How To Stop Feeling Sorry For Yourself : Self-pity

How To Stop Feeling Sorry For Yourself
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Self-pity is one of the most potent ways to undermine your happiness and progress in life. When you wallow in self-pity, you give yourself an excuse to give up, feel victimized, and avoid responsibility. You allow yourself to feel sorry for yourself instead of taking action to change your situation. So why do we feel sorry for ourselves in the first place? There are many reasons, but some of the most common ones are because we feel powerless, helpless, and alone. We may also feel sorry for ourselves when we compare our lives to others and find that we fall short.

I know – it’s so justified! You’ve had a bad deal. The going is tough. You feel so helpless and alone, and you don’t have any support … and the list goes on. There are many reasons why feeling sorry for yourself seems to be perfectly reasonable – and it’s so easy to give in to it.


All the time you spend feeling sorry for yourself is time wasted. Unless, of course, you enjoy feeling really sad and miserable. In that case, keep on enjoying it until you’ve had enough. No one is going to stop you.

Before you tell me I don’t understand, read on a bit more. You are probably right that I don’t understand your particular situation and what makes you feel you deserve to feel sorry for yourself. BUT I do know about self-pity. I have spent countless hours, days – even months on and off – feeling hard done by, sorry for myself, sad, alone, in pain, and unsupported.

And I know that the times spent wrapped up inside my self-pity blanket have made me feel worse, and it hasn’t helped me do what has to be done. For me, those times have been wasted moments.

The thing is, self-pity changes nothing. It just makes you feel worse and even more helpless.

Definition of Self-Pity

Self-pity can be defined as an excessive and self-indulgent feeling of sorrow and sadness for oneself. It is a state of mind where individuals focus solely on their own suffering, often neglecting the suffering of others. Self-pity can arise from various situations, such as failures, rejections, or even comparisons to others.

The Dangers of Self-Pity

Hinders Personal Growth

Self-pity can hinder personal growth by trapping us in a cycle of negative emotions. It prevents us from taking responsibility for our actions and finding solutions to our problems. Instead of focusing on self-improvement, self-pity encourages us to dwell on the negatives, ultimately preventing us from achieving our goals and aspirations.

Damages Relationships

Self-pity can strain relationships with others. When we constantly feel sorry for ourselves, it becomes difficult to empathize with others and understand their struggles. This self-centered perspective can alienate friends, family, and colleagues, leading to a breakdown in communication and connection.

Negatively Affects Mental Well-being

Prolonged self-pity can have adverse effects on our mental well-being. It can lead to feelings of depression, anxiety, and a general sense of hopelessness. By dwelling on our sorrows, we remain stuck in a negative mindset that prevents us from experiencing joy and fulfillment.

Understanding the Root Causes of Self-Pity

Fear of Failure

The fear of failure can contribute significantly to feelings of self-pity. When we experience setbacks or disappointments, our fear of failure intensifies, leading to a sense of helplessness and self-pity. Addressing this fear is crucial to overcoming self-pity.

Low Self-Worth

Individuals with low self-worth are more prone to self-pity. When we lack confidence in our abilities and values, it becomes easier to fall into a state of self-pity. Building self-esteem and cultivating self-compassion are essential in combating self-pity.

Unhealthy Comparison

Comparing ourselves to others can fuel self-pity. When we constantly compare our lives, achievements, and relationships to those around us, it is challenging to avoid feelings of inadequacy. Recognizing the detrimental effects of unhealthy comparison is key to breaking free from self-pity.

Strategies to Overcome Self-Pity

Feeling sorry for yourself doesn’t pay the bills.

Self-pity doesn’t help you make any positive changes – whatever the situation. Of course, you get so fed up that you decide to stop self-pity and do something positive. So what can you do to break the cycle, to start dragging yourself out of your sorry muddy puddle?
Many things work for me, and maybe one of these might help you.

Stop thinking about the things that upset you

One of the best ways to stop feeling sorry for yourself is to stop thinking so much about what upset you. Dwelling on your problems and grievances will only keep you in unhappiness and negativity. Instead, try to focus on the positive aspects of your life. It’s not easy to do, but you can train your mind to think more positively with practice. When you find yourself dwelling on the negative, acknowledge it and quickly move on. It’s not always easy to change your thinking patterns, but with time and patience, you can do it.

