How to Get Out of Self-Pity

How to Get Out of Self-Pity

There are some emotions that are never useful. Self-pity is one of them. We indulge in self-pity when we’re not happy. And then we start feeling bad about feeling bad and just keep layering on more negative emotion.  Self-pity comes from thinking of ourselves as victims of our circumstances. We think something should be different. So we feel sorry for ourselves instead of taking ownership of changing what is within our control. It keeps us stuck and is extremely disempowering. It leaves us feeling overwhelmed and hopeless.

Here’s how to get out of self-pity.

“Self-pity thrives on claimed helplessness”


The first thing to do to get out of self-pity is to recognize when you’re in it and to realize that it is a destructive, painful trap. I always know when I’m in self-pity. I’ll notice that I start complaining. I start whining and I have the thought that life should be different. Or I’ll start blaming others or feeling jealousy or resentment. “It shouldn’t be this hard. I shouldn’t have to do this. It’s not fair.”

Find all the thoughts that are causing you to feel self-pity and write them down. Then recognize that those thoughts aren’t serving you. Now, try to shift to a place of self-compassion. When we can get to a place of compassion with ourselves, that is when things get easier.

Self-Pity vs. Self-Compassion

To get out of self-pity, it’s important to understand how it is different from self-compassion.  

Resentful (“I have to do these things”)Curious (“I wonder if there are other options”)
Victimizing (“Poor me. Life is so hard”)Empowering (“It’s OK. We can do this”)
Resistant (“This shouldn’t be happening”)Surrendering (“Who do I want to be/do given this circumstance?”)
Judgemental (“Some people are better or more deserving”)Empathetic (“I know how much you’re struggling, but it’s all OK”)
Irrational, dramatic and meanRational and kind/grateful/appreciative
Wants to stay stuck (“I don’t know how. That won’t work”)Progressing (“I’ll figure it out. I’ll get through this”)
Close off to the outside or changeOpen to new ways, help, skills, lessons

Decide How You Want to Feel

Decide what you want to feel instead. Do you want to feel motivation, love, excitement, or empowered? What do you want to feel that will feel better than self-pity?

I like feeling excitement or love because it feels so much better than self-pity and the result is much better in my life. If I can’t get to excitement or love right away, then I like to go to curiosity with a thought like ”I wonder how I could make this exciting or fun?”

Find Better Thoughts

If you’re feeling sorry for yourself, it’s important to change your thinking and the way you view yourself. You can create new thinking around any situation. Be kind and gentle with yourself. Talk to yourself with the same self-compassion that you would your best friend.

There is no use for self-pity. Stay in self-compassion Momma!

Do you want to feel less stress, overwhelm and anxiety in your life and feel some joy again? Subscribe below to my email list to get bite-size tips and insights into creating the life you want and experiencing more joy.


Stacy R. Landry

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