How To Stop Feeling Sorry For Yourself


It’s hard to feel self-pity with a view like this

We have all had the experience of being told ‘stop feeling sorry for yourself’. It is also something we occasionally say (or at least want to say) to those around us.

Feeling sorry for yourself is a poor state to be in, but, yet human nature means we can often end up wallowing in self-pity.

Why We Feel Sorry For Ourself.

If we can understand why we feel sorry for ourselves then we can work out whether it is justified or helpful.

Injured Pride.

The oft repeated saying ‘pride comes before a fall’ is quite apt. When are pride is hurt, when we feel embarrassed, when we are jealous we can sink into self pity. If we placed less value on our pride and self image, we would be less effected.
Hope for Sympathy / Feeling of guilt.

A large part of feeling sorry for ourselves, is that consciously or unconsciously we are looking for sympathy. Perhaps something unfortunate has happened. By exacerbating our sorrow and misery we feel we will attract more sympathy, love and concern from others. Often we are not really consciously aware that this is our motivation.

Related to the desire for sympathy, is the desire to make others feel guilty. Perhaps someone has caused us problems. We can feel that by displaying our unhappiness, we will make the other party feel suitably guilty, and somehow this will make them do the right thing next time.

If we can honestly analyse our motivation, it can be something of a revelation. Often we fall into a rut of self-pity without really understanding our own inner motivations. But, if these are our motivations for self-pity then we feel it is worth overcoming them.

Self-pity does not
Console one’s mind.
Self-pity cannot
Strengthen one’s heart.
Self-pity only makes one
A real stranger to oneself.

by Sri Chinmoy (1)

How To Stop Feeling Sorry For Yourself.

Forget all about it.

When you’re in a rut. You can’t  beat just completely forgetting about it or throwing yourself into something else. If we just sit and brood we will never fight the negative cycles of our mind – because it is the nature of the mind to hang onto negativity. But, when we don’t give the mind time to brood, we can easily shrug off the worthless feelings of self-pity.

It’s Not Going to Help

Self pity is often a call for help – a hope for greater love and attention. And we may get it – at least temporarily. But, we have to bear in mind that when we are wallowing in self-pity, many will not want to spend time with us. There is a difference between genuine difficulties and self-made imaginery suffering. False friends will disappear at the first sign of trouble. But, even true friends will get burnt out if we exploit their compassion with persistent self-pity

Feeling Sorry for yourself will not make others change for the better. Our mind may feel that if we make others feel guilty, they will do the right thing. But, human nature rarely works like this. If we try to make others feel guilty we won’t make them do the right thing. In fact, they will just resent us more. To create positive change in others, we ourselves have to be positive ourselves. We need to approach people with positive suggestions for improvements, not with a delicate sense of passive aggressiveness.

Be Happy Not Proud

Feeling sorry for ourselves only makes us unhappy. We have to make a conscious effort to choose happiness. If we forget about the past and live in the present moment, how can we carry around our unfortunate experiences?



(1) Excerpt from Twenty-Seven Thousand Aspiration-Plants, Part 203 (poems on self-pity)

Photo Menaka Ait-Ouyahia, Sri Chinmoy Centre Galleries

11 thoughts on “How To Stop Feeling Sorry For Yourself”

  1. I dont know how you do it but yet again you hit the nail on the head. I sometimes feel as if every post is aimed at me personally. I will indeed aim to stop feeling sorry for myself!

  2. Self-pity does not
    Console one’s mind.
    Self-pity cannot
    Strengthen one’s heart.
    Self-pity only makes one
    A real stranger to oneself.

    by Sri Chinmoy (1)

  3. i just read this article becoz that’s how i feel since yesterday. i really hate the feeling i have. i pray about it to go away, i thought i’e aced it this morning but coming here at work seeing the person i blame for the way i feel it came back full force.

    i wished to God i can just snap out of it, and really move on.

  4. How I hate feeling self – pity!!!!!!:( something really embarrassing happened to me at school and I can’t get over it!!!!!!! When will the suffering end!!!!!

  5. My dad yelled a me for spilling cherry juice all over his hand made quelt and tv remote so I tried to cover it up but he found out later so he told me to fix it so I tried but I could. But now im started to cry a little but I told myself No
    O IM TO OLD TO CRY OUT PITY FOR MYSELF AND I STOPPED and now im typing this out so if somebody read this tell your brain to just stop and you will if your a guy play some video games if your a girl have fun with the “the girls ” so that is my story thank you for reading

  6. Best way to stop feeling sorry for yourself and stop negativity is to pray consistently for the Lord’s help and be determined to stop it. It takes time and patience and is very frustrating. But the rewards can be great. If you’re truly focused on changing it, and you seek God’s help, it will change.

    I’m speaking from experience as I’ve lived over 45 years in negativity, self-pity, low self-esteem/self-worth, self-centered. And it’s been slowly changing these last couple of year’s with God’s help.

  7. I find myself wallowing in self-pity and wow ur right. I do it because someone has wronged me and I want them to feel guilty so they won’t do it again. It hasn’t worked and Im only hurting myself. Self pity is a pathetic characteristic that only weakens our souls and strengthens those that hurt us. I feel as though I have given up but I guess a part of me still fights or I wouldnt be reading and responding to thus article. Thank you for you input, it is greatly appreciated.

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