Overcoming Self-Pity: 5 Ways To Not Feel Sorry For Yourself
Last Updated on December 28, 2022
Self-pity, or feeling sorry for oneself, is a common emotion that can stem from a variety of sources. It can be a natural response to feeling hurt, overwhelmed, or disappointed.
However, when self-pity becomes chronic or extreme, it can be harmful to our mental health and well-being. If you find yourself struggling with self-pity on a regular basis, know that you are not alone, and there are steps you can take to overcome it.
By the end of this article you will learn:
- Why do people feel sorry for themselves and some examples of self pitty
- Why self-pity is bad for your mental health
- Some of the best and most practical ways that can help you avoid feeling sorry for yourself even after getting hurt.
Why Do People Feel Sorry for Themselves?
There are many reasons why people might feel sorry for themselves. Some common causes of self-pity include:
- Feeling overwhelmed by difficult circumstances or challenges
- Experiencing disappointment or failure
- Feeling misunderstood or unsupported by others
- Comparing oneself to others and feeling inadequate
- Holding onto negative thoughts and beliefs about oneself
It is important to note that self-pity is a normal and natural emotion that everyone experiences from time to time. However, when self-pity becomes chronic or extreme, it can be harmful to our mental health and well-being.
Examples of Self-Pity
Here are a few examples of self-pity:
- “I can’t believe this is happening to me. Why do I always have such terrible luck?”
- “I’m never going to be as successful as my friends. I’m just not good enough.”
- “I can’t do anything right. I’m such a failure.”
- “I’m stuck in this dead-end job because I didn’t go to college. My life is over.”
In each of these examples, the person is focusing on their perceived shortcomings or difficulties and viewing themselves as a victim of their circumstances.
This type of thinking can lead to a cycle of self-pity and negative emotions. In a study done by Joachim Stöber it was found that self-pity played a key role in most individuals’ anger issues, depression, and chronic stress or mental illness.
The study quoted:
The foregoing research should have given you some insight into the drawbacks of dwelling in self-pity. On the contrary, these are five of the most important reasons why self-pity may be a deadly weapon that you’re carrying for your own mental destruction.
Why Self-Pity Isn’t a Good Emotional Response?
Feeling sorry for no reason can lead to negative thinking and negative emotions, such as sadness, anger, and frustration. These negative emotions can be draining and can take a toll on our well-being over time.
Sometimes you might lack motivation and have a tendency to avoid taking action. When we focus on our perceived shortcomings or difficulties, it can be difficult to see the possibilities for change and growth.
This can lead to a sense of helplessness and a lack of motivation to make positive changes in our lives.
On the other hand, self-pity can also lead to isolation and a lack of social support. When we focus on our problems and feel sorry for ourselves, we may be less likely to reach out to others for help and support. This leave us feeling alone and disconnected from others, which can further contribute to negative emotions and a sense of helplessness.
Practical Ways To Stop Feeling Sorry For Yourself
1. Identify the source of your self-pity
Self-pity often stems from negative thoughts and beliefs about ourselves and our circumstances. To stop feeling sorry for yourself, it can be helpful to identify the specific thoughts and beliefs that are contributing to your self-pity.
For example, you might be telling yourself that you are a victim, that you have it worse than everyone else, or that you are helpless to change your circumstances. By identifying these negative thoughts and beliefs, you can begin to challenge and reframe them.
2. Practice gratitude
Gratitude can be a powerful tool for combating self-pity. When we focus on the things we are thankful for, it can help to shift our perspective and reframe our circumstances in a more positive light.
Make a list of things you are grateful for, no matter how small they may seem. Reflect on these things regularly, and try to find something to be thankful for in even the most difficult situations.
3. Seek support
Self-pity can be isolating, and it can be helpful to seek support from others when we are feeling sorry for ourselves. Talk to a trusted friend or family member about your feelings and ask for their support.
Consider reaching out to a mental health professional for additional support if your self-pity is persistent or causing significant distress.
4. Take action
One of the key ways to stop feeling sorry for yourself is to take action.
While it can be tempting to wallow in self-pity and do nothing, taking small steps towards improving your circumstances can help to shift your focus and boost your mood. Start by setting small, achievable goals for yourself and work towards them.
As you accomplish these goals, you will begin to feel more in control and less like a victim.
Well, there is a good psychological trick that I read on inc.com recently. It stated that when you feel like you’re wasting energy on feeling sorry about yourself, change your behavior. Make it more difficult for yourself to dwell on nightmare scenarios. Go for a walk, or do any physical activity say running or something so that you can avoid negative thoughts.
5. Practice self-compassion
Self-pity often stems from harsh self-criticism and a lack of self-compassion. Instead of berating yourself for your circumstances or your perceived failures, try to speak to yourself with kindness and understanding.
Remind yourself that everyone makes mistakes and experiences setbacks and that it is okay to be imperfect.
To stop feeling sorry for yourself, it can be helpful to identify the thoughts and beliefs that are contributing to your self-pity, practice gratitude, seek support, take action, and practice self-compassion. I just wanna end this article by quoting Stephen Fry who summarises this whole concept of self-pity and how destructive it can be for the person carrying it in their hearts. He says:
“Certainly the most destructive vice if you like, that a person can have. More than pride, which is supposedly the number one of the cardinal sins – is self pity. Self pity is the worst possible emotion anyone can have. And the most destructive. It is, to slightly paraphrase what Wilde said about hatred, and I think actually hatred’s a subset of self pity and not the other way around – ‘ It destroys everything around it, except itself ‘.
Self pity will destroy relationships, it’ll destroy anything that’s good, it will fulfill all the prophecies it makes and leave only itself.
And it’s so simple to imagine that one is hard done by, and that things are unfair, and that one is underappreciated, and that if only one had had a chance at this, only one had had a chance at that, things would have gone better, you would be happier if only this, that one is unlucky.”Stephen Fry
How Do I Get Rid of Self-Pity?
Gratitude, seeking support, taking action, and practicing self-compassion can all help you overcome feelings of self-pity by addressing the underlying causes of your negative outlook.
Is It OK to Feel Sorry for Yourself?
It is normal and natural to feel sorry for ourselves from time to time. However, it is important to recognize when self-pity is becoming chronic or extreme, as it can be harmful to our mental health and well-being. When self-pity becomes excessive, it can lead to negative thinking, negative emotions, a lack of motivation, and isolation.
What Causes Self-Pity?
There are many potential causes of self-pity. Some common causes include feeling overwhelmed by difficult circumstances, experiencing disappointment, or feeling misunderstood.
Is Self-Pity Narcissistic?
Self-pity is not necessarily narcissistic. Narcissism is a personality trait characterized by an inflated sense of self-importance, a lack of empathy, and a need for admiration.
While self-pity can sometimes involve a focus on oneself and one’s own problems, it does not necessarily involve the other characteristics of narcissism.