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How to Mess Up Your Life: One Lousy Day at a Time [NOOK Book]


How to Mess Up Your Life is an uproariously funny and eminently useful guide for those of us "failures" who can use a little realistic help. Best-selling author Darrin Zeer teaches readers the essential life lessons by learning what not to do.

In the persona of "Doctor Dread" Zeer proffers a pithy and profound approach to personal growth with his unique brand of snarky self-help. He punctuates his own advice with quotes from such luminaries as Albert Einstein, Benjamin Franklin,...

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How to Mess Up Your Life: One Lousy Day at a Time

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How to Mess Up Your Life is an uproariously funny and eminently useful guide for those of us "failures" who can use a little realistic help. Best-selling author Darrin Zeer teaches readers the essential life lessons by learning what not to do.

In the persona of "Doctor Dread" Zeer proffers a pithy and profound approach to personal growth with his unique brand of snarky self-help. He punctuates his own advice with quotes from such luminaries as Albert Einstein, Benjamin Franklin, William Shakespeare, Mark Twain, and others. Unforgettable quips include:

  • True friends stab you in the front. -Oscar Wilde
  • Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret. -Ambrose Bierce
  • The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits. -Albert Einstein

From how to get dumped or fired to tips on how to stay miserable, Zeer's hilarious helpers will refresh your attitude and offer invaluable new perspective. Who knew that procrastination could actually help you get ahead? Or that not keeping a to-do list is true Zen? With helpful sidebars, handy lists, and a stress-management workbook, How to Mess Up Your Life is a truly unique guide. Don't be fooled by the title, it might just be the best help you'll ever receive to straighten up your life!

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781609257583
  • Publisher: Red Wheel/Weiser
  • Publication date: 8/29/2006
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 570 KB

Read an Excerpt

How to Mess Up Your Life!

One Lousy Day at a Time

By Darrin Zeer

Red Wheel/Weiser, LLC

Copyright © 2006 Darrin Zeer
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-60925-758-3


How to Get Dumped!

The goal of "How to Get Dumped!" is to learn how to create an environment where the person you are married to or going out with can

hardly stand you!

Develop a relationship built on distrust, meanness, and a bitter feeling of dislike.

* * *

Crummy Couple's Therapy Lesson #1

Lousy Listening Skills!

* * *

"Listening is like the sound of one hand clapping. Better to interrupt!"

When your partner talks with you, just pretend to listen.

If you have been with each other for a long time, you probably have heard it all before.

Keep repeating the words, "Oh really ... yes ... oh really ... uh-huh!"

Alternate your tone of voice depending on your partner's mood. Use a tragic tone if they are feeling up and an enthusiastic voice when they are feeling down.

While your partner talks, that is a good time to think about what you want to say! When you are ready to speak, simply interrupt and share your thoughts. That way you won't forget what you want to say. It doesn't matter if your wise words are completely unrelated to the current conversation.

Follow your own conversational flow!

When speaking, try to position your self so you can see the television just over your partner's shoulder.

Crummy Couple's Therapy Lesson #2

Share Every Thought!

* * *

"Words can be like raindrops in a heavy downpour!"

The moment your partner gets home from work is the best time to talk to them in detail.

Give them an exact account of how your day went.

You want to share everything!

Talk loud and fast to maximize the amount of information you can unload on your partner.

If your partner tries to escape, corner them!

If they walk away, raise your voice so they can still hear you throughout the house.

When your partner is away, call them and leave very long, drawn-out messages. Quickly blurt out the most important details—for example, a phone number. That way your partner will have to listen to the sweet sound of your voice several times to correctly gather your information.

True friends stab you in the front.


Dear Doctor Dread,

I had a date with a hot babe last night and she talked nonstop. How can I tell her politely to shut up?

Yours truly, Motor Mouth Misery

Dear Motor Mouth Misery, Good news, you don't have to tell her a thing—just wear earplugs when you are with her. As her lips move, simply nod your head up and down. If she looks at you for a response, just say, "Yes, that's great!"

Crummy Couple's Therapy Lesson #3

The Blame Game!

* * *

"The secret to successful conflict is to blame the other!"

Always tell your partner when they make mistakes. It's an important part of having a relationship. You can dump your tension on your partner as a way to manage the frustration in your own life.

The name of the game is to prove that your partner is always wrong and you are always right.

At times you may even need to make up stuff to support your case.

Make your partner feel guilty.

The best defense is a good offense. Do everything possible to make them understand that they are the cause of your unhappiness.

Repeat lines like, "It's your fault" or "Don't you see what you have done to me?"

The "Blame Game" is a way that both of you can sharpen your argumentation skills.

