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self-pity

Moving Beyond Self Pity

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How can a person overcome self pity and stop feeling sorry for themselves?

Self pity is a comforting behavior that fills a need for obsessive thinking. Therefore, the key to beating it is to recognize it when it creeps into your thoughts and eliminate it immediately. Because feeling sorry for oneself becomes a pattern over time, you need to retrain your brain not to think so negatively.

Here’s how to do it:

1. Create a zero tolerance policy with yourself – this is what got me “on the road to recovery” when it came to my self pity. I simply made a pact with myself that I would not allow myself to indulge in it any more. This was a re-training of my brain; a new way of thinking for me. In most cases, this “mental policy” worked out really well for me. However, when self-pity persisted, I had to seek other means.

self pity
Photo by Fuseman and ellectric

2. Move your bodyPhysical exercise is critical for arresting this type of depression. If you force yourself to be physically active and really get your heart rate going, this will have a profound effect on your emotional well being. If you move your body your mind will follow. Physical energy and motivation can empower your whole life. Getting in shape can be a springboard to better emotional health. This can be a huge piece of the puzzle that many people will overlook or simply discount. Get active and you’ll be happier for it!

3. Choose Gratitude - This is a direct attack on self pity: you cannot feel both grateful and sorry for yourself at the same time. The two feelings are completely incompatible. Gratitude is the ticket out of misery and self-absorption. If you have to, sit down and force yourself to write a list of everything you are grateful for. My sponsor tells me to list at least 50 things. Seems a bit simplistic, but getting it all down in writing can work wonders for you.

Choose Gratitude.

It’s so much more empowering than feeling sorry for yourself.

Self pity is my favorite character defect. It is what made me into an addict. When I needed to rationalize my drinking or drug use, my favorite technique was to feel sorry for myself. Sad but true. It always worked so well for me. I loved the feeling that my life was spinning out of control, and that people had done me wrong, and that I was a true victim. This really didn’t happen all that often in my life; people were actually pretty good to me. But when ever I got the chance, I loved to feel sorry for myself, and I used the feeling to justify my drinking.

Because I’m such a shy person, I’ve grown accustomed to using rejection to fuel my pity-parties. My diseased little mind thinks that rejection is the worst thing in the world–even worse than death itself. This irrational belief typically paralyzes me and keeps me from taking healthy risks. In my recovery, I’ve worked on this character defect, and gotten a little better at it. So I take more risks, and usually it pays off. But rejection is a part of life–experiencing rejection on an occasional basis is inevitable. It’s going to happen. So I’ve had to learn how to get over my tendency to throw an “internal pity-party.”

In the beginning of my recovery, I had lots of reasons to feel down on myself. As time went on, my life in recovery got better–in almost every way–and I learned how to stop mentally playing the victim role.

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  • anthony

    i too have alot of self pity in my life, reading your story really made sense to me. It takes to much energy to feel sorry for yourself, i’ll rather use that energy to have fun and help other people. thanks!

  • Patrick

    Hang in there Anthony….I’m glad to hear that you’re helping others in your recovery….keep it up!

  • http://domestikgoddess.com Jen / domestika

    I don’t think a person necessarily needs to be battling addiction in order to profit by your experience and advice. Well done, Patrick. Thanks.

  • patrick

    most gratefull for u sharing this experience and “tips” to stop self pity ,
    patrick

  • jody

    Thank you for the post. It really helped me to put my petty woes into perspective.

  • Carlos

    Thank you, so far I have read this page only and it made me think about my self pity addiction, above all your writing about believing that rejection is worst than everything else including death, this produced in me the idea that when I feel sorry for myself I am really trying to cope with my feelings of total worthlessness.
    Thanks
    Carlos

  • Max Brenner

    There is nothing wrong with self-pity, it’s a natural feeling and a growth oriented process.
    People who say to “Stop feeling sorry for yourself” are repressive, dysfunctional and destructive towards others Their objective is to invalidate the pain of others and make them fell insecure for experiencing the pain of their lives. It is an attack on people for sharing the pain of their lives.
    IT is an attack of repressive people.
    Rejoice in self-pity, defend it and tell the attackers to go to hades!
    Viva Self-Pity!
    People who love themselves fell sorry for themselves, it is only natural and on felling sorry for themselves they take care to identify what has caused them pain and to deal with who and what has caused them pain and nourish themselves to be happy.
    I encourage people who have denied themselves self-pity to re-integrate this feeling back into their personality or else you became like the Nazi personality without empathy or warmth.

  • Max Brenner

    I also noticed you said:
    “Self pity is a comforting behavior”

    This is probably the problem in your thinking/ “Behaviour” is not a feeling, it is a set of actions. Self-pity is only a small feeling, there are far greater emotions such as grief , pain and sorrow, all of them perfectly valid and necessary for the healthy human to grow emotionally. Sure change negative behaviour” but the motivation for doing so is from feeling not denying feeling.

  • Patrick

    Max, I think we might be getting caught up in the words themselves, but I disagree with what you are literally saying.

    I agree that if someone is attacking a grieving person and invalidating their feelings, that they should back off. It is important to process our feelings, including those of sadness. You’re right, it is natural to feel them and to grieve over some things.

    But self-pity is never a natural feeling. Emotionally balanced and healthy people do not engage in self pity. This is because self-pity is an unhealthy extension of the grieving process. It is taking sadness to an extreme.

    Self pity is to sadness what resentment is to anger. It is never healthy. Ever.

    Yes, you can be sad. You might even grieve for a very long time. This might be normal. But creating drama in our lives (or just in our heads) for the sake of feeling sad for ourselves is not healthy.

    (I think you probably agree with all these ideas, we might just be mincing words here. What are your thoughts?)

    Thanks so much for your comment, Max!

  • Max Brenner

    No Patrick, I believe you and many others have completely misunderstood the process and misidentified the problem, It is dysfunctional to attack other people when they are not just feeling grief but even just sad or sorry for themselves. In such dysfunctional families or relationships and even in general society it is part of an everyday abuse process where the abusee is discredited from complaining or finding redress or validation of their experience.
    I admit you might see some problem, but it is not the feeling of self-pity, and to deny this feeling is destructive. It is also destructive to deny other feelings such as anger, all are beautiful and all are to be loved and enjoyed. This what I have learned from another source is the foundation of growth, I looked out on the internet to see if there was any sane person that understood this and I am happy to report I did.

    Here is something to read:

    http://www.pete-walker.com/recoverySelfpity.htm

    [quote]
    I am often saddened when I hear adult children parrot the “conventional wisdom” that it is bad to feel sorry for yourself. This so-called wisdom shames people out of normal, healthy, self-pity. Everyone needs to occasionally feel sorry for themselves. Tears for the self are some of the most potently healing experiences of recovery. Self-pity, in balance and moderation, is extremely healing. Recovery, in fact, is often very limited until there are profound experiences of feeling sorry for the self.[/quote]

    I have seen many people in society invalidate the experience of others with this attack and by doing that you cannot understand the basic experience of others. Self-pity like guilt is a natural, useful feeling and emotion which is a necessary and wonderful part of the human condition.
    Turn on to self-pity and it will be part of a natural curative growth process.
    Incidentally, the more anyone feels a feeling or emotion I.E.runs to it, the more it runs away. Feel true joy in all emotions and they burn up and are like will of wisps and cannot be held. This applies to all emotion. It’s the denial that gives them prolongation.

    I do believe whatever solution you found was not effective to the denial of self-pity, it was probably a solution to some other problem than self-pity.

