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Why and How to Let Go of Your Self Pity

Why and How to Let Go of Your Self Pity

Dwelling on your misfortunes won’t make them go away (and it won’t make you feel any better). If you want to move on with your life but aren’t sure how, please consider these thought exercises that might help you let go of self-pity.

Even the most terrible storms pass in time.

“Believe that life is worth living and your belief will help create the fact.” ― William James

Self pity is a waste of your precious energy. No matter how terrible your life might seem, they are only as bad as you allow them to become in your mind. Please don’t allow yourself to become paralyzed by negative thoughts like, “Oh my God, there are so many things to do that I don’t know where to start,” because then you will, ironically, make a bad situation worse by putting everything off. Simply pick ONE action that you could realistically accomplish today, no matter how insignificant it might seem, and get it done. If you do that a bunch of times in a row, magical things can and will happen.

Throwing pity parties is counterproductive.

“The problem that we have with a victim mentality is that we forget to see the blessings of the day. Because of this, our spirit is poisoned instead of nourished.” ― Steve Maraboli

Writing this article made me think of a dark time where I found myself stuck in the trap of self-pity. Without getting into particulars, let’s just say I made a poor investment that didn’t pay off, had a few clients leave my online coaching program, and got hit with some unexpected bills (big ones involving car mechanics and power companies), all at the SAME time! Of course, I was right to be frustrated (who wouldn’t be?), but I allowed that feeling to spiral out of control until I became so emotionally devastated that I wasted more time in a depressed funk than I would like to admit.

Talk through the problem with a person you trust.

“There are no facts, only interpretations.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche

After a few dreadful days where I didn’t do anything but pity myself, I finally found the guts to approach a trusted friend for advice. It was hard to be vulnerable, because admitting how bad things got so quickly made me feel like a huge loser, but I’m so glad I did it. He assured me that everything would be okay, offered suggestions about how I might make some extra income to ease the pain, and even told me a story about how he once found himself in a similar situation. Talking through the problem with a friend helped me shift my perspective. Instead of seeing myself as a powerless victim, I now saw myself as a person who the potential to take control of the situation.

Choose the thoughts you dwell on very carefully.

“A man is but the product of his thoughts. What he thinks, he becomes.” ― Mahatma Gandhi

My shift in perspective gave me the encouragement I needed to crawl out from my self-imposed exile to the land of self-pity, but I’m not going to lie… there were still moments (lots of them) where I’d notice negativity trying to sneak up on me in the form of thoughts like:

  • “Why bother? You know you’re just going to screw it all up again anyway.”
  • “Do you really believe anyone cares what you think? No one wants to listen to a failure.”
  • “When you think things are turning around, you’ll find yourself in another situation just like this one.”

Do any of those thoughts sound familiar? If so, don’t feel like there is something “wrong” with you. We all struggle with our own mental monsters, and doubt is a common one that I know very well. I’ve discovered that these thoughts have no control over me as long as I don’t dwell on them. Don’t stop to consider every thought that runs through your head. Only reflect on the thoughts that empower you to achieve your purpose; otherwise, it’s not worth a moment of consideration.

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If you know anyone who might be having a tough time getting over self-pity, please feel free to share this article.

Featured photo credit: Memories of those days/Laura Cores via flickr.com

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Daniel Wallen

Freelance Writer

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Last Updated on January 18, 2019

7 Ways To Deal With Negative People

7 Ways To Deal With Negative People

Some people will have a rain cloud hanging over them, no matter what the weather is outside. Their negative attitude is toxic to your own moods, and you probably feel like there is little you can do about it.

But that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

If you want to effectively deal with negative people and be a champion of positivity, then your best route is to take definite action through some of the steps below.

1. Limit the time you spend with them.

First, let’s get this out of the way. You can be more positive than a cartoon sponge, but even your enthusiasm has a chance of being afflicted by the constant negativity of a friend.

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In fact, negativity has been proven to damage your health physically, making you vulnerable to high levels of stress and even cardiac disease. There’s no reason to get hurt because of someone else’s bad mood.

Though this may be a little tricky depending on your situation, working to spend slightly less time around negative people will keep your own spirits from slipping as well.

2. Speak up for yourself.

Don’t just absorb the comments that you are being bombarded with, especially if they are about you. It’s wise to be quick to listen and slow to speak, but being too quiet can give the person the impression that you are accepting what’s being said.

3. Don’t pretend that their behavior is “OK.”

This is an easy trap to fall into. Point out to the person that their constant negativity isn’t a good thing. We don’t want to do this because it’s far easier to let someone sit in their woes, and we’d rather just stay out of it.

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But if you want the best for this person, avoid giving the false impression that their negativity is normal.

4. Don’t make their problems your problems.

Though I consider empathy a gift, it can be a dangerous thing. When we hear the complaints of a friend or family member, we typically start to take on their burdens with them.

This is a bad habit to get into, especially if this is a person who is almost exclusively negative. These types of people are prone to embellishing and altering a story in order to gain sympathy.

Why else would they be sharing this with you?

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5. Change the subject.

When you suspect that a conversation is starting to take a turn for the negative, be a champion of positivity by changing the subject. Of course, you have to do this without ignoring what the other person said.

Acknowledge their comment, but move the conversation forward before the euphoric pleasure gained from complaining takes hold of either of you.

6. Talk about solutions, not problems.

Sometimes, changing the subject isn’t an option if you want to deal with negative people, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still be positive.

I know that when someone begins dumping complaints on me, I have a hard time knowing exactly what to say. The key is to measure your responses as solution-based.

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You can do this by asking questions like, “Well, how could this be resolved?” or, “How do you think they feel about it?”

Use discernment to find an appropriate response that will help your friend manage their perspectives.

7. Leave them behind.

Sadly, there are times when we have to move on without these friends, especially if you have exhausted your best efforts toward building a positive relationship.

If this person is a family member, you can still have a functioning relationship with them, of course, but you may still have to limit the influence they have over your wellbeing.

That being said, what are some steps you’ve taken to deal with negative people? Let us know in the comments.

You may also want to read: How to Stop the Negative Spin of Thoughts, Emotions and Actions.

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