Life is unfair so there are more than a few reasons to have a pity party. I’ve stood at the bedside of a child dying
of cancer; and with a woman who lost her children in a nasty divorce; and with a family who lost their mother and father in a single car-crash.
You too have reasons to pity yourself, some worse than those above, and some not near as bad. Go ahead and list your reasons for pity if you want.`
What is self pity? It is obsessive relentless thoughts about a situation where you see yourself as a victim and you feel frustration, anger and betrayal. Self pity stymies any healing and keeps you from moving on with your life. Self pity’s worse side effect is that your family and friends start avoiding you because you’re such miserable company. Beware of self pity as it is a personally destructive habit as addictive as a narcotic and as caustic as a poison.
If you are living in self pity, apply these steps to pretty yourself rather than pity yourself:
Step One: Wallow awhile in your sorrow, then give it up. Cry, grieve, grumble, vent, whine, and bellyache until you’ve exhausted every reason to complain. Get it out and get it over with.
Step Two: Get real. Analyze what really happened. Not what you THINK happened, but what really did happen. Talk to someone who can help you view the event with clear, unbiased eyes.
Step Three: Now, try something new. The rut of self pity can be destructive and keep you from moving forward. Make an effort to try something new regularly. Try a new food, take a class, learn a new skill, and meet new people. Put the focus on the prettier version of yourself – it helps take the focus away from what you pity.
Step Four: Give up something harmful. Get rid of an old bad habit or destructive behavior, and replace it with a new one. If you regularly run late for appointments, make it a goal to set your alarm twenty minutes earlier or always leave 15 minutes sooner. If television eats up your entire evening, unplug it and create a new habit of reading a book.
Step Five: Notice the good in others and compliment them. As you encourage others you will encourage yourself. As you do, you will learn to have more grace for yourself; and, who knows, maybe those same people will begin to encourage you. Want a compliment; give a compliment.
Step Six: Take responsibility for all your actions. Don’t make excuses for bad acts – it’s just another form of self-pity. Discover your strengths and find ways to build on them.
Step Seven: Make a list. Don’t let pity overcome you, but organize and prioritize your life in a way that makes sense. This will help you feel productive and motivate you to do more.
Step Eight: Be you; don’t try to be someone else. You may see characteristics in others which you want to pursue, that’s good. But your goal should be to be a better version of you, not a lesser version of someone else.
Helen Keller said, “Self-pity is our worst enemy and if we yield to it, we can never do anything wise in this world.” You want to do more than feel sorry for yourself all day – you want to be all that God has intended you to be. So start today to pretty yourself; don’t pity yourself.
- What Could Possibly Go Right? Don’t Retreat – Reload
- Don’t Be Someone Else, Be Yourself