Misery loves company

Meaning

What does Misery loves company mean?

Misery loves company is a proverb – a short phrase that describes an universal knowledge or common sentiment,

It refers to the habit of unfortunate people to find comfort in the fact that others are suffering with them.

It does not mean that they want others to suffer, but knowing that they are not alone gives them relief, and a feeling of togetherness.

The negative side of this proverb is that the mentioned miserable people tend to bring others down, just to feel the consolation.

For example complainers gain comfort from telling everyone about their problems, because the others are then forced to feel empathy for them, and get their own mood disturbed.

Origin

What's the origin of Misery loves company?

The proverb is associated with English naturalist John Ray (1627–1705), however the sentiment seems to have risen way earlier.

Dominici de Gravina, an Italian historian living in the 1400’s, used a very similar phrase in his work Chronicon de rebus in Apulia gestis.

However, the idea has likely been alive for much longer.

Spread & Usage

How did Misery loves company spread?

The phrases’ relatable, poetic insight has inspired TV Series, such as the American Sitcom with the same title; music, such as the 2007 album by Tech N9ne, and the name of numerous other sources of entertainment.

External resources

More interesting stuff