    Self-pity doesn’t have to be grief, it can be about any ordinary thing. If one loves oneself, it is good to feel sorry for oneself , to protect oneself. When i feel self-pity I enjoy my feeling and I regard anyone who attacks me for my having my feeling as an obnoxious enemy.

    All feelings are oneself, the things we feel about are external to ourselves but our feelings are in effect ourselves, they are the translation to the outside hurtful world, the inside world the more we accept and love the more an faster we integrate.

    No, I can’t see your point of view unless it is you have some definition of self-pity that really you mean some kind of behaviour that you think is wired one to one to the feeling. In that case I might have no idea what self-pity means to you, except that you may have made assumptions and not examined the depth. I think the difference is in perception might be benign to some cases and harmful in others.

    I caught this attitude from someone in public and I wondered so I used the net to research popular attitudes. There seems to be a schism in the public consciousness. I have to say that what you seem to take as axiomatic is very strange to me as I was not socialized in the popular culture yet I am sure it may a popular attitude.

    I like to research public attitudes that I think might contribute to emotional dysfunction.

    Thank you for responding.

    (corrected email)

  • Max Brenner

    “But self-pity is never a natural feeling. Emotionally balanced and healthy people do not engage in self pity.”
    So Okay, here is a question. Where is your supporting evidence or observations for such a conclusion? Most likely you were unable to tolerate your own feelings or emotions or someone attacked you and you participated in your own self-destruction by the process of introjection.
    In every case of self-destruction you might present it would be the actual self-destructive behaviour that is to blame and not the human feeling. The destructive behaviors no doubt is an attempt by individuals to escape the feeling,Your solution is to deny the feeling which is no better. Simply feel the feeling and it expires by being used up, there is no need to escape it, pillory it or hate the feeling.
    Emotionally healthy and balanced people achieve their balance by accepting their emotions and feeling them to the full extent not by rejecting them.
    You have for sure mis-identified the source of the problem which is behaviour and not feeling.
    for instance, if I feel sorry for myself for being bullied by co-workers, schoolmates or family it is totally healthy. I will nourish myself to treat myself nicely, I will hate the abusers and resist them to protect myself but if I let them or life experience tell me my self-pity is invalid I will let them kick me into the grave and I will not nourish myself to sustain my essential emotional self-worth and life.
    It’s not merely special circumstances, it’s everyday living.
    I will treat myself the same as I will others. I will feel sorry for others and attempt to help them and I will not deny this process for myself.

  • Patrick

    This is an excellent discussion Max, I think you are making some great points. It is sort of a slippery discussion we are having!

    I see where you are coming from: feelings are natural and need to be felt fully by the person, never to be denied and repressed (that is unhealthy). But I think we are disagreeing merely on definitions, I should really clarify my statements and say that self-pity the feeling is OK, but self-pity the recurring behavior (or mindset) is defeating.

    I think you are right Max, that if someone does you wrong, feeling sad, even for yourself, is a natural response. But do you draw the line when you continue to hang on to that sad feeling, day after day, and repeatedly replaying the scene in your mind, focusing on how you are the victim and how people have done you wrong? The longer you hang on to something like this, the more it qualifies as resentment or self-pity (in my opinion).

    Grief or sadness, even for the self, is acceptable. But a pattern of obsessive feelings like that are not healthy. I still stand by this, because I use to live that way, amplifying situations in my mind where I had been geniunely mistreated, and dwelling on them for longer than necessary in order to “comfort” myself. To me, that is the essence of self pity, and I can look back now and see how it was limiting my growth and my energy to move forward and create a better life for myself.

    Thank you so much for your insight, I really appreciate it and hope you are getting something out of this as well.

  • Deboria

    I understand what Max is saying. There is nothing that hurts so much as when I am already hurting and for my mother tell me stop feeling sorry for myself. When I just want someone to validate that my emotions are ok to feel.

    I also understand you Patrick because it’s when you find self-pity to be a constant in your life is when it’s not natural and it doesn’t go away. I am full of feelings. Very much so and I don’t like to express them to others so they are all to myself and I feel every one of them. I let myself feel every one of them like Max said… but I am sorry to say Max… they don’t go away and poof I am fine again. They actually rule my life unconciously. It comes to the point where I just want to stop feeling and that’s where I think alot of people (myself included) get into addictions.

    Now after 15 years of being sobor these feelings are much alive in me. I found this site because I want to be more in control of my feelings and the way they rule my life.

    I am much a recluse because of my fears of rejection!!! The worst feeling in the world. The feelings never go away.. The tears never dry up.

    Staying sobor and trying to control my feelings, I only managed to harden my heart. This is not what I want to achieve so I will continue to pray, give God my heartscry and search for healthier ways to allow myself to manage my feelings.

    Thanks for the very insteresting and intellegent subject.

  • Teri

    I am thinking my life would be better if I was addicted to drugs/alcohol, then I could see the changes when pulling my self up form the wrath of addiction. However, after reading this website, I realize I do have an addiction; Laziness. Self pity, helps keep me lazy! I love being lazy but I feel tremendous guilt, so I wallow in self pity to have an excuse to be lazy. I don’t like self pity, so I am going to have to force myself to move and be more productive while changing my thoughts.

  • Patrick

    Hi there Teri

    Sounds more like depression to me, because what you describe sounds like a cycle. I am no psychologist though, but be grateful you don’t have to contend with addiction (might want to stay on gaurd against the possibility though, couldn’t hurt!)

    Thanks for your comment and good luck to you.

  • upma

    I lost my father 4 months back. Now on every small problem also i get very upset and insecure. Help me. to become carefree of this world.

  • dsfksdfsdfsdv

    Ahh, you will help other so that you feel better, that is so selfish.
    I will continue pitty myself, and I won’t help no one.

  • Patrick

    Prayers for you, Upma. I hope you can find a way to become carefree again and find the joy in life. I’m afraid I don’t have any profound wisdom for you. Just get out there and move your body and interact with others, try to help people. These are the basic principles that bring me joy. Exercise and helping other addicts to recover and interacting with people. Good luck to you and God bless.

  • http://renewd@iafrica.com Rene

    Thank Heavens for people like Max -for understanding. It’s not like we want to feel this self pity – it just seems to occur, or to think us.I don’t think it serves anyone to be told that it’s intolerable to feel self pity. It just makes us feel worse. I also remember the hurt and invalidation I felt when my mom told me to stop feeling sorry for myself. It would have been so great if she could just have asked, what hurt so much – just listened and heard. Then it could be easier to just let go.
    We all come to this site in search of help. None of us want to feel this ache in our hearts. And we need to find ways out, so it doesn’t just perpetuate, as it seems to- for years and years, because we reject it and scorn it. Hiding there till our pain bodies get activated again- so we can feel guilty and bad and wrong for feeling this inner sadness.
    Thank you Max, for saying it’s okay, so we can just feel it out, knowing it’s normal, and this too will pass, in it’s own time. And I’ve also found that acceptance of this human emotion does lead us out – into the light.

  • Patrick

    Rene, you thank Max for understanding your plight with self-pity, but then in your comment you talk about “feeling it out, knowing it’s normal, and that it will pass.”

    I agree with that statement and I would never deny anyone those feelings. That stuff has nothing to do with self-pity. Real self-pity is not a feeling, it is an obsessive mechanism of the mind; a mental game we play with ourselves in order to play the victim and eventually justify outlandish behavior.

