Self-pity promotes inaction and acts as a gateway to learned helplessness and depression.
People who frequently indulge in self-pity see themselves as controlled by both chance and by others who they see as more powerful than they are.
With respect to anger expression, self-pity is primarily related to anger-in.
People who feel sorry for themselves internalize their anger instead of expressing it.
They ruminate, or obsess over what went wrong and why it’s “not fair,” instead of taking action to make things better.
While these thoughts might feel comforting at the time, they lead to bigger problems.
The key to avoiding this kind of useless behavior is building up your defenses against.
Here are three ways to stop feeling self-pity now…
1. Stop apologizing all the time (let others take their own blame).
Quite saying “sorry” when you shouldn’t.
Look–everyone wants you to apologize for everything.
We’re taught from a young age that saying “I’m sorry” is the right thing to do.
It’s the adult thing to do.
This isn’t always true.
Always apologizing for yourself makes you mentally weak.
Apologizing is a breeding ground for self-pity.
When you constantly apologize, you communicate to both yourself and the outside world that you’re always wrong.
This acts to lower your self-esteem and damage your integrity.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should never apologize.
If you did something legitimately wrong or failed to deliver, own up to it, learn from it, and move on.
But if you’re apologizing for your beliefs, your desires, your goals, your past, or who you are at your core—stop it.
2. Express anger appropriately (quit bottling it up).
Too many people cry about anger being a damaging emotion.
“It will ruin your health!”
This is nonsense.
Anger is only damaging to you when you don’t express it.
It’s only damaging when you don’t know how to manage it and channel it productively.
Self-pity is poison, not anger.
Other studies show that anger both encourages people to believe they can control their future and then motivates them to take risks.
In other words, anger primes you for action.
This is a good thing.
3. Say “no” when you feel like it (don’t be a pushover).
People who always say “yes” are pushovers.
They also rarely have any solid goals of their own.
Think about it—if you’re always agreeing to help other people push their agendas forward, you have no time to push your own agenda forward.
Maybe this is okay with you though.
Maybe you don’t have any agenda of your own to push forward.
This is what a lot of people are like.
They don’t have any solid goals of their own so they hide behind caring about other people more than themselves.
In reality, these people don’t really care about others more than you or I, they just don’t have any personal goals of their own.
Successful people say “no.”
Saying “no” eliminates stress and makes you more dependable.
Saying “no” also makes you more productive and more creative. Start saying “no” to other people’s agendas.
Start saying “no” to feeling sorry for yourself. Instead, say yes to yourself and your own personal goals.
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