So I've been thinking about this lately. This phrase. I think about it when I read other's words. Or when I talk to my friends without jobs. Or talk to my friends who feel stuck in life, or sad, or lonely, or single. What does it mean?
This guy thinks it means this:
"A curious phrase, "misery loves company". It originated from Dr. Faustus, a play from the 16th century about a man who was prepared to give up all hope by signing a pact with the devil in exchange for 24 years of living with his desires being fulfilled. The quote is from the lips of Mephistophilis, the devil's agent, in answer to the question about why Satan seeks to enlarge his kingdom. The phrase appears to mean that those who are unhappy seek to make others unhappy too. Is that true? It does seem that the older we get the more we seek to share our maladies, aches and pains; the pills we are taking, the operations undergone, the alternative medicine remedies we have tried. Are we commiserating?"
Most of the searches I did on the phrase came up with this sort of explanation- that misery loves company means wanting to make others unhappy or miserable, too. I disagree.
Maybe misery loves company just means that when you are at your lowest point, or when you are sad, or unemployed, or lonely...when you know that there are others who can relate to you- who are also sad, lonely, at their lowest point-- you don't feel so alone. Friends who are traveling down the same roads as you understand. They have gone through it. They get why you can't seem to get off the couch, or why crying in the corner on the floor of an empty room is completely reasonable.
Maybe misery loves company because, when the company you are with understands what it is exactly you are going through, it is like an invisible friend is holding your hand. It is comforting. You don't want others to be miserable, you just want others to get where you are. What you are feeling. Maybe misery doesn't want to be miserable and just wants to be understood. Maybe that is why it loves company. Nobody wants to be alone or misunderstood, right?
I know I'm rambling and perhaps not making sense. What I do know is, whenever I feel unhappy about my sucky employment situation or just crappy in general-- it helps me to know i'm not the ONLY one out there feeling the way I do or going through the same situation. I'm not alone. It isn't just the world vs. me. Misery loves company. Yep, yep it does. And I'm thankful for the company out there who gets me.