First off, let me define self-pity. A self-indulgent attitude concerning one’s own difficulties, hardships, etc…
Also let me say, I have a long history of experience with this, going through it time to time myself and having people in my life that may have this defect. It is a very draining, high-maintenance relationship to be in.
Self-Pity can also be a martyr complex. The dictionary definition of martyr: besides allowing yourself to die as a result of your beliefs, which is actually metaphoric in this situation, it means, a person who is seeking sympathy or attention by feigning, or exaggerating pain, deprivation, etc… Sounds so harsh I know, but it’s what Webster says.
Keep in mind that any assessment done, should only be self-assessment. By assessing someone else, a great deal of harm can actually be done.
If you find yourself feeling defensive while reading this, you might want to stop and think…
Usually when we are offended by something it’s because we fear there might be some truth to it. Unless of coarse your narcissistic, then that’s a blog of a different nature.;)
Self-Pity is an addiction. It is a ‘mood altering’ behavior. It numbs us out to reality by blaming everyone else for the condition that our life is in. It negates us from any responsibility for our lives. Those that are addicted to self-pity don’t want to have to do any work to ‘fix’ their lives. They want no solutions. Misery is a way of life for them and they want you to do the work to make them feel better.
They play best with others who pity themselves also. Helpless victims, that want everyone to feel sorry for them.
Defense is a mechanism that is used to fend off any positive type of solution that might threaten the hopeless bubble they have entrenched themselves in. They want to be miserable and they want you to jump on that train with them (or in front of the train…, but not really). It is extremely difficult to have a relationship with this personality type (unless of course you indulge in self-pity, then you can have a competition about who’s life is worse. What fun!). The constant negativity is quite draining, and having to be on alert as to when you might be sucked into the vortex of why me’s?. If you do allow yourself to get sucked in, chances are you will be made responsible for the outcome of that particular event because you are not encouraging enough, sympathetic enough, giving good enough advice, etc… They also get upset when you refuse to get sucked in, because then you are not being supportive enough, so it’s really a lose lose situation for both of you.
Another wonderful trait that goes with this as well is guilt slinging and manipulation. Whatever it takes to get your sympathy is a self fulfilling ritual for them. Putting effort into drawing people into their sickness is easier for them than putting that energy into taking responsibility for their own lives. It keeps them from pain that they might have to face if they took responsibility. Self-Pity does not draw people closer to you, it pushes people away. Self-Pity is a choice. You can never win with a self-pitier because they will have a ‘yeah but…’ for every solution you come up with. I was once told that, ‘Yeah but…’, is the mating call for assholes.
Another saying that comes to mind; ‘If you sit on the pity pot too long, you’ll get a ring around your ass!’
Self-Pity is one of the most unattractive personality traits that anyone can have. Self-Pity is very needy. To have someone feel sorry for you would mean that they think you can’t make it. That’s pathetic! I wouldn’t want anyone to feel that way or think that of me. We are not victims. Stop giving your power away to everyone else! Do you really want to portray yourself as a helpless victim giving everyone else all that power over you? You get no respect that way. You have to respect yourself and be there for yourself before anyone else will. And I’m not talking about genuine sadness or grieving. Those emotions come from a different place. They come from our hearts and usually from a deep sense of loss. Self-Pity is completely different. Self-Pity comes from our minds, because we’re thinking too much and not doing enough positive things for ourselves. The flip side of taking responsibility for yourself is quite empowering. It’s empowering to know that you are in control of your own life. No one else gets to make you feel any way that you don’t want to. Your life IS your creation whether you like it or not, own it or not, your life is your creation!
- You complain regularly about how miserable or bad your life is.
- You continually blame the past for your present.
- You are never the problem, everyone else is.
- You act as if the world, these people or situations owe you something.
- You constantly compare yourself to others.
- You have an excuse for not taking action to make your life better. Your excuse is usually because of someone or something else.
- You only see negativity.
- You feel lonely and like everyone is against you or never listens to you. You are never acknowledged.
- You’re afraid of everything.
- You find yourself thinking or saying no one loves you or cares about you even though you have a lot of people in your life and talk to friends and family regularly.
I could go on and on, but deep down you know who you are. Self-Honesty is the most powerful weapon you have against this pathetic, life swallowing, intangible entity. Self-Pity keeps us separated from people, places, things you enjoy, your dreams and your power. It’s all in your head. Get outta there!
Self-Pitying people are amongst the most powerless people I’ve ever met. And the great thing is you don’t have to stay there. From this moment forward, take care of yourself, it’s your absolute birth right to happy. When your sad or having a hard time, feel your feelings, feel sorry for yourself for an allotted amount of time and that’s it! Move up and on! Don’t stay stuck.
- Physical exercise (of course, consult a physician first)
- Become aware of when the self-pity happens. Learn to know when it’s genuine sadness or when you are avoiding responsibility and trying to gain sympathy. (Self-Honesty). The moment you find yourself doing this, STOP! Don’t give your power away like that! Come up with a positive affirmation such as, I AM capable of…, I can…
- Gratitude.Wake up with a sentence that begins with, I AM grateful for…then get up and make a gratitude list first thing. It doesn’t matter if you don’t want to, DO IT! Gratitude is very empowering as I’ve said before.
- Self-Honesty. Your most powerful and useful tool against the self-pity villain.
- Take positive action. Accomplish something. Set goals for yourself. Be productive daily. Keep learning new things. Face your fears. Nothing happens until you take action.
- STOP Blaming everyone else for your life! Make it great and own it! Remember, making mistakes is the way we learn.
- No more demands. Stop acting as if the world owes you something, because the truth is, you owe the world something.
- Perception. Begin to understand that it is your perception that is distorted, not the world.
- Understand the Power of Choice. You always have one. You may not always like your chioces, but you do always have them. They get better, the more you practice positive action.
- Think Positive. If you are thinking negatively STOP! No matter what, negativity is never the right thought. Be gentle and kind with yourself. Only loving thoughts are allowed! Do something positive and esteemable for yourself when this happens. Turn it into a positive.
- Stop calling friends and family and complaining and whining about your life! Get some new material!
- Practice talking positive. Talk about the good things in your life and things that make you happy.
Yes, this may be awkward and uncomfortable at first. GOOOD! That means your practicing new behavior. You should be uncomfortable. Even new beautiful sweaters have to be broken in. The more you practice, the quicker you will become comfortable and the quicker your life will change. The more honest you are with yourself and the more effort you put in, the faster you’ll see result. You will get out what you put into this. You are the one that you will ultimately hurt or help with this. People can tend to get wierd when we decide to change our behaviors, so beware and continue. Your life may be cleaned up of some old stagnate things, but it is only making room for new stuff.Good stuff.
That self-pity and negativity may get stronger at first and try to overcome the good your doing. This is normal. When we start trying to get better, the self-pity villain gets a little pissed off, but it’s only temporary. It may take some time to feel continual relief. It didn’t get this way over night so it won’t change over night. Just keep on keepin’ on. Don’t get discouraged.