How to Stop Feeling Sorry for Yourself

Last Updated on December 20, 2022

Feeling sorry for yourself? 

Have a distorted self-image? Have a distorted image of other people?

Let’s talk about why you’re feeling the way you do. Let’s also talk about why it needs to stop. 

The idea is to help you understand why you want to wallow in self-pity. And once you have a good understanding of the subject, you’ll take proactive measures and know better.

Hopefully, this article will help you get rid of self-pity and have better self-worth.

Feeling sorry for yourself: Why it needs to stop

When you’re feeling sorry for yourself, you’re acknowledging your vulnerabilities. You’re accepting defeat and you’re telling yourself you can’t always win at life.

For a person who feels sorry for themselves, their self-pity is reasonable. 

  • Exhaustion – They’re tired — physically and/or mentally. They don’t want to pursue an action anymore.
  • Poor quality of life – They dislike their workplace, house, daily activities, or other things in their life. They believe they deserve better.
  • Social comparison – They compare themselves to friends, family, and other acquaintances. They feel terrible if they don’t measure up to others’ current status in life.

What to think of people who feel sorry for themselves

What to think of people who feel sorry for themselvesPin

However, matters are different from an outsider’s perspective. These are typical reactions upon seeing someone feel sorry for themselves:

  • Think they lack attention – They assume people with a distorted self-image or those who cry for help actually cry for attention.
  • Consider them mentally challenged – They assume mentally strong people don’t wallow in pity.
  • See them as inferior – They assume people are weak.

Seeing things in a better light

It’s understandable to think negatively of people who feel sorry for themselves. To address the above mentioned reactions:

Yes, they seem to lack attention. 

Yes, they seem mentally challenged.

Yes, they seem inferior

However, do your best to think differently. Usually, people who feel sorry for themselves aren’t hopeless. As mentioned above, they have their reasons. And they simply need a break.

If you’re in their shoes, you know you’re not hopeless when you’re feeling sorry for yourself. You know you simply need a break, too.

You need to stop feeling sorry for yourself

Meanwhile, it’s a problem if weeks, months, or years go by and you’re still feeling the negative emotion about yourself. By the looks of it, you don’t need a break. You’re stuck in a rut and you need help.

Too much self-pity is harmful because:

  • It undermines your ability to control your life – Pitying yourself means life controls you — and not the other way around. It discourages you from taking responsibility.
  • It forces you to stay weak – Even if you’re physically or mentally weak, you’re never hopeless. Self-pity won’t tell you that.
  • It makes you ungrateful – Self-pity makes you overlook life’s positive side. It also causes ignorance and resentment.
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Related: Why Do People Feel Sorry for Themselves

12 ways to stop feeling sorry for yourself

Self-pity can bring trouble into your life if you don’t get rid of it.

Here are ways you can solve your problem:

1. Acknowledge self-pity

Can’t eliminate a problem that doesn’t exist, right?

So remind yourself you have a problem. Be aware of its existence and the damage it has on you.

Tell yourself self-pity is a problem, and it exists in your life. At first, it’s hard to see self-pity as a problem. You may think self-pity is: 

  • Simply a way of stating facts
  • Simply a way of conceding defeat
  • Simply a way of letting your failures sink in

By the looks of it, it’s as if you’re defending your ability to pity yourself. So convince yourself, however difficult it may be, self-pity is not all those statements mentioned above.

You can state facts better. 

You can concede defeat better. 

You can let failures sink in better.

You can do better.

2. Practice self-compassion

Be nice and kind to yourself, too. 

Self-compassion is a form of self-care. It also makes you a better leader.

If you need a break from work, for example, let yourself take a break. Granted you can control how much time you spend for breaks, you can give yourself breaks often.

It’s understandable to want to be tough on yourself. It’s a way of motivating yourself to aim high.

However, sometimes, you need to take it down a notch. You have your limits, too. And pushing yourself beyond them will stress you out and make you miserable.

Remember, it’s not wrong to want and need things. So don’t deprive yourself of what makes you happy.

3. Practice gratitude

Wonder why Thanksgiving is widely celebrated in many countries? 

Acknowledging things and people to be thankful for is important! The benefits of gratitude are scientifically proven. It’s the reason respectable people are grateful.

So if someone bought you lunch because they mistakenly bought two meals? Thank them!

Appreciate everything — even the smallest acts.

Otherwise, you’re prone to start feeling sorry for yourself. It’s also challenging to see any good that happens.

4. Eliminate the victim mentality

Let go of the victim mentality. With this mentality, it’s understandable to start feeling sorry for yourself.

If a bad event happened, don’t let it define you. Don’t focus on its negative effects. And instead, invest your energy into becoming better with that event’s help.