    I agree that it is right to feel our feelings and process them naturally. There is nothing wrong with being sad. But self pity goes far beyond what you describe in your comment.

  • Anonymous

    Hi.
    This is a very useful discussion. I am on my way to recovering from a strong bout of self-pity and inertia – caused by you know who? Me. Coz I blew a small bit of criticism from people who are very close, out of proportion. And they didn’t even mean it to be taken so seriously.
    I think it’s important that we feel pain when somehting hurts us or another person/being. Compassion’s origin lies in something meaning ‘sharing pain’. Without that one runs the risk of becoming the inhuman Nazi-oid that Max is talking about.
    But I think we also need to perceive our own reality and accurately. Loss of touch with this is a characteristic of psychotic illness and needs specialised treatment. I found that during my phase of self-pity, my reality perception was highly distorted – I was not making use of even the smallest blessings that I have.
    Having friends around is a great help because when you have people around you, they are likely to see things in a little more perspective. But beware of people who are also prone to self-pity – the collective inertia can ruin you. Humour is generally a great way to face reality and not take it too much to heart.
    The best cure I’ve found for addictive self-pity is – DO something. Run, cook, clean, write, play music, get your rear end moving. If you got to do something, that forces you to engage with reality. Chances are you’ll also meet others who are doing something. And that’s a great way to recover. You also find that things are not THAT bad. The second rule of thumb is – stop comparing. This was one of my huge weaknesses. If we have realistic expectations, we can’t be disappointed unduly. This does not mean lowering one’s standards altogether – that happens with self-pity – but just bringing them down temporarily so that you can feel yourself getting there. Your goals have to tease you into action.
    If the self pity is because of issues with another person (parents, break-ups, etc) , it’s a little more complicated. What I find is that you need to be your own ultimate source of happiness and cannot make it conditional on anybody else.
    All this of course applies to people basically psychologicaly healthy. Those who are clinically depressed etc. would need much more intense, specialised therapy or medication.
    But even in getting help, one needs to keep up one’s own commitment to happiness. There’s a joke – how many psychologists are needed to change a light bulb? …..
    Only one, but the bulb has to want to change.

    Sorry for the long post

  • Anonymous

    Oh yeah.
    There is a beautiful book called ‘The Power of Now’ by Eckhart Tolle. It has helped me a lot. It’s tricky though!
    Good luck to everybody here. I know getting out of self-pity is no easy task, especially if it’s tied up with addictions.

  • George

    I’m the exact same way and I’m just now starting to realise how much of a toll this has taken on my life. I too have drowned my sorrows away in booze and chain smoking, and I am also a very shy person. This post really relates to me and has given me really good advice on how to deal with my problem. It’s also so nice to see that I’m not the only person in the world that has been feeling like this. Just reading this makes me feel like I’m not alone at all. Thank you very much for the help.

  • Ess

    My favourite tipple of late seems to be a coctail of sluggishness, anti-social behaviour to people who i once considered friends, and you guessed it, feeling like the victim. I’m probably suffering depression and i probably have no good reason to feel this badly about myself but its a hard cycle to break, i dont want to do anything except lie around and watch tv in bed, alone, and when i’m at work im irritable and just watching the clock. I hate being this way but i dont think the mind is as easily retrained as reading suggestions on a website first seemed.

    A few months ago i was the opposite of this, and during a long holiday for unknown reasons i came back a miserable individual (and misery seems to attract misery in all aspects of life) so things just became worse and worse. Work is a catylyst to these feelings, and being at home in the same environment doesn’t help either. Ever get the feeling that it’s just not worth getting up in the mornings?

    It does help writing this stuff down. I want to be who i was and not care one bit what others think, but my irrational and pityful mind won’t let me try and step back and progress…

  • satan

    I would like to know, how i could help someone that has an addiction of mental abuse on people so then everyone feels sorry for her ( the person giving the mental abuse). How do you fix it or what can i do to attempt to fix it. Or if anyone has had this problem!…….

  • Nanette

    This is a very good discussion. I appricate what everyone is saying. I can understand self-pity because I have lived my life with it.

    A year before I was born, my father was driving drunk and had a car accident that killed his best friend. Any normal person would feel extremely sad and perhaps even self-pity at this grave error in judgement, and it would be wrong for anyone to scold them for thier feelings. I agree with Max that people who try to stop the sadness and self-pity are damaging the person. BUT, self-pity that goes on and on and on for year after year is extremely unhealthy and ultimately, leads to self-distruction – which I think was Patrick’s point. Self-pity that takes a permanent hold on a person leads to misery.

    My father, dispite his becomming a successful attorney and achieving wealth and admiration in our community and our church, continued to harbor self-pity for decades after the accident. Despite all the blessings of financial security, a loving wife, three wonderful children who adored him, and forgiveness from the family of the boy who died, my father clung to his debilitating mind-set, drowning his sorrows in alcohol. Recovering addicts call this “hugging a porcupine”.

    Eventually, at age 45, he shot himself. The note he left behind was filled with statements like, “I am a worthless person”, and “you all would be better off without me”. A tribute to self-pity.

    I think it is human to feel self-pity from time to time. None of us are perfect people. But chronic self-pity that consumes your days and nights for months and years, is a sign that you need to attend to an injury and search for healing. Unfortunately, many people like my father (and myself, for years after his suicide), find a kind of warped comfort in their self-pity. It’s an excuse to avoid taking action.

    Thomas Merton, the great writer and poet, said, “Despair is the absolute exteme of self-love. It is reached when a man deliberately turns his back on all help from anyone in order to taste the rotten luxury of knowing himself to be lost.”

    I have struggled most of my life with my own self-pity as a result of the choice my father made. He was the most important person in my life – my hero and my mentor. He was kind, loving, and patient with everyone but himself. The best remedy I have found for it is a combination of gratitude, faith, and helping others. It takes the focus off myself when that focus has become an unhealthy obsession. When I do that – things always turn around.

  • Patrick

    Nanette, that is a killer quote there by Thomas Merton, thank you so much for sharing it.

    That is the essence of why I love to indulge in self pity. It is my own little pleasure and I can put the rest of the world inside of this different box and say “they are all ok, and they do not feel my pain and sorrow, nor do they care. Woe is me.”

    That is the gist of it anyway. Man I can be sick. But I choose not to go there today…..

  • Katheryna

    Over the last 9 years I have been working my way through doubt and confusion and have just realised today that I have used self pity as a tool to disect and analyse who I am and what I mean to those close to me. Though prolonged and painful it may prove to have been a necessary surgery but as with any invasive operation there is always scaring and only time will tell how bad that might be.

    I had a great need to know and understand both myself and the world better and I have achieved that to a profound and satisfying degree through self pity and self enquiry but at some expense to myself and those close to me.

    I can’t help but agree with a lot of what Max says, had I received greater understanding and compassion I might not have had to look to myself so much, but there I go again! As long as you keep your self pity objective and in balance I think it can be helpful, but it’s like an internal drug for the brain and like normal drugs or alcohol it becomes addictive and in the end a danger to your mental and physical being.

    It’s been a helava long trip, perhaps one I’ve had hard wired into me even before birth if my family history is taken into consideration. BUT today I am going to try and give up Self Pity!

  • Patrick

    Hi Katheryna

    Self analysis is a useful tool but if we are just using it as a means to create drama in our own mind then it is probably becoming a problem.

    What makes resentment so destructive? It eats up mental energy. It is obsession. We relive the anger over and over again. This takes away from our mental energy and robs us of our happiness. We think we want to be angry and feel justified in our anger. All the while we could be happy and content.

