3 Ways to Get Out of That Self-Pity Rut

3 Ways to Get Out of That Self-Pity Rut

What Is Self-Pity?

Self-pity is the sadness you feel for yourself because you think you have a lot of problems or have suffered a lot. It maximizes the victim mentality. Does self-pity feel good? Yes, it does because it validates your experience. It takes the blame and responsibility off of you for your unfortunate circumstances. 

Trauma and Healing 

What about trauma? Aren't we justified in feeling sorry for ourselves if we have suffered trauma we weren't responsible for? Although this may be a thought to justify our self-pity, it is also crucial to understand and accept that no one else in this world, not your parents, partner, or friend, will take care of you as much as you could and should.

Expectations will lead to disappointment, and the more you rely on others to understand and empathize with you, the more they will treat you as someone who is needy and "pathetic."

It is much more productive to deal with your trauma through self-help and/or a professional rather than from a loved one. Seeking a loved one to validate your trauma will only lead to more disappointment. The power is in you. 

Self-Pity Is Harmful

Excuses for laziness

Self-pity prevents us from achieving our goals because we make excuses before we start. We get comfortable listening to the discouraging voices in our heads telling us we are not good enough. When we pity ourselves, we are making excuses for our laziness. For example, if you want to lose weight, it does not make sense to binge eat and watch TV while claiming, "I'm so fat, I've been bullied my whole life for being fat, and no one understands my terrible relationship with food." Instead, change and challenge that thought pattern. Say, "I've been bullied my entire life for being overweight; no one understands how much I suffer in my relationship with food, but oh well, I'll go deeper, understand why, and get healthier for myself and my health."

‚ÄúBad things do happen; how I respond to them defines my character and the quality of my life. I can choose to sit in perpetual sadness, immobilized by the gravity of my loss, or I can choose to rise from the pain and treasure the most precious gift I have‚ÄĒlife itself.‚ÄĚ ~Walter Anderson

 Selfishness, anger and bitterness

When we are so concerned with ourselves and stay stuck in our pity party, we become less concerned with the struggles of others. When we only see ourselves as victims, we become less sensitive to the needs of others. We see their struggles as less important than our own. In reality, everyone's got struggles of their own, and we can't judge whose inner battle deserves more empathy.

Our self-pity makes us jealous and feel bitter toward others because we perceive their lives as better than ours. We don't truly know what someone is going through behind closed doors. Most times, when people pity themselves, they blame others.

Damages relationships 

People don't like to be around negative energy. We all find it draining to be around bitter, self-pitying energy. When we feel caught in self-pity, we find it difficult to celebrate our friends’ wins. We will use their wins as further proof of our "shitty" lives. 

Good News

The good news is that we can change our self-pitying habits. Every thought pattern

we have is simply a process that is part of our habitual thinking and being. Introspection is key. Every time you see yourself making excuses, take a step back and accept your flaws. If you need to heal from past trauma, then do so. Start journaling your negative thoughts. Make a plan, a list of the steps you need to take to improve your life. What is holding you back?

3 Ways to Get Out of That Self-Pity Rut

1. Practice self-compassion and self-healing

Learn to love yourself instead of wallowing in sadness and anger against the world. Use mantras, journal, show gratitude, or simply do small things that you enjoy. Spend time with yourself working toward goals that will get you where you want to be, whether they are financial goals or health goals. Make a plan of what work needs to be done to better yourself, and then gradually put in the work.

2. Practice gratitude

Yes, we said this already, but it truly does help change your perspective on life. Write down a few things you are grateful for daily. If you don't have the time to write a gratitude list, then try to list a few things you are grateful for in your head every night in bed. Do the same in the morning at your work desk or while commuting. Both self-pity and gratitude are choices. The goal is to flip your victim narrative. Change your worldview and watch your world change.

3. Practice mindfulness

This means living life consciously, aware of your actions, thoughts, and surroundings. This goes back to what we said about self-healing from past trauma. When we live day-to-day without taking the time to think and introspect, we continue to live in motion until one day it's too late. Be mindful of your negative thought patterns and start changing your life for the better. Stop telling yourself it's not that easy. Stop making excuses. Be mindful of your excuses and accept that it's time to change. Get to know yourself to better understand yourself. Be decisive in what you want and need. Through mindfulness, we can also stop comparing ourselves to others. The only person you should be comparing yourself to is the person you were yesterday.

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