Here are specific ways on how to let go of the victim mentality:

  • Forgive others – If someone wronged you before, forgive them. If not, you still have a link to them.
  • Forgive yourself – Made a mistake that caused major disappointment in life? If so, forgive yourself for it. Dwelling on your shortcomings will only cause negative emotions.
  • Forget the past – Look back on the things and people you’ll leave behind for the last time. Then devote your personal resources to a much better future.
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5. Stop complaining

Talk less” is one of the notable statements of prominent lawyer and former US vice president, Aaron Burr.

For him, talking less and not spending too much time complaining is a way of advancing in life. It’s a way of reflecting on the present and then planning to resolve problems.

Here are reasons complaining is a waste of time:

  • It won’t change outcomes – “Walk the talk”. If situations are bad, accept them and do something to change them. 
  • It drains the listener’s energy – Complaining is a toxic behavior. It wastes the time, energy, and other personal resources of the person who listens.
  • It makes people despondent – Complaining encourages other people to see the hopelessness in situations. Truth is, most situations aren’t hopeless.

6. Be accountable

Living a carefree life is relaxing. However, sometimes, it’s best to care. 

You need to care about your actions. You need to be responsible enough to mind the effect you have on others.

If you made a mistake, for example, own up to it. How you own up to your mistake depends on you. And it doesn’t matter. What matters is you were accountable.

Here are reasons accountability is important:

  • It creates valuable relationships – An accountable person is trustworthy. And if you’re trustworthy, personal and professional connections will find you more attractive.
  • It’s a sign of progress – It shows your ability to acknowledge failures and successes.
  • It develops reputation – Determine the person you want to be known for. If it’s a person who knows how to admit their mistakes, you’ll build a respectable reputation for yourself.

7. Be courageous

Another cause of self-pity is the feeling of not achieving something you want. If this is the case, a way to stop feeling sorry for yourself is simple: Be courageous.

Go after you truly want. Being courageous isn’t always easy. However, it’s how you can get rid of self- pity. 

If you fail at a goal, tell yourself you tried.

Here are reasons you need to be courageous:

  • It builds confidence – To fix a distorted self-image, have courage. Reassure yourself (through actions) you’re brave and bold.
  • It increases happiness – Being fearless will make you happier. It makes you unafraid to experiment and explore new things.
  • It increases knowledge – It makes you a well-rounded person. Because you’re courageous, you’re more experienced and have more value to offer.

8. Embrace how you feel

Feelings of self-pity and other ill emotions can be difficult to accept. To cope with them, some people smoke, drink alcohol, and engage in other negative diversions.

For a moment, engaging in diversion is fun. And the more fun they are if other people will keep you company and engage in those negative diversions, too.

However, here’s the problem: Using negative diversions is a band-aid solution. Three or five years later, it’ll amplify the feelings of self-pity or make them worse.

9. Be productive

People at Silicon Valley are productive because they choose to be productive. One of their Credos is this: Keep making things you’ll love. If you break them, figure out a way to fix them. 

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What to Do When You're Frustrated With Yourself

That said, having too much time in your hands and choosing not to do anything with it is a cause of self-pity. Lingering on your thoughts is not wrong. However, it’s stealing your time to think of something you can be proud of in the long run.

So consider being like those productivity-obsessed folks at Silicon Valley. Like them, invest time in producing anything you’ll love. And like them, don’t devote resources on feeling sorry for yourself.

10. Ask questions and not follow orders by default

Following orders, especially from your elders, may be a sign of respect. However, following orders without analyzing what they are and what they are intended for, can lead to self-awareness, which will then progress to self-pity.

Remember, there’s nothing wrong with asking questions. If you’re polite, and your questions are useful, many people will appreciate your candor.

However, if you act like a machine that simply follows orders without analyzing them, you’re about to experience self-pity and other emotions you’ll dislike.

11. Recognize the silver lining

Unfortunate things happen. And while sometimes there’s no way to avoid them, you can still get some good out of them.

In every unfavorable circumstance, find a silver lining — a lesson, opportunity, or experience.

For example, your employer fires you because the company is downsizing. It’s understandable to be upset about it.

However, don’t just be upset about it. Don’t look at this situation as if it’s the end of the world. Instead, think of it as an opportunity to consider more promising employment options.

12. Help someone

Doing charitable acts is rewarding. For successful and wealthy individuals, it’s no secret. It’s why they’re present in a variety of charities and other philanthropic causes.

So help someone, too. The rewards of charitable acts are what you need.

Just remember to be genuine. Help someone because they need help. Don’t help merely because you want to do something that seems helpful.

How will you stop feeling sorry for yourself?

Of the ways to stop feeling sorry for yourself, the fifth way, “stop complaining”, is what many people begin with. It works for them because it allows them to shift their mind from negativity. 

If you want to begin the same way, go ahead. You can also go with the other ways above. They’re as effective, too.

How you stop feeling sorry for yourself is up to you. The important thing is, you decided the pity party needs to stop.

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