Sometimes it feels like the Universe is conspiring against us. Some invisible almighty force seems to chuckle away while laying out intricate booby traps in the path of our waking lives only so that we trip on a moonbeam and fall face down in the dirt.
Hilarious. Somewhere, someone is having a blast at the cost of the comedy of errors defining our reality.
Abandonment in love, rejections in interviews, working two jobs to make ends meet and no time for Me-time while the clock ticks your hay days away sans merci.
This is the moment when you bury your face in your hands and cry, ‘Why Me? Why am I gifted a boulder of suffering while everyone around me is blessed with an abundance of everything I lack? Why does a minute of happiness cost me a year of grief?’
One question leads to another till you are convinced that grief defines you and you are the beacon of suffering. You forget joy; you forget blessings, and you choose to adorn a sable temperament with nothing but pain, complaints, vindictiveness, despair and other such negativities defining your aura.
In the beginning, people sympathise with you and try to make you feel better. But later, when they realise that self-pity has become your way to connect at inter-personal levels, you can see them drawing the line. This, though, is only the beginning of the downward spiral.
Take charge of your inner environment and prevent the devastating vortex of self-pity by learning how to stop feeling sorry for yourself. It is easy, it is possible, and the results of your vibrantly altered personality will definitely reflect in the improved quality of your life.
Table of Contents
Why Staying Trapped In Self-Pity Will Give You More Reasons To Pity Your Life
So, what happens when you always feel sorry for yourself?
- Grief and despair become your default behavioural setting.
- You start glorifying grief, some that exist and most that don’t.
- You are always in victim mode.
- You invite a comparative beating.
- You break down completely when others do comparatively better.
- The smallest challenges look Herculean to you.
- Cribbing and complaining seem normal.
- You look for validation everywhere.
- You unsee blessings.
- There’s complete disregard towards the feelings of others or how they care for you.
Social / Personal / Professional Alienation
Constant comparisons, complaining, and failure to take responsibility or make positive interpersonal contributions are a few of the many insufferable sidekicks of self-pity.
Thanks to these behavioural appendages, your productivity, whether in personal, social or professional spheres, hits epic bottom.
This gradually leads to self-alienation, and the saddest part is that not many people, even the closest ones, would be enthusiastic enough to win you back.
Plummeting Mental Health
Chronic self-pity inevitably makes you magnify your grief out of proportion and then dwell on it like that’s the only truth in your life.
It gets worse when you start relentlessly trumpeting your sob story to the world, and people are no longer moved by it.
They get annoyed; they ask you to do something about it, and when they see their efforts are in vain, they start ignoring you.
You, running your thoughts anti-clockwise, start to believe that no one understands you, no one is validating your suffering, no one cares, and everyone is a friend.
Given the situation, it doesn’t take long for loneliness, depression and anxiety to set in.
Inability To Work To Your Full Potential
Imagine running a marathon with sandbags tied to your ankles. That’s how it feels when you try to work, buried neck deep in self-pity.
Somehow, you feel the world’s weight is on your shoulders, and everyone is taking advantage of you, even if you unconsciously expect brownie points for your treasured grief.
Sorry to put it out so bluntly, but that’s not how accomplishments are made. Unless you understand and exercise your strengths, you will never be able to push your potential.
No one, just no one like a whiner. You may have solid grounds to whine 24/7, but no one has the patience to always lift you up because people have their own lot to deal with.
Somehow, as your attention-seeking companion, you give out a weak and insatiably needy aura with a personalized cloud of gloom.
Even ghosts couldn’t scare a person more than gloom.
Steadily Depleting Self-Esteem
Social /personal/ professional alienation, constant anxiety, deteriorating performance at work and awareness of general unattractiveness quite naturally leads to punctured self-esteem.
It’s one of those punctures that cannot be fixed in a day and always results in a long, arduous bumpy ride towards expected achievements.
Anger / Aggression Issues
Now with your grief multiplied, you add anger to the cauldron. Staying trapped in a vicious circle of Grief -> Self Pity -> Inactivity -> Downward Spiral -> Inactivity -> Self Pity -> Grief, would make anyone angry.
This anger is mostly an inner volcanic eruption. But as we all know, when the lava spreads, it destroys both animate and inanimate beings that unfortunately and unsuspectingly dot its path.
How To Stop Feeling Sorry For Yourself
How loud can you scream? A roar, not from your throat but from your core. Let that roar out and say ENOUGH!
It’s ok to feel what you are feeling. It’s natural. In fact, trying to mask your feelings, mostly for the sake of dodging toxic judgments from the positivity brigade, can harm you at deeper subconscious levels.
So, face your feelings and make a conscious decision to reprogram your core beliefs to come out of this regressive psychological state.
Ready to learn how to stop feeling sorry for yourself? Here we go.
The Head On Challenge
If you have realised enough is enough, and there is no time to ease yourself into letting go of self-pity, take this head-on challenge.
