What Is Self Pity How to Overcome It

What Is Self Pity How to Overcome It

What is self pity and how to overcome it is the main focus of this article. So, if you want to learn how to let go of this self-destructive trait, then you are in the right place.

In addition to the tips we share, do speak to family and friend to help you navigate this  , consider seeking professional help from a therapist or counsellor as well.

Constantly feeling sorry for yourself is one of the surest and fastest ways to demoralize yourself.

Self-pity is a very negative trait that can sap off every positivity in your life.

The sad truth about life is that it is not meant to be a walk in the park on a sunny day.

There will be good days, and there will be days you feel like staying cooped up all day in your room.

When bad things happen, it is often easy to feel sorry for oneself and dwell on all the negatives.

But doing this will not do you any good.

Instead, it may result in more trouble.

Luckily, you can choose how you react when life throws a ball at you.

You can decide to stop feeling sorry for yourself and take charge of your situation to make the most out of it.

Thankfully, this article is here to guide you on how to go about this…

What is Self-Pity?

Self-pity is feeling extremely sorry for yourself and the things going on in your life.

It is feeling like you are having it worst at life; like your life is miserable.

Sometimes, someone feeling self-pity may even believe that they deserve the bad things happening to them.

So, they spend their time wallowing in the past and constantly feeling sorry for themselves.

The truth is, at one point or the other, something may happen that might make you feel self-pity.

And sometimes, this self-pity can be used to your advantage to change your situation for the better.

But it becomes bad when self-pity turns into a habit.

When you can’t stop feeling sorry for yourself even when the littlest of inconveniences pops up, that is when you have a problem.

And that is when you need to put a stop to this destructive trait.

Knowing what self-pity is also means knowing what it is not.

Some people tend to confuse self-pity with depression; however, self-pity isn’t depression.

Self-pity can be an offshoot of depression; meaning, you can start to experience self-pity because you are depressed.

However, a person can be experiencing self-pity but may not be depressed.

Self-Pity Signs – What is Self Pity How to Overcome It

Self-pity is sometimes very difficult to recognize, especially by the person experiencing it.

The people around you may notice your tendency to this habit, but may not say anything because they do not want to hurt your feelings.

And sometimes, when they eventually say something about it, it is because they cannot stand it anymore.

Because of this, they may harshly tell you to get a hold of yourself.

This can push you further into your sorry state.

This is why you should be able to tell by yourself whether or not you are self-pitying.

There are several signs that people experiencing self-pity exhibit.

So, you just need to know these signs and watch out for them in yourself.

That being said, the following are some signs that you are self-pitying.

 You are Constantly Craving Sympathy

If you find yourself constantly looking for sympathy from other people, wanting them to tell you sorry, and give you a shoulder to cry on, then you may be self-pitying.

A major reason a lot of people develop the habit of self-pity is because of how people treat them at that moment.

Self-pity may make you feel supported, loved, pampered, and cared for.

You may get addicted to this feeling and before you know it, you find yourself constantly craving it.

So, you make up reasons to feel bad about yourself so people can comfort you.

You Take Life Too Seriously

Life will give you lemons.

The odds may be against you at some point.

You may find yourself in some really silly situations.

But, how do you react to them?

For example, let’s say you got home after a long day at work and then realize that you left your house key on your desk at the office.

How do you react to this?

Can you see the absurdity in the whole situation and laugh about it?

Or do you start to feel like the whole world is against you and there’s nothing little poor you can do about it?

If you often take life too seriously so much so that you cannot laugh at certain situations that you find yourself in, you may have the habit of feeling sorry for yourself.

You Constantly Dwell on the Past

Do you find yourself reliving the past and thinking of the misfortune that happened to you back then?

That is one of the obvious indications of self-pity.

Yes, something terrible happened.

It cost you a lot and perhaps you are yet to recover from it.

But what good would constantly thinking of it do?

If you can’t move on from the situation and try to make it better, you will just be tormenting yourself and wallowing in self-pity.

Low Self-Esteem – What is Self Pity How to Overcome It

Having low self-esteem does not automatically mean you are experiencing self-pity.

