7 Tips for Dealing with Self-Pity

About 4 minutes to read

Dealing with self-pity is not always straightforward and if you’re anything like me, you might be a little intolerant towards self-pity, both your own and that of others.  In fact, I have a mindset of “suck it up and get on with it.”  However today I can’t just “suck it up” and am feeling huge amounts of self-pity.  Now I’m not writing about this because I want you to feel sorry for me.  Hell no!  The point of this post is to share seven tips for dealing with self-pity.  The fact is we all experience self-pity at some stage in our lives and while we might feel resistance to this negative emotion, it is a part of our emotional palette.

So why my momentary woe is me attitude?  Until now, I’ve heard how impressed people are by my positive attitude and the way I am handling my broken ankle and until this morning, I felt this was true until a cloud of self-pity descended.  You know the type – you ready the sackcloth and ashes hire a bevy of weeping wailers, remain ensconced in your bed, covers over your head playing out your drama, perhaps weeping a bucket two.

Let me be clear about this, I am not dying, my ankle is broken but healing, I have food, clothing, and shelter, and yet the amount of self-pity I feel outweighs the gratitude I know I should have, and how does that make me feel?  Honestly… irritable, annoyed, in a state of resistance and the list goes on.

I believe that our free choice is our greatest gift, so as I was having this drama filled, madness infused conversation with myself I asked, “Is this how you are choosing to feel and behave.”  I am on my own, nobody needs to know, what difference does it make if I spend my day in self-pity or not?  Then I realised the truth, I was feeling self-pity but my resistance to my emotions was bringing me no peace, instead all I received was a bevy of other negative emotions.  I realised that I needed to simply SHUT UP and allow myself to feel.

I believe in living in the NOW and yet I know this is one of the hardest things to do.  There are so many distractions on every level and I easily become consumed by them.  It was when I decided to surrender to this moment, and allow myself to be that I could implement these tips to help me deal with my sorry state.

Acknowledge Your Self-Pity and Be Self-Aware

Often times, especially when we perceive our emotions as negative, we wish to flee them or find a Band-Aid to assuage the pain and do not allow ourselves to feel.  Don’t try to run away from it, or hide from it or resist it.  Simply acknowledge it.

Ask What Is Your Self-Pity Trying To Show You

Perhaps you have been unwilling to acknowledge a painful situation in your life; you may have a physical ailment or perhaps have neglected yourself spiritually.  Take some time to ask the question, what is being shown to you.

Are You A Victim?

Look at the story that you have constructed around your self-pity.  There will definitely be many salient facts to the story you tell yourself but have you placed yourself in the Leading Role as Victim.  The longer we remain a victim in our story, the longer we remain unempowered to deal with whatever is troubling us.  A victim will always see the glass as being half-empty, is this the case for you?

Practice Compassion with Yourself

It is 100% OK to feel self-pity.  This is actually one of the thousands of emotions that we experience throughout our lives.  The question is, when you are in a low state are you going to beat yourself up, or treat yourself with compassion.  I think we are often great caregivers towards others displaying empathy, sympathy, and compassion but often completely neglect ourselves.  Without first practicing, and mastering, the art of compassion and kindness towards ourselves, we can’t effectively be compassionate towards others.

Make a Choice – Acceptance, Change or Continued Self-Pity

Everything in life is dependent on the choices we make.  Therefore, you can choose to remain in self-pity indefinitely or you can be grateful that it has shown up, accept the circumstances you find yourself in and decide to make a change.  Sometimes we cannot change the situation and the only way out of it is through it, but how we choose to get through it will make all the difference.

Practice Gratitude

Who the hell wants to be grateful for self-pity?  Well I do.  On days like today, it is good to feel emotion, revisit my beliefs and values, and evaluate my life from a different perspective.  Gratitude is the one attitude that when practiced will bring us through all situations.

Remember impermanence

It is crucial to remember that everything is impermanent and changing.  While there may be moments that seem to be overwhelming or painful or even ecstatic and glorious, everything changes.  This is the ebb and flow of life.  When I allow for and accept the impermanence of everything; I can enjoy this moment that much more – even when it’s filled with self-pity.

Do you have any tips for dealing with self-pity?  Drop them in the comments box.

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