Here is how to make yourself miserable, no matter how rich you are. It’s a simple formula.

First, obsess over winning interpersonal conflicts.

Second, become isolated.

Third, use money like people use drugs, to stem the short-term pain.

The second and third steps are too obvious to require explanation. But I can imagine a lot of people thinking, “Oh, I don’t care about winning conflicts.”

Do you care about being right?

When you argue with someone, can you state their position so well that they agree that you have laid out exactly what they believe perfectly?

Are you happy to watch someone else fail?

Do you assume you know what someone’s intentions are?

Do you label people? (Selfish, greedy, narcissistic, abusive, angry, bossy, self-centered, etc.)

Do you find yourself getting extremely disappointed by your friends often? Do people seem perfect at first, then reveal their true selves later?

If the answer to these questions is yes, believe it or not, you are obsessed with winning interpersonal conflicts.

But all these questions can be made simpler.

Do you get jealous when your friends succeed?

Let’s just focus on that. You know how you get that thrill when your home sports team wins, or the singer you like on American Idol advances? OK. Do you get that same thrill when your friends win?

If not, you are going to become miserable, no matter how much money you make. Competing with your friends and associates will steal every ounce of joy from your life. I’ve written elsewhere about how to deal with the need to “win”. For now, though, no solutions. Just the question.

Are you genuinely happy to see your friends succeed?