Note: in this context, masochist means someone that seeks out pain on purpose.
You might be a masochist if…
You constantly provide yourself with content to complain about e.g. reading the news, browsing an infuriating website, communicating with certain acquaintances, watching shows that make you feel bad, etc.
In your mind, you dredge up unpleasant scenes from your past or you imagine an unpleasant future.
You keep performing an activity despite poor performance, all while maintaining a losing-mindset, causing you to fail at aspects you would normally succeed at.
You avoid things that might actually be fun for you.
You insist on doing things the hard way.
You intensely focus on minor aches/pains and other discomforts, allowing them to influence your life and daily routine.
Is masochism just a personal preference that should be honored?
No, it’s a low-quality way to spend your time. It’s like eating junk-food instead of consuming something nutritious. In the long run, you don’t feel satisfied by the pain, you feel empty and incomplete.
So how does one stop being a masochist?
You’ll need to replace it with something better, something more nourishing. The first step is to recognize that you’re a masochist and that you’re done with the pain-loving lifestyle. Next, you’re gonna wanna take some time to think about the painful and frustrating life that YOU have been putting yourself through. You sadistic sicko. Next, you’ll need to seek out new ways to spend your time. Since you won’t be torturing yourself any longer, you’ll need some new hobbies.
This will take some effort, but you can do it. There’s creative pursuits, pleasant activities, lighthearted entertainment, loving something, connecting with others, celebrating stuff, being helpful — whatever incites delight. And during this exploration and experimentation time, you’ll need to recognize those moments when you’re absentmindedly seeking out pain — when you see it, shut it down. Luckily you can use the feeling of pain as an alarm to indicate that you’re doing something masochistic again. In brief: feel pain, stop doing what you’re doing, do something better instead.