The Psychology of an Unlucky Person: Why Some People Seem to Have All the Bad Luck

It’s a fact: while luck often garners much research and discussion (which is understandable since everyone is eager to provide advice on how to succeed), bad luck receives less attention. It’s usually attributed to circumstances or fate – those objective factors against which one cannot fight.

Occasionally, a person with a certain degree of courage and self-admiration will admit that they’re unlucky, a “loser”, but they will never accept that they’re the root cause of their predicament. How can a self-aware and self-evaluating mind admit weakness? It is its own benchmark and perceives the world through this lens.

psychology of luck

  1. The first, most intriguing and “toxic” type of unlucky people is the person whose intelligence (and the ability to understand and analyze) surpasses their capacity to put it to productive use – much higher than their own creative abilities.

As an erstwhile decent poet, now a lover of vodka and billiards might say, “It doesn’t work as it should, and it doesn’t want as it works.”

Such a person eventually becomes critical and envious. They have a breadth of knowledge but are internally tormented by their inability to create anything of value. Their ambition wanes, as they know they can’t perform better than others, and they’re sure to do poorly. They despise all those who exert great effort to achieve their goals. Their calling is to be the critic in the kitchen or the living room: here, they can shine, demolishing authorities, mocking the world, and pointing a “disguised” finger at the slips and blemishes of the classics.

Indeed, if they were less intelligent, they would have been content with less. They would have worked, ascended the ladder, enjoyed small victories. But now: “I can’t be a king or a duke; I’m not suited for it – I’m unlucky!… Let’s drink, gentlemen!”

Sometimes, out of simple humanity, you would want to strip such people of their intelligence, to lessen their worries about the world’s problems and to start doing something. The sickly, pitiful-aggressively expressive face of such individuals is unbearable, like the eyes of a dog suffering from a contagious disease – you want to comfort them yet also distance yourself from them.

  1. The second type is the most intriguing and tragic – people who have everything from nature: they’re beautiful, intelligent, charming, talented. Everything comes easily to them, hence they lack ambition. From childhood, they’re predicted to have successful careers in various fields, they easily complete tasks and advance, they don’t encounter significant obstacles, and thus when they reach adulthood, they find they lack the crucial quality of dedication and deriving pleasure from rigorous and sometimes even monotonous work.

Blessed with their talents, such people are unfamiliar with the concept of constant hard work. When they encounter real challenges in life, they either crumble internally or retreat effortlessly with the rationale: “Why should I exert myself when I can accomplish other tasks easily and successfully?!”

When a person lacks a compelling reason to marshal their forces, they lose their direction, and collapse internally, leading to a pitiful outcome. Two decades pass, a midlife crisis sets in, and the once adored employee or fans’ idol feels fatigued and gradually descends: “Everyone else has achieved something, and I, so smart and talented, where am I now?… Who am I?…Hey, fans, who wants to join me for a drink?!”

This person is akin to a sprinter dragging a weight tied to his leg so he doesn’t run too fast. He runs at such speed that he can afford to rest while others are running, and when others are nearing the finish line, he releases the weight and sprints with all his strength and effort, only to find the others have already reached the finish line and the prize has been claimed.

The wise and patient Japanese recognized the snail and the turtle as symbols of goal achievement: “Slowly crawl, snail, up the slopes of Mount Fuji… up, to the peak!”


  1. The most deserving kind of unlucky people are romantics. They frequently dream about unattainable, baseless things. Their eyes twinkle, their soul “sings”, and, regrettably, they often become the preferred and easy prey of scoundrels. They’re not savvy about life as they usually judge others from their own perspective. They’re constantly thinking about making others happy, creating something great, but as a rule, their generosity is often exploited. Yes, these are noble but unfortunate individuals.

The larger the plans, the greater the chances of failure: the obstacles multiply, the goal becomes more challenging, the deeper you venture into the forest, the greater the resistance you meet. Extensive work is required, risk and competition increase.

  1. There are also neurotic unlucky people – they harbor such intense desires, strive so hard, and are so frantic that they make missteps in their haste and spoil their work. They want to achieve their goals so desperately that they become unable to comprehend what and how to do it.

Although people of this type are usually quite intelligent, due to excessive eagerness, they become extremely nervous, fall into a sort of affective state, and appear foolish.

Among such unlucky ones, we find “harmless clowns” who incite laughter and often serve as favorite characters for fiction writers. They cannot consider problems holistically, they cannot perceive the cause-and-effect relationship between initial actions and final results.

  1. The most “pitiable type” of unlucky people – those who “do everything right”, but unfortunate and unforeseen events undermine their plans. Such unlucky individuals resemble gamblers who lose not only their own property but that of their relatives and friends. They play by following the rules. Misfortune is a result of underestimating the existence of risk. They lack intuition, the ability to evaluate and consider a set of facts, and manage a difficult situation. Generally, this is the consequence of incorrect self-assessment.

After one or two failures, such an unlucky person sadly tells everyone about their bad luck. After all, failure explains everything: “I fought like a lion, but you can’t go against the gods” – there’s nothing to argue with, it’s a pleasant and easy position.

  1. The most tragic form of misfortune occurs during adolescence – when teenagers are given everything, receive all kinds of positive emotions, face no resistance from their environment, and then an intriguing psychological moment appears – the desire to experience all types of sensations (both positive and negative). At this point, the adolescent’s still immature mind begins to seek a foundation, a sense of “bad and different”, something tragic. (Remember Little Buddha.)

psychology of unlucky

Conclusion: The Psychology of an Unlucky Person

Thus, a factor of negativity is imprinted both consciously and unconsciously: often it’s a preoccupation with tragic death, difficulties and a miserable fate, which in reality has no foundation. Such an individual shields themselves from the tormenting thoughts about future failures by psychologically preparing for it in advance. This is a person with a fragile, unstable psyche and a fickle character.

Such misfortune can be termed the fear of luck: the person recognizes the difficulty of maintaining success and chooses the myth of an unlucky future.

If you condition yourself for failure, then rest assured, you will never succeed.

We should remember that the ability to “seize fortune by the tail” is to rise as many times as we fall.