Take notice when you score a "hit" and remember to use that same line in future arguments.

Crummy Couple's Therapy Lesson #4

Negative Relationship Affirmations!

* * *

"It's usually best to think the worst!"

Choose your favorite negative affirmations or make a special one up for yourself. It will help remind you of how miserable your relationship is.

(Please repeat throughout the day. Especially if you are getting along with your partner.)

I hate you! I hate you! I hate you! I hate you! You are not the one! You are not the one! You are not the one! Our relationship sucks! Our relationship sucks! Our relationship sucks! It's your fault! It's your fault! It's your fault! I can't trust you! I can't trust you! I can't trust you! You revolt me!!!!

In time you will find yourself simply repeating these affirmations without having to think about it.

Dear Doctor Dread,

I met a guy for dinner! He seems so nice. He shares his feelings openly and treated me like a lady. Do you think I can trust him?

Yours truly, Perfect Performer

Dear Perfect Performer,

Don't trust him! Declare yourself celibate and get a pet. Dogs are wonderful listeners.

Lousy Lover Tip #1

Kill The Chemistry!

* * *

"Falling in love is like falling on your face!"

Don't let yourself get dangerously lost in his/her dreamy eyes.

If you start to feel those telltale feelings of attraction, here are some tips to suppress your desires.

Avoid spending too much time with your date's "good side."

Try and avoid physical contact.

On romantic walks, keep a brisk pace.

Skip the romance and introduce your prospective partner to the "real you"! Tell your date about all your relationships that went sour.

Ask pointed questions about your date's history.

This will keep them off balance and unable to relax.

Find out why they got dumped in the past.

Focus on his/her odd quirks.

Don't let the chemistry get the better of you!

Lousy Lover Tip #2

Tantric Tantrum!

* * *

"Live for yourself; forget about others!"

Being a lousy lover takes skill!

Avoid gentle touches and sweet kisses. It exposes your weak side and makes you vulnerable.

If things get deep and meaningful, strike up a superficial conversation.

Focus on your own pleasure when you are making out with your partner.

During foreplay, aim about three inches away from your partner's erogenous zones.

After sex, it's best not to cuddle.

Leave immediately after climaxing.

If you begin to entertain romantic thoughts about your partner, just remind yourself that this person will soon be inflicting a lot of emotional pain upon you.

The majority of husbands remind me of an orangutan trying to play the violin.


Lousy Lover Tip #3

Spooning Phobia!

* * *

"You were born alone, you will die alone, so be alone!"

Spooning will make you feel claustrophobic! It should be avoided because it will leave you feeling too intimate with your partner.

Always fight for your own personal space; the first place to claim your territory is in bed.

While sleeping, kick your feet and throw your arms around in a frantic manner.

Use your elbows as a weapon to keep your bedmate at a distance.

Always position the front of your body away from your partner.

If your bedmate sneaks up while you are asleep and tries to spoon, just slide forward and push your arms back.

While your partner is sleeping, try pushing them out of bed.

A good marriage would be between a blind wife and a deaf husband.


Dear Doctor Dread,

My lover snores like a grizzly bear! We have tried everything to keep him quiet but nothing works. He is a fabulous lover but the snoring is deafening. Should I keep him or dump him?

Yours truly, Almost Deaf

Dear Almost Deaf, In the future, the moment your lovemaking is finished, ask your partner to sleep on the couch or go home. Problem solved!

Dirty Talk!

* * *

Share with your lover some of these phrases to help cool things off under the sheets!

"You're not doing it right!"

"I don't like that!"

"Ouch! That hurts!"

"Don't touch me like that!"

"That tickles!"

"Not like that!"

"Not yet!"

"I'm not ready!"

"What are you doing?"

Disastrous Dating Game #1

You are the Center of the Universe!

* * *

"It's your world; we just live in it!"

Dating is the most fun when the focus is on you. Enjoy the sound of your own voice—listen to yourself talk for hours.

Share the special gifts that you possess.

Dazzle them with your superior intellect.

Share in-depth your heroic accomplishments.

Take your listeners on an extended journey into the tedious details of your life story.

Disastrous Dating Game #2

Bad Body Language!

* * *

"Kill a relationship before it kills you!"

Make sure your date doesn't feel you are attracted to her/him.

While sitting at a restaurant, wrap your arms and legs tightly together at all times.

Avoid eye contact!

If your date tries to look at you, just dart your eyes around and swing your head in the opposite direction.

Sit halfway on your seat and halfway off so you are ready for a quick exit in case the date begins to bomb.

Dear Doctor Dread,

I want to leave my girlfriend without hurting her feelings. What should I do?