    Self pity, or obsessive self analysis, is the same way. Any obsessive thinking is robbing you of mental energy and happiness.

    I agree with Max that we should not try to invalidate someone’s feelings. But self pity is more than just a natural processing of feelings or emotions; it is an unhealthy, obsessive state of mind that linger on for too long….

  • Anna

    Hello, this is a great site that has given me great insights. I just want to say thanks to all. I am currently traveling and was working in a beautiful orphanage. Yet though such great fortunes were around me, i still indulged in self-pity. It made me at times blind to the magic around me and caused me great anger as it would make me feel trapped. I am currently still struggling with these feelings but from reading this site i don’t feel so alone and that to me is of utmost importance.

  • David

    Wow….I am completly speechless. I had suspicions that I indulged in self pity…. And the affirmations of everyone around me confirmed it. I can’t believe I never saw it before reading this article. I want to say thank you to everyone who contributed to this discussion because it surely has helped me. Now if there only was a way for me to undo the years of damage and time wasted that I have inflicted on myself. A special thankyou to the contributor who said that the two best ways to overcome self pity is to get off your a**!!!! And stop comparing yourself to others. I cannot express how helpful this was. I would only like to add that music is such a strong power that can be harnessed to either improve or destroy your current mood. Good luck to all!!!!!

  • Sofia

    My boyfriend is a wonderful person with endless potential but he wallows in self-pity. In the past, I’ve wondered if he does this seeking reassurance, but lately, I suspect that the problem runs deeper. I feel that he suffers from some sort of complex that has resulted from his past traumas.

    I feel that his obsession with all that has gone wrong in his life seems to hold him back from all that could and should go right. I love him and don’t want to miss out on seeing him blossom into his potential; but, I’m afraid that by constantly being caught in his wake of sadness, boredom, and stagnation that he’s holding me back from reaching my own potential. I am coming to the realization, however, that there is nothing I can do for him if he wont do so for himself.

    I wish he would help himself so that we can grow together. He would be more than wonderful if he could just get past his past. If he could become proactive rather than reactive.

    If you’re suffering from self-pity, you should do your best to overcome it as fast as possible. If you don’t, you could be hindering your relationships. Don’t let your life pass you by…

    People always say that “love conquers all” but if you can’t love yourself first, you can’t love someone as they deserve. I know that I must love me, so I can love him. For that very reason, I can’t watch his continued self-destruction. If I stay as he continues to tear himself apart, I’m simply advocating or condoning this negative behavior. If I go, maybe it’ll act as a catalyst for change. Either way, it’ll benefit both of us as I can’t continue to live under his rain-cloud and he can’t continue to think that he can survive with me as his emotional crutch. Tough love :( He needs to change.

    Advice to you, if you’re attending your very own self-pity party: cheer up! It could be worse! Every new second brings with it a new opportunity to start over again, start over, don’t give up, if you fail, try again, if you fall, get back up, if your house is destroyed, build a new one, keep it moving, keep on smiling, keep on dreaming, if your dreams shatter, make new dreams… if you’re moving forward you’re not moving backward and you’re not staying in place! Take a chance!!!! Find a reason to smile, if you can’t find one, give yourself a reason to smile. Like remembering something good, something fun, something healthy…
    Take care of your body, take care of your mind, take care of your heart, spirit and you’ll see that life will become so much easier if you just change your perspective.

    As for my boyfriend, I just hope he sees me before it’s too late.

  • Violette

    Hi , I’ve been wallowing in self pity since my husband left , 5 years ago ! We had been to-gether since childhood so it was , to say the least , a shock , I am in my middle fifties . I live in France and my great problem is loneliness , I know if that could be addressed I would not be so addicted to self pity . It has become an addiction , as has been posted by others it becomes familiar , comfortable . France is not the place for making friends easily . I do feel when it is know one is on their own folk do avoid .
    To be able to write about it is of great help .
    I don’t have work and to wake up everyday to find something to do that I feel is worthwhile is soul destroying . I walk but I don’t get the buzz to lift my spirits .
    This has really been good , to be able to write about it a little . How to find the lift to go through life though ?
    Take care .

  • Shannin

    My man left me because I drove him away with the whole being a needy victim thing. Said that I really just needed to work on fixing me. Perhaps after that has started he could find his way back to me. Rather than taking his advice for what it was, I decided to swim in a pool of self pity. Woe is me, my man left me and my girls all alone. I managed to drive away my brother who I just met in only one night. Then even after my man and I had a deep meaningful talk that really offered hope of a future together down the road, after I fix some of those me issues, I managed to somehow dive head first into that familiar pool again, and in all likelyhood, drove him further away and dont even know why I was continuing on with my party for one! I restarted therapy and have been waiting for her to offer some insight or some helpful little tools to begin the repairs that I so desperately need. Then I stumbled on this page and have already began using the tools offered here. Thank you for posting this web site!!! It has already been more help than a months worth of therapy been. THANK YOU!!!!

  • Shannin

    Oh and yes I am a recovering drug addict, and yes I have found myself thinking of using to “supress the pain”. I have been clean for almost three years and I have not relapsed. I am proud to say that I instead chose to use the internet to try and find some type of aide to change the pattern and the thinking that I tend to follow. So I would have to say that the fact that I have grown that much would be high up on my list of things that I am grateful for!!! YEA ME!!!

  • bhel

    hi,
    thank you for this site, just this morning i am suffering from self-pity and it made me cry and unproductive. I am a pastor’s wife and i feel my husband is not giving me importance for not trusting and giving me money. Whenever he does this same thing, it often leads me to history because since we got married it always happen. We’re married for almost 15 years. He always hide his financial to me but later on he tells or i am the one who discover it. I feel sorry for myself because i have no resources to buy things i like for my kids and myself and i have no chance to help my parents and siblings in terms of financial.Reading your posts and other testimonies helped me. And first of all i know God is the one who can and able to help me overcome this. He led me to your site. God bless.

  • http://jamesblondny@aol.com James

    Hey all,

    It’s nice to see that other people are feeling the way I am — which some might call depression and some might call self-pity. I don’t think either name has more validity than the other, and there are some other words that probably work as well. I have gone through periods in my life with this feeling, but usually I’ve been able to stay hopeful because I can objectively say that things are good. And I do have a lot to be grateful for still, but the way the world is going right now (i work in the media, which like many industries is experiencing radical shifts in work and pay) makes it hard for me to have that objective rock to hang onto. So I feel a little lost in the river, and scared, and wondering if it’s all really worth it.

    One thing I’ve noticed about self-pity and gratitude is the way other people feel about it when you’re in it — as though you are consciously choosing to feel bad, and I don’t think it’s that easy. It’s not through a fault of your own that you end up this way. This is a normal emotion in the human spectrum, a feeling of defeat that prompts us to withdraw, so we can live to fight again another day. Makes sense. But some of us see defeat where it doesn’t exist; I know I do.

    Anyway, I guess I just wanted to put it out there that, in my experience, the judgments we put on self-pity (BAD!) and gratitude (GOOD!) are part of the problem. When you consider that being grateful is merely a tool to feel differently about your own life, it’s just as selfish as self-pity is. This might sound like some abstract argument for a theology class, but it comes from a very real place: it took me a long time to reason out and understand why having people tell me to “Cheer up!” always made me feel worse. Because it’s a value judgment that said I was bad for feeling this way.

