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Stop Feeling Sorry for Yourself: 35 Steps to End Self-Pity & Be Your Own Hero

Are you stuck in life and feeling like nothing ever goes right? It’s time to learn how to stop feeling sorry for yourself and get out there! 

how to stop feeling sorry for yourself - self pity

Life has a habit of kicking us when we’re down. Even when things seem to be going well, it’s not easy to shake the idea that something is about to come and rain on our parade. The thing is, life’s just like that, and if you want to drag yourself out of the negative corner and your self-pity, you need to learn how to stop feeling sorry for yourself.

After all, if you believe the law of attraction, you get back what you put out.

Of course, life happens and some things can make us feel down. But allowing yourself to get stuck in a cycle of self-pity does nothing but prolong the agony and prevent good times from rolling. [Read: How to feel better about life – 16 small steps to feel great again]

What is self-pity? And what causes it?

Self-pity basically means that you’re feeling sorry for yourself. It can be because something has happened, you’ve had a run of bad luck, or you’ve allowed yourself to get stuck in a negative cycle of overthinking.

There are many causes of self-pity, including:

1. Critical parenting

2. Abusive parenting

3. Perfectionism [Read: Dating a perfectionist – the things you must know before you date one]

4. Traumatic experiences

5. A run of bad luck

Whatever has caused you to feel down on your luck, it’s important to learn how to stop feeling sorry for yourself so you can drag yourself out of the negative hole you’re in and look forward to brighter times.

Depending on the severity of your situation, you may need help in the process. If that’s the case, never be afraid to reach out.

Asking for help is one of the strongest things you’ll ever do in your life and will allow you to move past your troubles. [Read: Small ways to deal with big changes in your life]

Signs you are feeling sorry for yourself

How can you be sure whether you’re feeling sorry for yourself or you’re just going through a difficult patch?

There is a difference: when you’re going through something, it’s normal to feel a bit down, but when you’re deliberately feeling sorry for yourself, it’s almost like a self-fulfilling prophecy.

These are some of the signs that you might be stuck in a self-pity cycle:

1. Self-inflicted shame [Read: How to deal with guilt and drop the baggage weighing you down]

2. Intrusive negative thoughts

3. Rejecting help from others

4. Deliberately isolating yourself

5. Lack of confidence [Read: 10 signs of low self-esteem and 5 ways to increase it]

Once you’ve identified that you’re stuck in this type of cycle, learning how to stop feeling sorry for yourself is the next step. It won’t be easy, but it’s important to try.

Is it wrong to feel sorry for yourself?

Not at all. However, if you allow it to go on for too long, you’re only fooling yourself.

The longer you wallow in self-pity, the more negative your thoughts will become. It’s very difficult to break the cycle once you’re stuck in it, so wallowing on purpose will do you no good whatsoever.

However, sometimes having a little downtime and reflecting on things that have gone wrong can be useful. This can help you to learn what you could do better next time and what red flags to look out for.

Look, the truth is that feeling sorry for yourself occasionally is part of being human—just don’t let it become a habit. [Read: Overcoming self-doubt – 26 signs and best ways to stop doubting yourself]

Reasons why you should stop feeling sorry for yourself

If you’ve recognized yourself in this feature so far, you might be needing a push to get out of your troubled bubble. In that case, here are some reasons why you should stop feeling sorry for yourself and look on the bright side instead.

1. It’s a waste of energy

Spending time wallowing in negativity means that you’re wasting your energy. You could be doing fun things and enjoying life instead. Feeling down is more exhausting than you might think. [Read: 32 secrets to be present and live in the moment when life is speeding past you]

2. You’re only hurting yourself

In the end, the only person who is suffering here is you. You’re kicking yourself while you’re down for no reason whatsoever.

3. You’re preventing yourself from taking responsibility

When you’re wallowing, you’re not doing anything about the situation. So, in essence, you’re preventing yourself from working out what the problem is and taking action. It’s self-sabotage.

4. It’s harder to form meaningful relationships

One of the main reasons why you need to learn how to stop feeling sorry for yourself is because your current situation is blocking you from meeting people and forming solid relationships with them.

You probably don’t think you deserve to meet such people, and when you do, your negative attitude pushes them away. But how are you ever meant to break that cycle and feel better if you push companionship away? [Read: 33 easy ways to meet new people and widen your social circle effortlessly]

5. It’s preventing you from moving on

Feeling stuck over a particular event or emotion simply stops you from moving on and looking toward brighter times. You might not think such times are possible, but trust us, they are.