However, it might be a clear sign if you try to use your sob stories to make people feel sorry for you and make you temporarily feel good about yourself.

The affection and acceptance you feel at that point may give you the temporary pleasure that will make you feel a boost in your esteem.

You Think You Do Not Deserve Love – What is Self Pity How to Overcome It

Thinking you aren’t worthy or you are underserving of love is not something you may readily admit to yourself.

But if you take a deeper look at your feeling, you may realize that somewhere deep down in your mind, you don’t think you deserve love.

Even though this thought isn’t at the forefront of your mind, it will still affect your mind.

You may find yourself pushing away those that love you.

And alienate yourself from others so that you have enough time to feel sorry about your life.

Other signs that you may be self-pitying include:


  • Are self-absorbed
  • Blame yourself for things you possibly had no control over
  • Are always melancholic and brooding
  • Constantly feel like a failure
  • Think you deserve to experience bad things
  • Feel that you can’t change
  • Don’t believe it when people compliment you; you often see it as them simply being nice to you
  • Are convinced that people do not genuinely like you

Why You Need to Let Go of Self-Pity – What is Self Pity How to Overcome It

Self-pity is a very destructive habit that can significantly affect your life quality.

Some people with this habit often feel like there is no need to try to overcome it.

After all, they believe they deserve to feel this way.

They believe nobody understands what they are going through.

Therefore, they cannot help them get over it.

The only way they can deal with this is if they spend all their time thinking of how sorry their lives are.

This is what makes this habit a very destructive one.

But if you have been thinking this way, it is about time you had a mental shift.

Because there is nothing self-pity can do for you; it is one of the most futile emotions there is if you constantly dwell on it.

Self-pity will strip you of your confidence and energy.

It will make you feel other unwanted emotions like helplessness, anxiety, sadness, and hurt.

It can also affect your physical health in so many ways; it can cause strokes and heart attacks.

You won’t have the zeal to make your situation better because deep down you think you deserve it.

And even if you feel like you can do better, you most likely won’t have the energy to do anything to help your situation.

You will only be causing more harm to yourself if you decide to wallow in self-pity.

So, you need to decide to let go of this destructive habit.

This is the only way you can take charge of your life and make the best out of it.

Tips on How to Overcome Self-Pity – What is Self Pity How to Overcome It

Now that you have seen how destructive self-pity can be, it most likely has strengthened your resolve to let go of this habit.

Luckily, you can do this by following the tips that will be shared in this section of this article.

However, you should know that self-pity is just like any other habit.

You can’t just overcome it overnight.

It requires patience and determination.

Sometimes, you may feel yourself slipping back into your old habit despite your effort. 

This is completely normal, so, you should not beat yourself up about it.

Instead, retrace your steps and keep trying to overcome this habit.

And with time, you’d see that you have.

With that being said, here are 6 tips on how you can overcome self-pity

1. Show Yourself Compassion

When something bad or unwanted happens to you, how do you deal with it?

Do you grin and tell yourself to be strong and it’s nothing you can’t handle?

If this is how you face unwanted situations, then perhaps you need a change.

When something does not turn out how you wanted it to, know that it is okay to feel sad about things like this.

Don’t beat down your true emotion and replace it with a faux positive outlook.

Instead, connect with your emotions and accept the way you actually feel at that point.

Comfort yourself the way you would comfort a close friend.

If you have to, don’t hesitate to ask your loved ones for support; allow them to be there for you.

When you handle bad situations this way, the chances of you feeling sorry for yourself after will significantly reduce.

This is because you have faced your emotions rather than bottled them up.

So, they won’t just pop out of the blue, 3 months later to make you feel terrible about yourself.

2. Know When to Stop Feeling Sad

As much as it is good to face your emotions and let yourself feel them, you should learn not to dwell on them.

Genuinely feeling hurt and sad about something can fast become self-pity if you do not know when to stop.

Because you feel good about letting out your pain and having people there to support you, you may slip into self-pity to keep this feeling.

But this will just make you feel more pain and can even hurt those around you too.

If you are always down and feeling sorry for yourself, some people may avoid being around you.

Some people may even try to hide their happiness around you because they think it will make you feel bad.