    But really, in my own experience, these two emotional states suffer from the labels of good and bad, because when you are labeled “bad” you resent the pious righteousness of the “good,” and when you are “good” you look down on the “bad” as weak or willful or, well, bad.

    Really, self-pity and gratitude are neither of them states of good or bad. They are more like seasonings like salt and sugar. If you don’t like the taste of how you feel, maybe a little bit of one or the other will help, so give it a try.

    When we look at these things in this light, we are able to have more compassion for each other and the ways that we feel, and compassion is a far more valuable tool than judgment, since it brings us together, while judgment only holds us apart.

  • naveen

    The one and only way to take oneself out of self pity is achieving the thing for which you are mourning for.

  • Emily

    I have enjoyed reading people’s comments and it has been eye-opener. I didn’t realize how much of an impact self-pity has on my life.

    Understanding that gratitude is an important factor in getting over self-pity is new to me. It’s hard to be thankful for being you when you feel self-pitiful.

    Being self-pitiful has influenced my realtionships with others to the degree that I question why I have them. Why do I have friends? Why do people care about me? And I tend to blame it all on them in the end. Well, I know it’s not their fault. And for years I struggled to understand why I would be so happy being unhappy.

    I really like the quote someone submitted by Thomas Merton. “…the rotten luxury of knowing himself to be lost.” It’s true that I feel this way.

    reading other’s people comments and knowing that I am not alone comforts me. Thanks everyone.

  • http://www.youtube.com/seekjesus1 Rob

    I heard a voice self pity and it was from Jesus lord God
    when I heard it in English I did not know what it is
    in my languge so I went on the net and found out it is self pity
    this is sin and we need to make a war with it

    Jesus bless you all
    http://www.youtube.com/seekjesus1

  • JTG

    Thank you so much for your insightful thoughts. I can relate to this 100%. What worries me is that this self-pity is isolating. No one wants to be around me because it is all on my face – worry, sadness, the low and slow voice and slow movements. Then I start ruminating about why I don’t have many friends and create more self-pity. I’m going to fight this.

  • Kevin

    Lonleiness and depression seem to have dominated my life now for the past year and a half. I went on a mission trip to Mississippi to help with the destruction caused from Katrina. I got back home feeling excited and ready to spread God’s word throughout the world. I soon discovered how close I had become with the people I had went on that trip with and started to feel lonely. Im extremely shy so I never expressed my loneliness or unhappiness with anyone. Eventually I started feeling sorry for myself, because (as I told myself) no one would really care about what i was feeling, they probably don’t even like me in the first place, why would anyone like me?

    This went on for about a year before I finally decided to try to do something about it, and the results were astonishing! I discovered from various sites on the internet that I, for some reason, was having trouble accepting that this life changing trip was done. I had to put it behind me. I finally accomplished just that, but now Im starting to feel sorry for myself once again.

    The first thing I noticed when I wondered what could be causing my grief this time was that the music I had been listening to recently was all very slow and sad. I can’t even begin to explain how much my attitude has changed just by taking out my sad Don Henley CD and putting in my christian, or upbeat classic rock, CD’s. Im still not completely over feeling sorry for myself but I have made some major improvements to my overall mood.

  • Kathy

    Thanks a lot for this article. You rock!!!

  • anonymous

    Im 20/f. Im case of a transformation from a complete geeky girl to a hottie. it only sounds nice i swear…to go through it is insane. As a geek in school,i grew up to be very ambitious and i had soooooooo many friends and suddenly after i chagned i saw all my friends left my back.
    I’ve been through crazy shit growin up since a very young age!! IV FACED BULLYING FROM WHEN I WAS HARDLY 7-8,and a million other things.bt i found joy in making my friends smile and helpin people in general.

    When I finally got to really be happy..none of my “friends” could take it :\ i got a bf.–i transformed physically and im also in a good coll. doing a very good course.THEY STOPPED CALLING AND EVENTUALLY VANISHED FROM MY LIFE–ALL LOST ALL TRUST I COULD EVER HAVE IN PEOPLE. then in coll. things got worse.. just when i thought Ill start afresh.i thought i will make new friends..trust people again n blah blah..

    but they were pathetic..since the course requires high grades, every1 is basically a geek! they misjudge me as some bitchy girl and behave accordingly with me,im NOT LIKE THAT…THEY JUST DONT BELIEVE ME.. :\ this way neither do i get along with un-hot lookin people nor with the pretty girls. THE WORST PART IS I GREW UP AS A TOMB BOY..AND M IN A GIRLS’ COLL!!!!!!!!!!! and for good scores they stoop to low levels..things that my principles dont allow me to do..because of which im nt doin academicly well either..ITS LIKE IM IN A POSITION WHERE TO ACHIEVE MY GOALS I HAVE TO STEP OVER MY PRINCIPLES … :\ I cannot do that!!!! plus i have done pretty well considering my circumstances but no1 is there to hear me out :(

    apart from all this there are other general problems,my asthama that is hampering my efficiency,prob.s with my bf who has decided he cant take me anymre and has left !!

    :\ Im sooow lonely now..im a single child with huge amount of responsibilities and all the emotional stress…im thinking that I’ve developed a habit of pitying myself.IM ALWAYS CRYING (only WHEN IM ALONE)…my parents have never seen me cry–my grandpa says im not just the daughter but the son as well..so ive always have to be strong that way…but i think I’ve lost all strength ,Im not strong anymore,now i dont feel like “working hard” because i dont know if its of any use..

    my persevierence is dying, Ive made huge sacrifises and faced alot of redecule and rejection for things that my father expects me to do from a very very young age and even now.. i look up to him alot..making him proud of me is like a drug… but Ive realized that nothing i achieve is enough!!I never get the recognition that i deserve.. Everything i do/achieve/not achieve/say/ or even watch on TV is judged … :\ my dad is always judging me and he never believes of how people are in coll. !! And my so-called-failures are attributed to me :'( i feel helpless…since im so alone and the 1 person who understood me (my bf of 2 yrs.) is also gone because of my self pitying /aggressive behavior…

    PLEASE TELL ME AM I GOING CRAZY ????? Ive strated to question if im normal or the people around me are ? Im a very independent self respecting person..now im thinkin if all that is of any use in the real world.. :\

  • Patrick

    @ anonymous – I don’t think anything is wrong with you, I think you are going through some pretty normal emotions.

    What I would suggest is to focus on the positive relationships in your life….really make some changes based on the positive influencers in your life, and make a real effort to weed out the negative influences and minimize them.

    It sounds to me like you have slowly acquired the wisdom necessary to tell who is a real friend at this point. If you focus on the positive relationships I think they will rub off on you and be more supportive for you. You are not crazy. I think you just need to give yourself a break and give it some time…..

  • Liz

    There is no hope when a stronger part of you, that is hateful, is determined to win.

  • http://findagreenstore.com Leah

    I can attest to exercise and gratitude lists. These have helped me a lot over the past year. I was very depressed for over a decade and throwing pity parties was my most frequent activity. Despite the crappy things that happened when I was younger now I am resolved to see the silver lining and acyually enjoy my life. Thanks for this gr8 post.