6. It’s stopping you from finding happiness

When you’re constantly feeling sorry for yourself, how do you have the time or energy to be happy? Even a smile is difficult, and if you manage it, it’s likely to be fake.

7. It makes it harder to take action

The longer you remain stuck in this negative cycle, the harder it will be to move past it. Of course, it’s still possible, but the more down and negative you become, the more difficult it is to pick yourself back up again. [Read: How to get your life back on track after a big change]

8. You’re becoming bitter

Feeling this way over a period of time is very likely to make you feel quite bitter. You’re probably wondering how everyone else manages to paste on a smile and not have a care in the world. Well, they do have cares, but they’re not feeling sorry for themselves either.

9. It’s making it harder to stay motivated

The more down you become, the less you want to do. You’ll find that motivation is pretty hard to summon up, and when that happens, the cycle becomes even deeper. [Read: 36 secrets to motivate yourself to achieve anything your heart desires]

10. It’s preventing you from growing

You need to learn how to stop feeling sorry for yourself because it’s holding you back in a massive way. You can’t grow and develop if you’re always stuck in a negative cycle. It’s time to break free.

Now, we know what you’re thinking—sometimes you can’t help feeling down or sorry for yourself because what caused you to feel that way was out of your control. That’s true. But remember that you always have more control than you think.

You might not have had a say in whatever happened, but you do get a say in whatever comes next. [Read: 16 secrets to get your shit together when you feel really stuck in life]

How to stop feeling sorry for yourself

There is a point in life when we all need to have a pity party and let people come and give us the empathy we need. But, every party should end. Eventually, you need to find the strength to give it up and move forward.

Instead of accepting defeat and throwing in the towel, staying perpetually sorry for yourself, try these pick-me-up tricks to find the inner luck that you just don’t see right now.

1. Hang out with someone shallow

It is easy to feel sorry for yourself when you are a very emotional or highly sensitive person. The best way to not feel sorry for yourself is to hang out with someone with no depth.

It is much better to feel sadness and go through a hard time than to walk through life without feeling or really caring about anything genuine. Shallow people make people with depth feel pretty good about where they are at. [Read: 46 shallow traits a superficial person who’ll only use and discard you]

2. Visit a children’s hospital

Sorry, but nothing makes someone feel less sorry for themselves than going to visit or helping at a children’s ward at the hospital.

When you realize there is always someone worse off, especially children who haven’t even had time to really experience and live yet, your problems seem less critical.

3. Volunteer

If you really want to make your journey towards not feeling sorry for yourself productive, then try volunteering. It works in the same way for you as visiting a children’s hospital, only you get to actually help someone at the same time.

Volunteering is a great way to find that you are not the most unfortunate soul out there, even if it feels that way sometimes. [Read: Pay it forward – 20 positive ways to create a chain of goodwill]

4. Count your many blessings

Stop looking at all your struggles and take a look around to find those positive things in your life. Whether it is your good friends, a house over your head, or a spouse there to love you, we all have blessings that we sometimes diminish by seeing only the dark side.

If you want to know how to stop feeling sorry for yourself, it is about seeing all you do have instead of what you don’t.

5. Unplug yourself from social media

Social media isn’t real. All it does is make you feel like everyone else’s life is awesome, and yours sucks. Remember, not that many people post their misery. They post the best selfies, talk about the good things they have, and celebrate their many gifts and accolades.

But, everyone has bad days. Everyone experiences tragedy, and everyone goes through periods of sadness—we just don’t put them on the internet for all to see.

If you stop comparing yourself to what isn’t real, you just might find that you really don’t have things so bad. [Read: Social media detox – the ways to wean yourself off social media]

6. Spend the day with someone special

Do you have someone in your life who always makes you feel good? Reconnect with them! Sometimes, it just takes a day to turn your week around.

Make a commitment to stay in touch with the people who care about you and act as an incentive to make you feel good.

7. Do something nice for someone else

Do something nice for someone else. Whether you do something small, like doing the washing up for your partner, or something extravagant, like buying your mother the expensive thing she’s always wanted, it doesn’t matter.

Just try doing one thing a day to put a smile on someone else’s face.

Not only will it give you a little boost of good feeling, but it also helps you brighten someone else’s day. Talk about a win-win situation. [Read: 34 qualities of a good person and big benefits of being a nice human being]

8. Set a goal

It is hard to feel sorry for yourself when you have your eyes on the prize. Instead of sitting around ruminating about something that happened or feeling bad about something in the past, make a goal for yourself and work each day to achieve it.