Change Your Thoughts To Change Your Life…

Stop Worrying About What People Think

One of the biggest reasons we worry so much is because we’re afraid of what other people will think. We’re worried they’ll judge us, laugh at us, or think we’re baffling. But the truth is, other people’s opinions don’t matter. What matters is how you feel about yourself and living your life. If you’re not happy with how you’re living, it’s time to change it. Stop caring about what other people think and start worrying about what you want. You deserve happiness and live your best life without guilt or regret. So don’t be afraid to go after what you want—the only person holding you back is yourself.

Start Thinking Positively

When you find yourself worrying, take a step back and ask yourself if there’s anything you can do about the situation. If the answer is no, there’s no point in stressing yourself out; let it go. As the saying goes, Don’t worry, be happy.” The second step is to focus on the positives. No matter what life throws your way, there are always things to be grateful for. When you find yourself thinking negatively, switch your focus to something positive. This will help you feel better mentally, but it will also help you make progress in your life.

Be Grateful For Today

Each day should be lived as though it were your last. This manner of thinking changes the way you see things so that it gives more meaning to each day. It forces you to think about your relationships, actions, attitudes, and conversations with others. You must do this not thinking of yourself but thinking of others. This is where the real meaning comes into play.

I love my journey, my path, and my purpose in life…Today I will honor those things.

  • I will honor and have great respect for being alive today. I will appreciate the ability to breathe in every breath of air, for feel the earth beneath my feet, the gentle breeze on my face, and the warmth of the sun as it shines on the earth.
  • I will carry a heart filled with love and gratitude for being a spiritual being and having a wonderful and fulfilling experience as a human being today. I am filled with such bliss just to be alive and on this earth for one more day. I am awestruck that I can spend yet another day on earth with the knowledge that my two children and their families are alive and well.

Seek Support

Seeking support from loved ones, friends, or a therapist can provide valuable insights and guidance in overcoming self-pity. It allows us to gain a fresh perspective on our situation and provides us with the encouragement needed to move forward. Opening up and sharing our feelings can be liberating, helping us to regain our strength and motivation.

Stop Feeling Sorry For Yourself And Be Happy For This Moment

Some simple daily routines that also worked for me:

  • Get up and go for a walk. Walk fast, walk slow, look around you, and enjoy the experience.
  • Do something physical around the house –  vigorously clean the floor, clear out some cupboards, and make bread.
  • Go online and Google for uplifting things. Look for YouTube videos of talks given by motivational speakers such as Anthony Robbins or Wayne Dyer. Spend half an hour stumbling in categories such as self-help or spiritual.
  • Find stories of people who have overcome MUCH worse problems than you – be inspired.
  • Write out all your gripes, sadnesses, and problems – just keep writing till you dry up = then do a ceremonial burning of the writing.
  • Find someone to talk to and have a good laugh –but keep it to a prearranged time limit. You could do this on your own too.

And know that this post is written just as much for me as for you. Because I do forget. I do indulge in bouts of whining and self-pity. But the trick is to stop feeling sorry for yourself as soon as possible so that you can get on with the business of living your life and making the changes you want.

Life is precious.

Grab on to life with both hands and hold tightly to it each and every day. Be glad that you are here and that you are alive. Find the good and the positive in your life and in all things, the positive is there – you just have to find it, and you don’t have to look far. Learn to perceive everything in the best possible light. Doing so will benefit you and all those who you touch along the way.

Positive Thought for the day:

If you are reading this you are alive today, what a wondrous gift!

Think Positive! Be Positive!


Is it normal to feel sorry for yourself sometimes?

It is normal to experience moments of self-pity. However, dwelling in self-pity for an extended period can be harmful to our mental and emotional well-being.

Can self-pity lead to depression?

Prolonged self-pity can contribute to feelings of depression. It is essential to recognize when self-pity becomes a recurring pattern and seek professional help if needed.

How can I break free from self-pity?

Breaking free from self-pity requires self-awareness, self-compassion, and the implementation of strategies such as practicing mindfulness, challenging negative thoughts, seeking support, and cultivating self-esteem.

Can self-pity be a result of low self-esteem?

Yes, individuals with low self-esteem are more prone to self-pity. Working on building self-esteem and developing a positive self-image is crucial in overcoming self-pity.

Is self-pity a sign of weakness?

Self-pity is not necessarily a sign of weakness. It is a natural emotion that arises in challenging times. However, allowing self-pity to consume our lives without taking action can hinder personal growth and resilience.

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  1. Thank you so much for this. Gives me hope.

  2. Thank you. Glad you like it.

  3. you are giving us a free therapy thank you

  4. this blog is really a gift

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