Self-pity

Living with self-pity is like pressing the ‘self-destruct button’, because that’s exactly what we’re doing.

When I look back I can resonate with feelings of self-pity given what I had to deal with, but I’m not sure I was ready to press the self-destruct button, but I can see how people may. Life isn’t easy, what we deal with isn’t easy and our upbringing doesn’t give us the tools, as we begin to cope less.

By the time we feel self-pity, all those scenarios have already played out. Self-pity makes us want to press the self-destruct button, because in our mind we’ve already failed.  As we continue to wallow in self-pity, we will always fail to meet or look for opportunities that come our way.

In my case, my life wasn’t about me, my life was about other people and the way they wanted me to live and although I had numerous physical and emotional problems to deal with, I knew deep down that I needed to care for myself so that I could come to terms with who I was. I never gave up hope on myself.

In time, I chose to be pro-active where I could and started to care about myself, find out what I was dealing with. When we begin to care, we become more tolerant of ourselves. Both of those things are often exactly what we need.

When we learn to identify with ourselves and like what we see, we will learn to walk away from self-pity and the self-destruct button.


3 Jun, 2015

6 thoughts on “Self-pity

  1. I am very aware of wallowing in self-pity. A few years ago something happened that opened my eyes and I decided it was time to change. I realized if people don’t take the time to know and understand me, then that’s their problem.

    It’s not easy, but I have been learning to love who I am and accept what I have to deal with. I realized my self worth doesn’t depend on what others think of me.

    1. Thanks Maria. I absolutely love your response and you’re spot on. Yes it often takes something for us to see and understand our need to change things, particularly when it comes to something like self-pity.

      Although what you’ve actually done isn’t particularly easy in practice, it very much is what needs to happen. It doesn’t matter about what people think of us, what matters is what we think of ourselves and how we deal with what we have to deal with.

      When we learn to like ourselves, we’ll always accept what we have to deal with better. That also comes about through maturity and accepting our ‘warts ‘n’ all.’

  2. I agree self-pity achieves nothing, but reinforces self-destructive patterns. I only have to see advertisements on TV asking for donations for children’s’ charities in the 3rd world to wake myself up and shake off any feelings of self-pity.

    It’s a resolute reminder of how some people suffer in the world and that by comparison our problems must seem quite trivial to a 6 year old, who has to walk 10 miles to fill a bucket with dirty water, twice a day.

    1. I couldn’t agree more. What you describe is something we probably all do, it’s human nature, but agree it is something we should try to think about.

      There are children, people worse off than us, who have less than us, who learn to appreciate what little they have, whereas in the West we tend not to be satisfied; and that can lead to self-pity.

  3. I’ve spent far too much of my life doing what I like to call, ‘doing the backstroke in the pity pot!’

    Life definitely isn’t fair at times, but the reality is that things could have been so much worse than they were when I was a kid. I can’t blame my parents for all the choices I made, but I can say that they didn’t weren’t very good role models for how to live your life. They spent most of their time wallowing in self-pity and blaming everyone else for the troubles they had.

    People always like to say things like, just get over it, but it isn’t usually that easy. I’ve carried so much guilt, shame and remorse in my life that mostly wasn’t mine, so I’ve had to finally start sorting it out.

    I can see how people could end up wasting their whole lives buried in self pity. Deep down I don’t want to be one of those bitter old people in the nursing home that never has any family or friends visiting them. I’ve watched both my parents go through it and it’s beyond horrible!

    ‘You live what you know,’ is the expression that comes to mind when I contemplate dealing with self-pity. If you have lived a certain way for so long in your life, you eventually get used to it ,even when it is so unhealthy. Do or do not, there is no try, is the other one that comes to mind, where I can choose to either work on getting better or I don’t.

    People can change, I believe if they really want to! The most I really want at this point is just to be able to be comfortable in my own skin for once in my life!

    1. You’ve raised a lot of good points Randy. As you say although your parents were initially responsible for being bad role models, you understand your part in some of the choices you’ve made and that’s important.

      You also know that it’s up to you to change and I like you Randy, believe you can. As long as we understand and live with our moral compass, regardless of our upbringing, I still believe we can change.

      Our parents’ influences aren’t the only influences in our lives. We do have other influences that help shape our thinking. As you have rightly pointed out, we can either walk away from the pity pot or stay stuck wallowing in it.

      Moving on from self-pity is a work-in-progress. I believe in you and know you’ll continue to work on things.

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