  • SUPERDAN

    SELF PITY! I hate to cry..I am a wussy…Big tough wussy… must overcome it..take a step in the right direction.It will cure your self pity.Sitting and waiting won’t work. If you smoke..quit, You will feel like the King of the world when you do.If you are out of control..Take control. You need to get balanced..Do something towards a goal.Clean up..get a hair cut.Take a walk. Take a deap breath of fresh air.Be positive and valuable to this world.Everyone can contribute.Life is a trade-off..Don’t take more than you give. Turn-off the T.V.Help yourself..Help others..Good Luck & God Bless

  • Anonymous

    I’ve grown in a family where self-pity was deeply ingrained in the genetics. I absolutely detest this feeling and have made several attempts to overcome it…but can I really change my family…I’ve earned such a terrible repute with people I’ve known for my behavior all these years that I wonder how I can reverse that….even when I do make an effort there are people around so quick to notice it and put me down by telling me that I’m seeming so changed that it’s quite unlike me…I hate the feeling of having lost so many years of my life(am 30 now) living with that feeling and with people who constantly throw me back there…

    In my attempt I gave up smoking 3 years back, gave up drinking, stopped being an emotional fuckfool and made some serious attempts to be a more happy, jovial person …but I realise that there is so much shit around me that I’ve absolutely no control over and sadly getting rid of them is not an option really…I’m wondering if I will ever regain control over my life and start living life the way it should be…it appears I’ll have to change just everything about myself to do that…someone please tell me what’s happening to me…

  • orman

    call me orman…

  • Patrick

    @ Orman – It sounds to me like you are making huge progress. The one thing you are not doing is giving your effort time to kick in.

    It takes time. Period.

    You stopped smoking, drinking, and you are working on personal growth. How long did you smoke and drink for? It takes time for the major benefits to really kick in. I think it takes months, even years for this to happen, even after you have totally changed your life (as you have).

    The one key factor is time.

    Positive action + time = massive rewards down the line.

    You have to give yourself time to let this awesome new life kick in for yourself. It does not happen overnight. You sound like you are on the right path. I think you are just expecting too much too soon.

    What you don’t realize is that your life will be way better than what you might be guessing, if you just keep up the positive action, the positive changes, and keep plugging away for another few years. Then the benefits will kick in massively….

  • Lydia

    What I can’t stand is whenever I sigh because something is either boring or aggravating me and my mom says, “don’t feel so sorry for yourself,” despite the fact that she does that on a daily basis. She goes like, “WAH! I’m so sad. My children aren’t perfect and neither is my marriage!!!” Well, Boo hoo for you, mom.

  • Shiva

    Few days back, I had to give an important presentation but after quite a few slides a question was asked from the ordiance that I could not answer. Thereafter I became so nervous that my entire presentation was destroyed. This was the second such incident in less than six month. I am now suffering from self pity that had I prepared well my presentation would not have destroyed. I may lose my job too. I am very much disturbed and I think I need some more counselling than written above. Can ant one help me.

  • Tina V

    I used to be a very confidant person. I can’t quite place it but it was about 6 yrs ago I just flipped out. I couldn’t deal with rejection and loss. I always had things in order and going my way, when things stopped running smoothly, I had no idea how to handle it. I lost my father, my job, and several friends in a short period of time. I became an alcoholic and a drug addict and my behavior while intoxicated became frightening. I’m trying to get sober and my life back together but guilt and shame keep getting in the way. I know I have to stop using drugs to stop the cycle of creating bad memories. I attend AA meetings and see a therapist. I feel good that I’m willing to make an effort. Support is an important factor for me. I still get uncomfortable sharing my problems sometimes but I have to get it off my chest somehow, drugs and alcohol are not the solution, they are the problem, along with my insecurities. If we didn’t feel emotions we wouldn’t be human. I hope anyone who reads this and understands me finds what they need to make their lives more peaceful.

  • Ken

    …sigh …i don’t know if I’m just making the self-pity thing or not… My mother always tells me that I’m just having my self pity whenever we argue about our family problems, which makes me more angry. I think Its their really fault and not mine having a broken family. sigh again… I really make some effort to fix my life though I’m still young…but fate seems don’t like me… so bad… just hope for a better year this 2011… yet my intuitions says to me that It would be worse… a never ending sigh… I wonder when will I be happy… 2014?2015?perhaps 10yrs from now?

  • dee

    to Shiva, you probably did better than you think in your presentation, questions can throw us off sometimes. you can always say something like “you know that is a really good question, I will come back to that in a bit” give yourself some breating room to figure out how to answer. nobody has all the answers all the time even if you know it. sounds like you might want to cut yourself some slack. That you rememberd the question and the moment when you couldn’t answer, shows some insecurity and not incompetence. take control in those situations and remember that people are only asking questions to know, not to see you fail. remember this and you should do alright. If I were you i’d be prepared in those situations, take time. breathe call 10 min break
    hope this might have helped

  • dee

    hi everyone, thanks for the posts they all helped
    i realized as i came awake this morning – wow! i came awaked this morning, i can only hope!!
    i am full of self pity. i have been feeling the pain of jealousy and resentment and blame, over the past few days, everything from anger to despair to self doubt and burn out, then turn ice cold and sleep.
    i am also depressed and i feel tired and i just woke up. out of meditation – finding light in the midst of my agony, it hit me this morning for the first time! that i have been full of self pity my whole life. this is comforting to me in a strange way, coz i have been trying to put my finger on why my life’s energies were doused constantly, like it flows out through my feet like a slow leak in a tire.
    i grew up in a house where the underdog got the love and it was only when i was hurt that i got pity which was to me, love. and as soon as the huring stopped i knew in a few days i’d be loved or pitied for my injuries. in some twisted way i associate self pity with the possibilitiy of gaining love. the eternal victim. suffering, drains my life. i always believed everyone else is doing fine, except me. nobody knows how hurt i am when my self pity party is in full swing ( I rarely allow anyone else to come to my private party) all this is very difficult and i would love that in 2011 i can learn to love myself truly not because i have been hurt. i would love to become more aware of this in myself so i can move out of it sooner, i am struggling economically because of it and my self confidence is sometimes a big front. it really is a problem. which came first the depression or the pity pot? anyone?

  • Anonymous

    i think if a person has bad breath , he/she is having self pity cause of public humiliation . any help on this

  • Kathy c

    Too me my self pity is defense from the cold cruel indifference of my family. i was a mom the head of my family now my problems and me are child like and pitiful to them..losing 175 out of checking because kid cant pay her bills and tell me to suck it up. death i can deal with indifference and irresponsibility i cannot.

  • Jim Turner

    I understand your points about self pity but how does it fit into the greiving process desribed by Kuler-Ross? Should we skip the anger, bargaining and depression?

  • http://www.hypnodepot.com Bob Walsh

    @Jim Turner: I don’t really think it’s about skipping – but it’s about not getting stuck in any of these stages.
    If you grief the loss of a loved one, it’s normal to be angry or depressed – for some time. But at some point, you have to pull yourself up and move on.
    Self-pity is an emotional state that tends to manifest and perpetuate itself, rather than resolving – and I think the point of this post is to help people overcome THAT (not to skip or surpress psychologically healthy emotional responses to traumatic events).

  • Rosebud

    Really helpful explanation of self pity – taught me a lot – many thanks. Now to put it into practice.

  • ikebod crane

    I just am writing to say that I am missing a head so I constantly feel sorry for myself. Does anyone think that I should feel sorry for myself? I suppose that I should just accept that fact that I will never have a head. If I am feeling sorry for myself am I also dwelling in the past? I mean, it’s not as if my head is going to suddenly appear…it’s been gone so many years. Should I just put my best foot forward and try to find a job? I’m so nervous. The interview will be very strange. Strange days are coming….

