Have you ever thought “Why do bad things only happen to me?” It’s a common thought. Feeling sorry for yourself, saying negative things to yourself and feeling miserable are emotions we all experience at some point in our life. Self-pity comes very easily to us. You might find yourself throwing undeserved pity parties for yourself every now and then, even after small setbacks. However, self-pity is probably one of the most dangerous emotions. And ultimately, it’s a great disservice to yourself.
What Is Self-Pity?
It is important to distinguish self-pity from clinical depression as they evoke a lot of the same emotions. Self-pity, essentially, is indulgent and self-absorbed unhappiness about your troubles. Unlike depression, it’s more of a choice. As crude as it may sound, self-pity is a psychological state of mind that you choose for yourself because it feels good. Sometimes you might find yourself wallowing in self-pity over trivial things like being rejected by a crush, or not getting a job. Of course, these things are not trivial to you at the moment.
However, self-pity is a blatant rejection of the fundamental truth of life: that bad things happen to us all. This is not to say that you’re not allowed to cry or feel upset. But it’s important to be able to get back up, brush it off and move on; no matter how good it feels to keep feeling sorry for yourself.
Sometimes you might find yourself wallowing in self-pity over trivial things like being rejected by a crush, or not getting a job. Of course, these things are not trivial to you at the moment.
An Excuse To Not Try
One of the biggest differences between indulgent self-pity and depression is that self-pity becomes a sort of excuse to not try and get a grip. However, depressed individuals find themselves unable to try even when they want to. If you think that trying has no point because you’re not good enough, even though you know better, then you’re not doing any favours to yourself. Besides, it’s easier to assume that you’re not capable than put in the effort needed. But if you’re skipping out on opportunities because of your self-pity, then maybe it is time to do something about it.
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We all get jealous or envious of others. However, most people use jealousy as a tool to better themselves and become as successful as the person they envy. But if you’re a willing victim of the dangerous self-pity, then comparison becomes another excuse. You might think, “What’s the point if I’m never going to be as good as so-and-so?”
Here’s an idea: let’s not aim for the best. Instead, let’s aim for one step forward. Because the best will always, always seem too far away but the next step is only one step away and it’s much more attainable. Instead of wallowing in self-pity, it’s important we step forward.
It’s an excuse that, if you repeat it enough times, it starts to sound like the truth. However, it couldn’t be farther away from reality. There is always going to be someone better than you. That’s how the world works. But if you apply yourself, and if you try, then you’re going to get somewhere – one step ahead, if not the top of the ladder. Here’s an idea: let’s not aim for the best. Instead, let’s aim for one step forward. Because the best will always, always seem too far away but the next step is only one step away and it’s much more attainable. Instead of wallowing in self-pity, it’s important we step forward.
It’s Comfortable And Hard To Break
Self-pity can often feel like wrapping yourself up in a nice, cozy blanket. This is because trying to change your life is scary, and difficult. Change is terrifying, even when it’s good. That fear is part of what makes it so difficult to become better people. As a result, the habit of self-pity gets harder to break. It becomes a routine, a comfortable one. However, if you want to break out of this routine, you can. All it takes is just a little bit of effort and trying to figure out why you would do so much better in life without this indulgent and self-absorbed emotion.
Picture Credit: New York Times
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Prapti is an intern with SheThePeople.TV. The views expressed are the author’s own.