Yours truly, Mr. Nice

Dear Mr. Nice,

Make sure you don't have any of your stuff at her place and that she doesn't have a key to your place. When you are ready, stop calling her and don't return her calls. She will get the message eventually. Don't practice this technique if you want to go out with any of her girlfriends. It will backfire!

Terrible Pickup Lines!!!

* * *

What's your sign?

I can see you're attracted to me.

I can see your aura!

Do you have genital herpes?

Are you an easy lay?

What names should we give our kids?

Would you like to meet my parents?

Want to have group sex with some of my buddies?

Is that you who smells?

Disastrous Dating Game #3

Better Late or Never!

* * *

"If you desire a pretty nurse, you must be patient!"

Always arrive between 15 minutes to one hour after your arranged meeting time, especially if it is a first date!

Catch up on your errands while your date waits for your arrival—this way you know you will have a table waiting for you when you finally do get there.

Try to avoid letting her/him know you are behind schedule in order to neutralize his/her desire to forgive you when you finally arrive.

Always play hard-to-get.

Classified Ads!

Woman Seeking Man

I feel bitter and lonely and want someone to cling onto. Are you that special someone I can blame for my misery? I am a neurotic clean-freak and you are my nightmare in shining armor. Miserable single waits impatiently for your call!

Man Seeking Woman

I am a womanizer who likes cheap one-night stands. How would you like to be humiliated and then dumped by me? I am a slob and proud of it! Will you be my mommy and take care of me? Unemployed single still living with parents, looking for someone to do his dirty laundry.

Disastrous Dating Game #4

Soul Mate Search

* * *

"Searching for the perfect mate can bring you perfect misery!"

Dedicate yourself to a lifelong search for your soul mate.

Set impossibly high standards for your perfect partner.

Rejoice in the misery of the endless search for that special someone.

If you do find a good match, then quickly judge them for not being perfect.

If your potential mate exhibits a flaw, immediately start your soul mate search all over again.

Horrible Household Rule #1

Embrace Your Inner Slob!

* * *

"Cleanliness can't exist without messiness!"

Let the dishes pile up for your partner to clean.

If they give you attitude, remind them how hard you work and how much you give every day.

Hold on to the conviction that doing the dishes is really just a small token of the gratitude your partner should be showing you.

Leave old food in the fridge long past its expiration date. The stench will be your silent act of kitchen anarchy!

Leave your possessions around the house in a random manner—it is a form of artistic expression.

Create piles as a declaration of your independence.

Teach your partner how to love you unconditionally!

Dear Doctor Dread,

My husband is an absolute slob. All he does is watch television. He never misses a single football game. How can I change him?

Yours truly, Sports Nut

Dear Sports Nut,

If the TV is not too heavy, simply open your window and throw it out. This works best if you live in a high-rise apartment building. Make sure there are no pedestrians walking below.

Horrible Household Rule #2

Joint Ownership!

* * *

"What's yours is mine and what's mine is mine!"

It's important that your partner shares his/her possessions with you freely.

Leave his/her stuff carelessly around the house, just so she/he knows you're using it.

His/her CDs are your CDs, though your CDs should never be borrowed.

Intentionally break your partner's valuables to test his/her love and commitment to you and to get a peek at his/her dark side.

Sell his/her precious family heirlooms as a way of encouraging them to let go of the past.

Use his/her credit cards without asking permission to test his/her trust and to say, "I am in this relationship for better or worse."

Dear Doctor Dread,

My girlfriend is constantly nagging me. She doesn't think we talk enough. She blames me that I don't share my feelings with her. What can I do to get her off my back?

Yours truly, Nagged

Dear Nagged,

Share with her how angry you feel when she is constantly on your back. Tell her that you "feel" she is a nag. This will help her understand your feelings.

Horrible Household Rule #3

Random Acts of Rudeness!

* * *

"Better to stab someone in the back than in the front!"

From time to time, test your partner's commitment to you by practicing random acts of rudeness.

Keep them off balance and show them that you are not someone to be fooled with.

Project a not-so-subtle vibe of, "It's my way or the highway."

It's best to surprise your partner when they are least expecting it!

Just say stuff like "I don't trust you!," "Why are you so uncaring?," "You are cheating on me!"

Try and target your partner's weak spots!

From time to time, ladies should cut their men do wn to size!

Guys should periodically make rude comments about their woman's weight and appearance.

It is much easier to be critical than to be correct.



How to Get Fired!

Learn the "How to Get Fired!" techniques if

you want to leave your job quickly.

You probably have mastered some of these tips already but it is helpful to be reminded. Be persistent because some employers just won't fire you no matter what.

* * *

Provoking Fights at Work!