  • ks

    My experience with self pity has been having once been married to someone who always felt like he was getting the short end of the stick in life – it was a pattern that got in the way of him seeing how he was responsible for part of what happened to him. He was not a vitcim in every circumstance he imagined. Taking of the reins of our life when bad things happen to us,after a normal grieving period is a healthier way to approach life. I unfortunately see my son has adopted his dads self pity approach, often blaming others for his discontent. It makes me sad. I worry that my sons children will carry on this legacy. I seriously think there may be a genetic component to this type of thinking.

  • Tim

    thx for posting this, it really helped, didnt know it would, but its just too easy to feel sorry for yourself, there is no challange in it, and i like challanges!

  • enigma

    hi, i hope everything passes by in time.but i guess we must take action now, it hurts to swallow the true feelings but yes we have hope…just move on guys..life is still good after all

  • Mikey

    I am traped in a bad marriage for 16 years receiving daily abuse, yet I do not want to move on. I feel that I have been a victim and was used at work. I spend my afternoons sitting alone getting high and pitting myself. At times I feel content when I look at my accomplishments and see less fortunate people. (Gratitute) But its a vicious cycle. I bore myself with my self pitty. My wife is always depressed and she is ill, for that reason I cannot find it in myself to leave her. I had big dreams and I invisioned a better life for myself and bigger success. Sigh… there I go again with self pitty. I have no love or admiration for myself. When I stopped getting high, I developed extremely high blood preasure. The other thing is that I am very lonely, at the same time I don’t want to be around pepole when I am feeling down. Sigh…Sigh…

  • misty

    I truly believe when self pity …………which I totally believe are demons. It brings along other demons along with it such as bitterness anger jealousy self hatred and eventually self murder and we need to get that out of our lives. We need to stand strong and fight them with the help of god!

  • over it

    Just found this post as I was about to indulge in a marathon self pity state of mind and needed something positive to put in my brain, so thanks. Interesting to read that you say it’s what led you into drugs and drinking! I’m what is known as a ‘recovering’ alcoholic, haven’t had a drink in over 8 yrs and no desire to do so neither, thank God. But, I never connected my self pity to my addiction and can see immediately that self pity was right at the heart of it!!! Something that no counselor or other professional ever put their finger on and it’s so simple. It’s not only damaging to the self but boring and depressing for anyone we subject to listening to our self pity. Glad I found this site and will check back in, but right now I need to go for a walk along the river and get myself moving out of the temptation to self pity. Big thanks, Over It.

  • sorrow

    i spend my life in self pity and i hate myself for it. i have so much to give but i am stuck in such resentment i can’t seem to move on. i have no friends. i want so much to be part of something or to help someone but no one looks at me as if i am worth anything. i really am not that bad, and have a kind heart.

  • Mikey

    Always try to remember something positive in your life, could be family, a pet, a memory, or simply something that you do like about yourself. Everyone must have something positive. Hold that thought and fade out the negative attitude. Everyone has at least one thing to be thankful for. Overtime if you keep doing that everytime you are feeling blue, I am sure that your life will be moving forward. Its worh trying, don’t you think… I wish you all the best.

  • bayewu julius olajide

    you are okay

  • someone

    What if everything you love is far away and thinking about them makes it even worse. What should I grasp on to then?

  • http://none Becky

    I’ve been widowed for over a year now and I have waves of self pity. What I do to shake it off is that I go for a walk, take a bike ride, get out among people. It doesn’t solve the loneliness, it just puts it off for a while. I just think it takes time and patience. I’m lonely in a crowd. I started to volunteer a few days a month and that is a good feeling. Losing a lifelong companion is tough but knowing that others went before me and lived through it helps.

  • ghean

    just think positive every things gonna be okey,just believe in God..

  • adik

    tiwala lang.. :P

  • anonymous

    thanks for the help, bro. :)

  • A.M.

    Love your honesty and how you hit the nail on the head. Godspeed to you. :-)

    This is what I love about the internet, a random stranger can just drop by and make your day so much better. For my own self I’ve noticed a pattern throughout my life — escapism, confusion/panicking, and inactivity. They have been the themes of my life.. somehow it is all related to inactivity? Your post inspires me to get more active. Have a good day. :-)

  • ethela

    i need this

  • Robert

    Great post, really got me thinking about how I can get moving in the right direction as well.

  • http://@yahoo.com juvy

    thank you we must always think possitive all the time…god bless

  • James

    oohh, powerful words. I admire your courage get out of that funk that I too feel because I want to feel it. Thank You for the help. I am GRATEFUL for people like you.

  • Jazmine

    Simply THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!

  • Cyrene

    Your words are truly inspirational. I used to feel that too. I’ve never thought there’s someone out there feels the same way too. I can totally relate. Thanks to your wonderful words. It have impart good thoughts to ponder and change in how i think. More powers to you.

  • Matthew

    I give you my power.

    Thanks a lot for your such wise words.

    I’m very proud of myself. It took me a couple of years but I finally conquered my ingrained love affair with shooting up.
    Of course I’m ashamed of my past behaviour. Frankly it was the stupidest f@#$ing thing I’d ever done.
    I feel a bit sorry for myself. I’m going to read up what you’ve offered and hopefully I will become a calm, happy and cheerful man.
    Then I’m hoping that great things will fall my way. After all good things happen to those who sow the seeds of love.

    Kind regards Matt

  • Freda

    Thank you for your insights and motivation. The stength of your decison to have a zero toleance to self pity motivated me to also have a zero tolerance this includes thinking like a victim. Easy and straight forward and no criticism. A complete renewing of the mind as in Romans 12:2. regards and God’s blessing to you

  • Tammy

    Very helpful reading! No tolerance has been the best idea I’ve experienced – or not ‘lingering’ – loved it in The Untethered Soul – you just don’t buy in – you let it hit you – and then you ascend.
    Practice and discipline ~ daily maintenance ~ so very important.
    The happy trail gets easier, then it gets harder, then it gets covered completely and you have to find another path to your destination, then you find your way again, then you cry because it’s so friggin’ hard, then you find your way again and it’s beautiful, but once you know where you are going, you keep going!!

  • Donna

    19 months into recovery and starting to become aware of this sick emotion. It comes on after life happens and starts to turn the thinking sour. Just what I need to hear. Gotta go write that list right now. Thanks for good direct advice!

  • charlie

    Thank u so much. Its what i needed to hear. Going thru a tough time but i can choose my attitude to be positive.

  • Thecomkeys

    Thank you this is great!!!

  • Mary

    Hi,

    Thanks for your article, I do hope to be a better person by being a positive one.

    I recently started empowering myself, and will continue doing so. No more self pitty, I now know I’m astrong person who deserves and will her herself the same.

    God Bless!

  • Nes

    Your words were just what I needed today – searching for answers to self-pity after crying up a storm this morning, you have put a gentle but powerful perspective on this issue for me.
    Thank you and God bless you.

  • Anonymous

    Thank You for making me realize the link between self-pity and addiction and providing a practical solution like exercising.

  • Chris

    I am day 7 of coming off heroin. This past week has been a whirlwind of emotions, self pity was/is one of them, amongst a wide spectrum of emotions. You are absolutely right when you said that you can’t have both gratitude and feel self pity. Thank you man, you probably don’t know how much you help people with this posting, one out of many is right here.

  • Duane

    Wow, it is so true. I am working on my list right now and love the way you put it. “you can’t have gratitude and self pity at the same time”.

  • aimee

    thank you for this! making my graditude list right now also! i am up to 23 and still going! it really does make a difference and how God can change someones heart is amazing!

