will go wrong anyway, there is now so much more potential for it to go wronger, so maybe pleasure and satisfaction should just be avoided in the future, which of course ultimately doesn’t help, etc.
They have analysis-paralysis, and so would you if when faced with a choice you had to consider not only the pros and cons of each option but also that the pros are themselves cons, and let’s not even add a layer of masochism which sometimes causes the cons to be themselves pros, hence cons, etc.
(You have to have a system.)
I’d say “lend them a hand and try to gently drag them upwards”, but actually don’t since that would be something good, and, as mentioned above, etc.