The Seven Habits of Highly Pernicious People


Highly Pernicious Person

Happy April to you!

tulipsAt the start of a new month, surrounded by the brightness and freshness of Spring, it’s time to take a fresh approach to personal development too.

The thought occurred to me the other day that perhaps I’ve been focusing on coaching the wrong kind of people.  Not everyone wants to be fulfilled, joyful and successful in their lives.  Not everyone wants to feel empowered and peaceful.

In fact lots of people seem to want to be genuinely unhappy – all the time – and to liberally share that profound unhappiness with everyone around them!

But who has really been available to support and encourage these people into the fullest expression of their misfortune, distress and disgruntlement?

So today I’m here to help.  If you know for sure that life is disappointing and people are wretched, then go for it fully!  For everyone who is committed to discontent and aspires to true toxicity, I offer:


Seven Habits of Highly Pernicious People

1. Find Fault with Everything

augenHey, nothing’s perfect right?  So make it your job to find and point out the flaws in everything and everyone around you.  Your family, friends and colleagues may not always appreciate your highly refined ability to look for and find what’s wrong.  But how will they ever live up to your high standards if you don’t persistently make them aware of their shortcomings?  Think of it as a ‘public service’ you provide.  And do please, make it very, very public.

2. Complain Continually

man in shirt and tie 6Once you’ve pointed out what’s wrong with the people and situations around you, it’s your job to incessantly remind everyone.  Sure, you could do so in a refined and gentle way, but you want to excel at being pernicious.  So make sure that you complain loudly, frequently and using either higher pitched, nasally tones or low guttural groans.  There’s nothing that says you care and that you’re right, like persistent whining and moaning about everything that’s wrong!

3. Blame Everyone Else

business 12You know that you’re an innocent victim of circumstances – always – and that nothing bad is ever your fault.  But does everyone else know that too?  Be certain that they do by working lots of blaming and finger-pointing into your conversations and complaints.  Make sure to mix it up stylistically though.  Use a combination of vague insinuations, specious justifications and confrontational statements to make it obvious that you’re not responsible for anything that happens!

4. Hold Unrealistic Expectations

It’s clear that things are not as they should be around you.  Others could be doing so much more to anticipate your needs and try to make you happy.  But the good news is that you will never be happy no matter what, so this can go on forever!  Remember that communicating any of your wildly unreasonable expectations only lowers the bar for others in your life.  So definitely don’t do that – at least until your expectation hasn’t been met.  Then you can indulge fully in steps 1 – 3 above, and how fun is that!

5. Make Unreasonable Demands

Angry Woman1When someone fails to meet your wildly unrealistic and unspoken expectations, then in addition to blaming and complaining, you get to make maliciously unreasonable demands!  They should have known what you wanted, so insist that they must do something outrageous to make it up to you.  Remember, you’re not accountable for anything, which means that you can demand that others take responsibility for everything – especially your hurt feelings, disappointment and overall dissatisfaction with life!  You know that it’s really not easy being you, so why should you suffer alone?

6. Resist and Deny All Change

Man Portrait RefusalIn the pursuit of true perniciousness, the word ‘no’ is one of your best friends.  You must refuse to acknowledge all requests from others that would in any way alter your reality.  This is especially true if they want you to betray your core values by insisting that you take responsibility for anything.  The way you are right now is fine, so just say no to any request or intimation that you should change.  If pressed on an issue, a true winner in this game will go vigorously on the attack.  Be sure to drag out and use any and every possible incident from the past (real or imagined) to verbally bludgeon and shame the person into giving up.  Remember anything is fair game!

7. Twist and Misconstrue the Words of Others

We've already established that you’re right and everyone else is wrong – about everything!  So you don’t need to really hear anything that anyone else has to say.  But sometimes people are persistent in trying to convince you that they’re in the right.  So in that case the truly pernicious thing to do is to totally twist and misconstrue everything they have to say!  That’s right, your reality is the only reality, so you must do whatever is necessary to protect and defend it.  The best way to do that is to assign completely new meanings to common words and phrases, and to cleverly turn any sort of accusation of you back onto the other person.  To be really effective at this level of spin and misinterpretation takes practice.  So get started now!

You Can Do It

skeleton showing two fingersIn summary, it’s not easy being a Highly Pernicious Person – perpetually unhappy, disgruntled and toxic.  But if this is the life you want, then adopt these Seven Habits and really go for it!

Remember, life isn't fair to you, and you have a right to inflict your discontent on everyone you know (as well as those you don’t).  And sure, it does take discipline and focus to attain true perniciousness.  It takes real persistence to alienate and disenfranchise yourself from everyone you know.  But you’ll have lots of opportunities, you’re committed and you can do it!

with enthusiastic support,



P.S.  April Fool!


  1. Very amusing April Fools article Cliff.




  2. Love this. Brought a chuckle. Have shared it though I was looking for 7 opposing steps to counter the pernicious habits.

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