  • chuck

    I have just started with the detox from hydrocodone 10’s, I have been taking some kind of pain med since 1997, from lortab to Percocet to methadone and back to hydrocodone. I know that I have to get these meds out of my body to have some sort of productive life. I, at this time am having a very difficult time with it. A great deal of trouble with depression, and many thoughts that it’s hopeless and I would be better off dead! I am reducing the dose at 1/2 a tab every other dose, (I’m taking 2 norcor 10’s every 8 hours, norcor is just lortab with less Tylenol). I feel that at this rate that I will be dead before I get myself clean. Am I normal or just a weakling? thanks

  • chuck

    sorry I guess I put this on the wrong page, oh well

  • Andrea Hardy

    As the others have said so well, your words hit a chord! Especially being grateful being incomptatible with feeling sorry for yourself. It’s embarassing to myself to feel self-pity from perceived or actual abuse through the years. It’s embarassing to feel a victim. It’s embarassing to cry all the time when so many others have it really hard, and I’m just lonely and depressed. Thanks for your help! I’m making a list and checking it twice! Thank you!

  • Anonymous

    We all make mistakes in life , its how we have or deal with them . No one is perfect .if cqn train ourwelves to letting go we will not need to feel self pity. I have always looked at people who pity them selves as attenion seekers , then I looked in the mirror myself and realised that this is whoI am and did not like what I sore. If you like that reflection then carrying on doing it however if you dont then its time to change ?

  • V

    Thank you.

  • Gail

    I was really taken by your article, especially the issue of self pity! The best part of your advice was about taking a vigorous walk! I also came up with 51 things to be grateful about. But when I returned home from my vigorous walk I realized that a lot of shamming and blaming could accompany the idea that self pity is the “root of all,” and much or most of our suffering comes from shame and blame. Here is where forgiveness comes in and the validation of our suffering and human suffering in general. I find that I need to forgive myself for my suffering, because I usually or always feel that I am the cause of my own suffering. This is the greatest possible offense, the fact that I’ve been the cause of my own suffering. This requires forgiveness. The forgiveness will allow me to realize the nature of existence, and that I can’t control everything, especially my emotional response to life transitions.
    Your words have come at an opportune time!
    Thank you

  • Stephanie

    Hi, this is a GREAT article. Thank you, it really helped! I have a question. Can you explain what you mean by this: “Self pity is a comforting behavior that fills a need for obsessive thinking.”
    Does this mean if you have obsessive thoughts about a situation, you will tend to comfort yourself with self-pity?

  • Michelle

    Thank you!!! I have been feeling sorry for myself because of a relationship that ended 6 months ago. Your article helped me a lot. Also, I would like to say that Gail’s review seems to match exactly the way I feel right now.

    Thank you.

  • Antonio Martinez

    I have read your article that you published, and I must say that this is definitely I liked reading and it gave me something to think about. The problem has started for quite a while now, and it is something I am hoping to try to tackle, but have had little or no success or even attempts.

    I guess the thing that bothers me is that I never realized how much my behavior impacted the people around me at work. I know that people often expected a lot from me, and there are times that I just feel so disgusted about the mentors themselves, that I feel too ashamed to follow in their footsteps, because I worry about being a clone of their style so much. I realized that this has backfired so much.

    On top of that, I think the self-pity might be fueled by a devastating addiction that involves no food or drinking. It is not what I was five years ago, and I guess I am too ashamed to bring it up.

  • Jsn

    I always firmly believed in taking full responsibility for my emotions, actions, reactions…etc
    but then, there is also the side of forgiving myself, somehow, for the things I feel sorry about, my personality, the way I am, where I am when I’m not wanting to be here. feeling limited and often enough, helpless…

    then after reading this, and following through on “Zero Tolerance” whenever these negative, self-destructive thoughts would arise, I can really tell a difference in my attitude and the way I see things. and filling the gaps of weakness with strength and drive.

    I’ve read another blog like this one where the author mentions “scheduling time for your self-pity”… I call BS! on that one! the only way to make it in this world, the way it is now, is to keep pulling on those boot straps, and never, ever let go! not even for a second! when you’re feeling bad, why allow yourself to feel bad? I’m not talking about suppression. that just creates disease! Strokes of regret, Cancer of something eating you up inside,

    no! I mean get out there and go for a nice, long walk! write down any positive thoughts at all! find some! meet up with people! get out there and socialize! accept your situation and make the best of it. take responsibility! and do something about it!

    take responsibility.

  • Vicki Goldberg Radia

    I think you’re right when you say that self pity is a comforting behavior. I feel like that for the past 10 years I have been on this self pity road. Though I take walks and do yoga, and also write down things I’m grateful for, I still find that I have self pity. I also believe it’s true what Gail posted about blaming oneself which brings on the validation…I’ve done the forgiveness as well. I also know that I suffer from adult ADHD which makes my situation more complex. I could use some more examples of moving beyond the self pity.

  • Chantel Woerner

    Self pity will get you nowhere. Be proactive. Don’t sit around and wait for the world to feel sorry for you, because chances are, they won’t! I have noticed people are put off by self-piteous people. I think they find it annoying and oppressive and no one wants to be around someone like that. If you want to improve your situation then YOU have to DO something positive. Stop dwelling on the bad stuff that happened to you that put you in that state of mind. Move on. Move forward. You can remain damaged because of your past or you can become stronger because of it. I chose to become stronger and when I look back at what I was when I felt so sorry for myself, I hated what I was. Self-pity is a selfish way to exist, instead, devote yourself to living life, showing gratitude for what you have, however insignificant it may seem to be to you…it is something and you should always be grateful to your Maker for all His gifts.

  • cat

    I am trying to move through and past deep hurts from my mother. I have done step work, therapy and have been sober 15 years. This self pity crap still pops up when the hurt is exposed again. I really, really, really want to get over this hurt. My sponsor reminds me that this obsessive thinking is like drinking. Uhg. I welcome experience, strength and hope.

  • Kent Whitt

    I have reached a new low, and in (desperately) seeking something, anything that might help, I found your response here, and it seems like maybe you have some insight as to where I am emotionally. I see your post is a year old, so I hope I’m not writing into the void.
    First, this not some new or recent thing for me, that I suffered a setback or two, and have fallen into this self-pity way of thinking. It’s always been like this for me, at least since young adulthood. I’ve been through it all and tried it all. I think I learned this behavior, this negative feeling sorry for myself thinking from my mother.
    So yes, I agree that physical activity is the single best (temporary) fix. However, I contracted a disease in 2008 that causes lot of pain. And now for instance, I can’t walk without severe pain in my left knee. Also, the chronic depression makes it very difficult to get out of bed, and that has been very bad lately. I think I’ve only gotten up at 2 or 3 days in the last week and ½ or so.
    I do try and try and try, give myself a break without “giving up”, then try and try and try some more. I do have many things to be grateful for, and I feel the gratitude and express it often, but that doesn’t really mitigate the feeling sorry myself.
    I believe strongly in personal responsibility. But as I texted a “friend” (I don’t have friends): How could the decisions I’ve made have brought me here? I make good decisions, not bad ones. But here I am, 45, reasonably attractive, smart, alone alone alone, unemployed, single/widowed/divorced, chronically ill.
    I hate feeling sorry for myself. It’s a learned behavior that I want undo. It’s cost me every friend and every non-friend (I’ve been betrayed very badly, many times) I ever had. But I don’t know how to change. I’ve done all the things suggested here, and everywhere else.
    I don’t know what to do! And I don’t see a single reason to do ANYTHING at all!

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