* * *

If you want to start a fight with someone in the workplace it's helpful to make accusations. Question the integrity, honesty, and work ethic of your opponent. Try and get your boss and coworkers to gang up on your adversary. Secretly observe your enemy to discover his/her weak spots!

Here are some subtle and not-so-subtle fight-provoking comments you can use in the workplace!

Use Against Adversary in a Group Setting: "Why aren't you a team player?" "Why do you resent us so much?"

Use When Alone with Adversary: "Have you been gossiping about me?" "Do you know why you're so unpopular?"

Use Against Adversary When Boss Is Close By: "Are you surfing the internet again?" "Did I hear you are looking for another job?" "Were you late again?"

Bad Employee of the Month #1

Pathetic Punctuality

* * *

"Forget about being on time. Live in the moment!"

Of course, you can just not show up for work and get fired.

But it is more fashionable to be late!

Plan your arrival about 30 minutes to 2 hours after your scheduled work time.

Lunch and coffee breaks are a good time to extend your absences from work.

Try and spend about half your workday away from the office doing your own personal errands.

Don't explain why you are late—excuses are for wimps.

Just tell all concerned that arriving fashionably late is your own personal style and will continue indefinitely.

Dear Doctor Dread,

My job sucks so bad I can't stand it another minute. I am going crazy, what should I do?

Yours truly, Job Sucks

Dear Job Sucks,

You should not show up for work. Don't ever contact them again. Steal office equipment before you disappear. Make sure they can't keep your paycheck from you before you vanish!

Bad Employee of the Month #2

Professional Procrastinator

* * *

"The more you do, the more to do!"

Not accomplishing anything is an effective way to get fired.

Push all deadlines back! Advertise the fact of your extreme inefficiency.

Be a cog in the corporate wheel!

Keep people chasing after you to turn in your work.

Be proud of your poor productivity—you have more important personal stuff to do!

Try and pass your workload to unsuspecting coworkers.

Just say it's not in your job description.

Tell your boss you just don't feel like getting anything done!

Strive to do the minimum required!

It's cool to be lazy.

Work is a necessary evil to be avoided.


Better be wise by the misfortunes of others than by your own.


Wise men don't need advice. Fools won't take it.


Bad Employee of the Month #3

Meeting Maniac

* * *

"A small thorn can cause an elephant tremendous pain!"

At meetings, try and waste everyone's time.

During a conference, talk often and for long periods of time.


Point out lots of problems but offer no solutions!

Focus your mindless chatter on unrelated matters.

Be evasive and don't give a straight answer when asked a question.

Talk loudly and blame others at every opportunity.

Create an eerie vibe in the meeting room with sudden cries out loud or bursts of wailing laughter at other people's comments.

Wise men don't need advice. Fools won't take it.


Excerpted from How to Mess Up Your Life! by Darrin Zeer. Copyright © 2006 Darrin Zeer. Excerpted by permission of Red Wheel/Weiser, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents



Part 1 How to Get Dumped!          

Part 2 How to Get Fired!          

Part 3 How to Get Depressed!          

Part 4 How to Get Angry!          

Part 5 How to Get Stressed!          

Happily Ever After!          


About the Author          

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2013


    Amazeing! I really like it!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 30, 2013

    Prolouge of Moon and Sun

    Mackenzie and Sabrina woke at the same time at exactly 12:00. Something was wrong. Sabrina could feel it. She looked over at Mackenzie who was glowing. She got up and headed towards the door for the 20th night in a row. When it was opened, Sabrina saw the most unlikabl thing. It was dark and cold and drawld everyone towards it like a magnet. The thing held both mom and gran. I tried calling foo them. Twice but my throat killed me every time. I wanted to run in my room and hide like the scared 14 year old i was. But it wouldnt let me. Mackenzie came through our door and i tried once again to shout out, but even my dearest sister couldnt hear me. Then like the 19 nights before, i saw a man there again. He was tall and strong and good looking, but he was cold and evil. He pulled my sister to him and killed her with one swift swipe to her throat with a knife. I screamed out and this time my voice came. "Why!? Who are you and why me!? Why why why!?" The man pulled me towards him with such a strong force i almost cried. He opened a whole in the ground and let me fall through to the mantle under this earth. It grew hotter and hotter every moment. It was like falling through time. This time, every second of my life counted. I had a menooy then. A memory of my life. It was someone i hadnt seen before in that memory. But this memory was just a figure of imagination. I was going to die. The hottness got close and i could feel myself start to burn. I closed my eyes and then... black. ((Hello readers and friends. Soory for the short prolouge. It will be longer and i have so mant plans for this book. Trust me you wont be disappointed. Comment what you think will happen next and i will mention you the next time if you answer it correctly. Thanks for reading!))

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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