Whether running a marathon or completing your undergraduate degree, if you start moving forward, it will be impossible to sink. [Read: How to be a good person and 32 ways to transform into a better human]

9. Change one small thing every day

Sometimes, we try too hard to change ourselves. We end up failing because we are creatures of habit, and it becomes too hard to change.

Make a commitment to change one small thing about yourself and your situation every day. It only has to be a one percent change.

If you make continual and constant small changes, they’ll not only be easier to stick to, but they’ll quickly add up to happiness.

10. Figure out what your purpose is

Feeling sorry for ourselves sometimes stems from not really understanding why we are here. Suffering for suffering’s sake is a very hopeless concept.

If you understand your purpose in life and see suffering as not just random, but intentional and necessary, it helps you to stop feeling sorry for yourself. You’ll understand that what you go through is a necessary component of your time here on Earth.

That makes it easier to accept and find the silver lining lurking in every situation. [Read: What is the point of life? Secrets to decode the cosmic joke]

11. Join a support group

Misery loves company not because it creates more misery, but because company makes you feel less alone and sad.

If you recognize you are not the only one going through a struggle and you find support from people who “get it,” your sense of community will push past the pity.

12. Find a cause to support

If you can’t seem to get yourself out of a rut then immerse yourself in helping pick someone else out of theirs. Instead of sinking in your own situation, find a cause you believe in and change someone else’s life for the better. [Read: How to feel better about yourself – 20 small changes for big results]

13. If therapy isn’t for you, don’t go

What happens at therapy? You rehash all the bad things you have been through, over and over and over and over. Talking through things doesn’t make them disappear. For some people, it just makes them relive the events again, never able to reconcile or let them go.

Therapy might work for some, and if that’s you, keep going. But if it is just a time to purge and it gets you nowhere, then move on.

14. Don’t hang out with people who make you feel worse

For every person who feels sorry for themselves, there are five who thrive on that self-pity. If you are someone who other people feed off of because they thank their lucky stars they aren’t you, then they feed your monster. You feed theirs.

Knowing how to stop feeling sorry for yourself means you stop hanging out with people who feel sorry for you. They aren’t helping. They might be the thing keeping you stuck. [Read: How to say no – 15 ways to reason politely, stop pleasing, and feel kickass]

15. Forgive yourself and your past, and leave it there

Sometimes we feel sorry for ourselves because we can’t forgive others who wronged us or even forgive ourselves. But you must forgive to move forward. Let the past be the past.

Only by letting go of whatever you feel sorry for yourself about can you find the hopeful inner you. Instead of pitying yourself, celebrate your time here. [Read: How to stop ruminating – 18 ways to leave your past and live your future]

16. Find the root cause and hold yourself accountable

Of course, to forgive yourself, you first need to look toward the root cause. What is making you feel this way and what can you do about it? If you’re to blame for something, how can you fix it?

Accountability is key if you want to move past something.

17. Build your mental strength

Sometimes we have to really push past something to get over it, and it’s hard to do. If you want to learn how to stop feeling sorry for yourself, it will help if you can build your mental strength first.

Doing so will help you to avoid persistent negative thoughts and build motivation for change. [Read: 45 secrets to be more positive and fill your mind with positive emotions 24/7]

18. Embrace the emotion

This is probably not what you expected to hear, but sometimes you have to really feel the emotion to move past it. It’s no good ignoring it—it wants to be heard! So, give it a few minutes of your time, embrace it, understand what’s causing it, and then put it away.

19. Love yourself

When you learn to love yourself, negativity will find it hard to seep in. Practice self-care and recognize all the wonderful things about yourself. They’re in there!

20. Ask for help

In the end, it might be that you can’t drag yourself out of your self-pity without some help. In that case, ask for it. Whether you reach out to family and/or friends or you see a professional, do what feels right for you and what works for you. [Read: Relationship counseling – signs you need it to save your love]

The pity party doesn’t have to go on forever

When bad things happen in life or when you simply feel down on your luck, it can often feel like it’s dragging on forever. But it’s just the way you’re looking at it.

You’re the one in control here. You might not think so, but it’s true. Learning how to stop feeling sorry for yourself requires proclivity. So, make a pact with yourself and decide that you’re going to make a change.

You can do it!

[Read: 19 life quotes to motivate you to live a better life]

If you can find meaning in life and stop feeling as if everything is out of your control, you might see that suffering is never in vain. Realizing everyone around you will suffer is how to stop feeling sorry for yourself.

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Vinod Srinivas Serai
Vin Serai
Vin Serai is the founder of LovePanky.com, and has delved deep into the working of love and relationships for almost two decades. Having dipped his feet in almo...