Step 1: Feel what you are feeling, FEARLESSLY.
Step 2: Reason WHY you’re feeling sorry for yourself. Pen down the reasons.
Step 3: Now be your own friend, and tell yourself what to do to get right back up!
Step 4: Follow your advice. Get up and DO what you need to DO.
If your problems require divine interruptions, your positive attitude may attract that too!
Practice Feeling the Opposite of Every Non-Productive Emotion
A page from my Journal, ‘Hello Me 😊; today I’ve decided to learn a new language. I picked German! Guten Tag!’
It’s very simple. If you feel that the world is about to end right now, consciously think that tomorrow may be the day when everything changes for the better.
For example, think that tomorrow, you will enjoy your favourite food and binge-watch something you have wanted to for a long time.
Think that tomorrow, you may walk into the person who’s your twin soul. Tomorrow, you may get that job you’ve applied for!
It doesn’t matter who’s watching, who’s judging and who’s comparing; you keep thinking about the excitement of things that are on their way to you!
Speak ONLY About the ‘Good’
A Page from my Journal, ‘I’m tired of cribbing; I’m tired of complaining; Heaven hasn’t taken notice yet 🙁 There must be a secret code to getting God’s attention. So, I’ll start again by extending gratitude for the blessings I’ve already received.
You may be itching to blurt about how evil your ex was and how he damaged your existence; Stop and say something nice instead.
Say how happy you are that a negative influence left your life. Say, how much free time you have to do things you love to do. Say it out loud that you are absolutely positive that something so much better is arriving to fill up that empty spot in your heart.
A happy smile accompanying your thoughts would be icing on the cake. It’s like self-therapy; try it to believe it.
Change the Things You CAN Change
A Page from my Journal, ‘I’ve finally made it to 30 days of Tai Chi :D!!! Now it’s time to start preparing for a Master of Arts degree.‘
Hold the reins to the situations that are entirely under your control. Don’t like the way you look? Work out. Don’t like your job? Keep trying for better openings. ‘Started life’ a little too late?
Celebrate because there’s no age limit to get up and get going! Even the slightest effort would make a difference.
I like the way Nike puts it. ‘Just Do It! You will be surprised at your latent potential.
Wake up in the morning and say ‘thank you for the opportunity to wake up. Thank you for the cup of tea and the opportunity to be active and productive. Thank you for a loving and supportive family and friends that care. Thank you for making me strong enough to rise and dare.
Practising gratitude alters your inner wiring at atomic levels, where your mind is trained to perceive all information and occurrences in your life as ‘positive and constructive than ‘negative and destructive.
Your feel-good hormones, thus, remain perpetually high, irrespective of the situations you encounter.
Have Fun Failing
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not encouraging anyone to make deliberate attempts to fail the next Math test or job interview. It’s just that, in case you have, try and draw a little humour from the situation.
So, you have failed job interviews for the tenth time. Call in your friends and celebrate the number. Get a good laugh, post a few well-thought-of funnies on social media and express your desire to improve your skill sets to get past the next interview.
If there is something that hirers like more than skills, it is a bright, positive and happy mindset which makes working fun!
The same goes with social/personal relationships and just about any odd circumstances that surprise you time and again.
Help Someone Help You
A Page from my Journal, ‘I Really Really Enjoyed the Water Park! I Love Water! How weightless I felt in the massive blue pool! Those guys made me believe I was too fat to fit in this world! Nonsense.
There I was, floating like a feather! Thank you, my sister, for dragging me to the pool party. Forever grateful‘
If you see someone sticking out their hand to help you out of a downward spiral, grab it.
Don’t make it difficult for them. Don’t push them away; don’t blast them with ‘you don’t understand me’ monologues; listen to what they have to say and try to follow it even if it seems that the suggestions won’t help.
In my experience, it will always put you in a better frame of mind.
Help The Needy
Take some time and funds out to make the lives of the lesser fortunate better. Volunteer at a school; donate to old age homes; fund an orphan’s education; contribute to children’s hospitals; volunteer at animal shelters; help abandoned pets find new homes. Your existence could bring a smile to hundreds of faces.
When hundreds of faces smile because of you, you will learn how to stop feeling sorry for yourself without anyone having to tell you.
Lend Your shoulders, Lend Your Ears
For a moment, forget your woes and lend your ears and shoulders to others that need to shed their load. This simple act will infuse your psychological fabric with enough strength and confidence to combat chronic self-pity.
Be careful, though, not to paint their pain with unnecessary judgment.
All of us, at some levels, have given in to self-pity. It is, after all, a natural emotion. However, it is only when you learn how to stop feeling sorry for yourself that you will understand how to convert self-pity to ‘self-compassion’.
Have you ever led a personal battle against self-pity? If yes, we would love to learn from your experiences.
Also read: Comparison Is The Thief Of Joy