And because they have to be melancholic too to match the mood when you are around, they may start avoiding you.

So, before it gets to the point where you start making people feel uncomfortable around you, learn to put yourself together.

Understand the pain your self-pity will cause to both you and others.

And know when to stop feeling sorry for yourself.

You are not subservient to your emotions; they are subservient to you.

So, always remember that you can control how you feel and you can firmly decide to stop feeling a certain way.

3. Practice Meditation and Mindfulness – What is Self Pity How to Overcome It

Meditation and mindfulness are among the best ways to become more self-aware.

And self-awareness can go a long way in helping you overcome self-pity.

When you are self-aware, you can easily recognize your thought patterns.

You can realize when you are slipping into self-pity and you can stop yourself from going down that rabbit hole.

Meditation and mindfulness will help you see your thoughts for what they really are, just thoughts.

And since your thoughts go on in your mind, and they are solely yours, you can condition your mind to stop them before they have the chance of becoming something bigger.

4. Practice Gratitude – What is Self Pity How to Overcome It

A lot of people find themselves in the web of self-pity because they only see the negatives.

They are fast to recognize when bad things are happening but they never see the good things.

And because they make it a habit to lose sight of the good things, they often feel like nothing good is happening to them and their life is just misery.

So, you need to make yourself see the good things that are happening to you too.

Also, make it a habit to be grateful for these things.

It does not necessarily have to be an enormously good thing.

You could be thankful for the help your friend rendered to you today.

Or for how bright the day is on the day you decided to take a road trip.

Focusing on the positives (regardless of how small they are) can help you let go of your often negative thoughts.

Visit here to learn more about how to stop focusing on the negative. 

5. Stop Victimizing Yourself – What is Self Pity How to Overcome It

One of the major reasons people tend to feel self-pity is because of their victim mentality.

It is often easier to victimize oneself and push the blame for how you feel on something or someone else.

When you are a victim, you will have this feel-good feeling because being a victim means you have to be rescued.

And a lot of people may try to rescue you.

This in turn will make you feel loved, supported, and significant.

But with time, it becomes a habit and you become the victim always in need of saving.

Before time, those rescuing you will become tired of this pattern.

You may lose good friends and a great support system just because of your addiction to wanting to feel loved.

So, stop playing the victim.

Decide to stop victimizing yourself at the slightest chance.

Handle your problems like an adult and learn to see your fault in any circumstance you find yourself.

Learn to take responsibility for it and try to make the best out of it.

6. Unstuck Yourself from the Web of Self-Pity by Asking the Right Questions

Trying to understand a situation by asking ourselves questions is a typical human trait.

However, the kind of questions you ask yourself can make all the difference in how you react to situations.

When something bad happens to you, you may find yourself asking a lot of “Why” questions.

“Why do I have to go through this?”, “Why did he do that to me?”, “Why am I the only one this keeps happening to?”

But these kinds of questions won’t do you any good.

They will just make you feel sorry for yourself.

This is because these questions are wrong and low quality and so, your mind will give answers befitting them.

When you ask, “Why am I the only one this keeps happening to?”, your mind will tell you it’s because you aren’t good enough.

When you ask “why did he do that to me?”, your mind will tell you it’s because he does not like you.

And just like that, you will find yourself feeding your self-doubt and in no time, you’d start feeling like a failure and feeling sorry for yourself.

So, instead of asking these wrong questions, ask yourself the right ones.

Instead of asking “why”, ask “when”, “how”, and “what”.

For instance;

“How can I do things differently to get a better result?”

“When do I see him and tell him how his actions hurt me?”

Questions like these offer solutions to the problem and will help you move on faster than if you keep asking why.

Conclusion on What is Self Pity How to Overcome It

Yes, feeling sorry for your situation can help you change that situation and make the best out of it.

But when you constantly feel sorry for yourself, you risk becoming stuck in your pity party.

You won’t be able to do anything to help your situation and you may even chase away those that may have helped you become better.

Self-pity can affect both your mental and physical health and can significantly affect your life quality.

In addition to the tips we shared, do speak to family and friend to help you navigate this  , consider seeking professional help from a therapist or counsellor as well.