Do you want to learn how to stop feeling sorry for yourself? If yes, you are like me and deserve a virtual pat on the back! You are ahead of the curve in comparison to others who are currently experiencing an internal pity-party.
It’s all right to sit on your pity pot every now and again. Just be sure to flush when you are finished. – Mrs. Miracle
I did not write this post because I think there is something terribly wrong with you that needs fixed. I instead wrote it because I know exactly how it feels to be at the bottom of the barrel and wanting to climb out. I also know the great satisfaction that comes with ending this negative cycle and continuing to move forward with enjoying life.
Whatever your reason is for feeling sorry for yourself – know that it has a cause. The trick is understanding why this self-pity has come about, what damage it is causing you, and how to end it.
What in the Heck Caused This?
Self-pity is caused by a number of things with the following being the most common. You MUST understand why you are feeling sorry for yourself in order to target the source and end it.
You will surely smile with me when I say, ‘Thank God one can still recognize self-pity as such and not give it any greater dignity than just that. ― James Fox
Injured Ego – This is when something has happened to make you feel embarrassed, hurt your self-confidence, or make you question your strengths.
Examples might include: Experiencing a break-up, losing your job, being treated poorly (bullied in a sense), or plans falling through.
Combat this by knowing you are still the same person you were before the event took place and this one experience does not define you. You are stronger than that and can overcome this situation and will move on being yourself – someone you are proud to be.
Seek Sympathy – A common reason you that might seek sympathy is because you feel that no one understands what you are going through. Another motive is because your social network has dwindled or you are not getting the attention you desire. Seeking sympathy can also happen when your self-esteem is low or your feelings of self-worth are based on the approval of others.
You can fight this by trying to talk though your emotions with trusted family and friends, hanging out with people in clubs or social events, and realizing the only person you need to impress is yourself!
Need an Excuse – I heard this one from a recovering alcoholic. He explained that by feeling sorry for himself it fueled his justification to continue being a dead-beat alcoholic. Self-pity would give him a very comforting feeling that relieved many stresses in his life.
The stress of facing his addiction and admitting he needed help being the largest. Self-pity was his way out, a way to tell himself that his behaviors were acceptable – even when deep down inside he knew they were not.
Defeat the addiction of indulging in self-pity by seeing it for what it is – an excuse. Self-pity is an enabler and prevents you from reaching your full potential. The real you knows what’s up, fight for yourself and your happiness by ending this vicious cycle NOW.
I am not going to insult your intelligence by pretending that you don’t already know self-pity isn’t good for you. You wouldn’t have made the effort to find this post if you couldn’t already feel the toll it has taken on you.
Feeling sorry for yourself harms your friendships, your future, your health, and so much more.
Friendships – In a perfect world you would never have to worry about losing “friends”, unfortunately this world isn’t so perfect. When you are feeling sorry for yourself or even depressed and go to seek help from your friends things could get ugly. The artificial friends will flee and your good trusted friends/family will begin to get worn out. I lost a artificial friend once because of this, he simply didn’t understand that I was going through a difficult time in life. (Not the type of friend I want to keep anyway.)
The sad truth is that no one wants to hear you rant – most people don’t know how to respond to it. Next thing you know no one will want to come hang out with you and you will begin to get lonely.
Future – When you are feeling sorry for yourself you block out those motivating emotions like enthusiasm, happiness, and excitement. Without those three it becomes almost impossible to work towards a good future. Plus it’s unlikely when you are feeling self-pity that you will be able to visualize a future goal to work towards.
I let myself feel good and sorry for myself, but only for a second. Daddy always said that the most useless of all human emotions was self-pity. ― Gabrielle Zevin
Health – Self-pity = negativity, stress, worry, and anxiety. All of which destroy your health. Stomach ulcers can develop, you will make yourself sick, and will constantly feel fatigued. Everyday that you wallow in self-pity is likely taking a day off your life.
How to Stop Feeling Sorry for Yourself
Forget It – The best thing to do is to just completely forget about it all. Your mind is naturally obsessive and will keep you in a never ending cycle of misery until you find a way to break it! Throw yourself into something else, get extremely involved in anything else or find something new to obsess about. This way you change your mental state completely. When your mind tries to go back to feeling sorry – picture a large STOP sign.
Consider What Good It Is – Sit down and think long and hard about the effect feeling sorry for yourself is having on you. Is it helping you enjoy life? Is it getting you closer to reaching your goals? Or is it simply giving you a way out?
Perhaps you’ve realized it was caused from a negative event. Are you going to let this event control the rest or your life? You are more important than that – decide to stand up for yourself NOW.
He did not know how long it took, but later he looked back on this time of crying in the corner of the dark cave and thought of it as when he learned the most important rule of survival, which was that feeling sorry for yourself didn’t work. It wasn’t just that it was wrong to do, or that it was considered incorrect. It was more than that–it didn’t work. ― Gary Paulsen
Gratitude – This one is my favorite. Gratitude is your best friend during a rough time – or anytime really.
I like to do this strange little activity where I imagine I am in a 3rd world country. I think about how all of my 3rd world country friends view me as extremely wealthy. I have a solid roof over my head, clean running water at my fingertips, a full-stomach, a TV, and heat. This helps me put my life into perspective – considering that the 2012 World Hunger Statistics showed there are more than 925 million people in the world currently starving.
I also like to place value to those intangible things I own. For example, I think about how much money I would be willing to give someone if my dog Oscar was held for ransom. I calculate and figure it’s $1.79 and then I realize hey I am actually a lot richer than I realize! In all honesty I’d probably pay at least $50,000 – but don’t touch my dog!
How much would you be willing to pay to have your legs back if they were lost in an accident? What ever that number, use it to fuel your gratitude for having them!
Conclusion – You came to this post thinking self-pity is ridiculous. Now you KNOW it is. All you have to do is fight and get yourself out of this mess. Know that you are not a victim and you do have it better than at least one person in this world!
As always if you need my help leave a post in the forum and we can work together to move you closer towards happiness.
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