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Some thoughts on Self Pity

Posted Sep 25 2008 4:00am
To experience self pity is to feel sorry for yourself

Self pity tends to be stultifying and inactive and can be likened to being caught in quicksand, slowly wallowing,
then drowning in a morass of shame, self doubt and negative self talk.


self pity Self Pity is a very powerful emotion.

When we are caught in self pity, we rarely express it to others as in:
"I am feeling sorry for myself."

Instead, we tell the story of the situation that has happened to us, and which provokes the feeling, and our over-riding self pity encourages the listener to collude, or join together, with us.

Collusion in self pity is like forming a conspiracy together.

The self pity needs to be fed in order to exist, so it requires complicity and agreement, both from within us and from others, in order to stay alive.

This in turn, fuels our sense of pity for ourselves, keeping us trapped.

  As the old saying goes,
“Misery loves Company”


Because this powerful feeling of self pity evokes a reciprocal response from others, then treading the pity path can become a powerful habit.

As with all habits, if it is indulged and well fed it can become tenacious and prevent us from choosing a better pathway.

Choice is a gateway which opens many possibilities for action.

Unfortunately when we go through the gateway and tread our way down the path to self pity, we prevent ourselves from seeing the other gate which leads to the pathway marked positive action, understanding and contentment.

Sometimes the habit of self pity becomes deeply entrenched and we fail to recognise that we have fallen into the pit of feeling sorry for ourselves.

However, once we recognise that we have this tendency to deal with situations in this way, we can often detect when we are swimming in the pity pool and haul ourselves painfully out of it, after swimming for a while.

An effective tool is to write it all down, under the heading, “I Feel Sorry for Myself because......”

Put the list aside overnight and read it out to yourself the next day. Often you can see more clearly that some of these ideas can be dealt with through action, or through grief, some through talking them out, some can just be crossed off the list, while others incur horrible embarrassment.
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