According to Hayley Williams, the lyrics are based on real events. The song was written to get her high school experience off her chest.
In an interview with the Manchester Evening News
August 9, 2007, guitarist Josh Farro described how the background to this song concerned vocalist Hayley Williams enough to post a message on the band's Live Journal page, asking her fans to post what they were ashamed of: "The song is about a girl who ruined one of our friend's lives with sex, using her sexuality to get what she wanted. And it really affected us, watching him crumble. So, when Hayley wrote 'Misery Business,' she posted online how she wanted to encourage our fans not to be scared to say what you feel or what you're ashamed of, because once you do, you're setting yourself free. We had a huge response. There were some people that were embarrassed of using drugs, drinking, or sleeping around or having gay sex. Everything, really. There were a few parents who replied, ashamed of how they raised their kids."
Natalie - Chicago, IL