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Self-Pity Is Destructive

Discussion in 'Sobriety Tips and Inspiration' started by Rainman, Jan 10, 2015.

  1. Tournique

    Tournique Senior Contributor

    Some motivational books can help you on self pity. All you need is a good slap and a different perspective to get things going on for you again. Sitting in grief and sorrow will not get you anywhere, sadly.
  2. Shimus

    Shimus Community Champion

    It's not that simple. After how life has treated some of us (I've lost people I've cared about, been homeless, been up awake because I was so hungry my stomach felt like it was eating itself) and then I managed a better life and try to keep positive about it

    However it's not as simple as saying you can just "flip it on and off" that's a very cavalier statement. It doesn't apply to everyone especially not in some positions they are in their life. And no amount of cheerfulness will help it.

    Like I said, I'm trying. I might be failing, but it's not as easy as people make it out to be.
  3. Metalhead

    Metalhead Member

    I not so long ago experienced a few life challenges that got me so demoralized that I ended up grappling with sentiments of self-pity. Quite a while back, maybe a few years, I might have faced this by playing some tragic melodies and sobbing like a forlorn soul, determining a kind of unreasonable fulfillment from my hopelessness.
    Anyway this time, I asked and asked myself what would I could do to help my own mind oppose these negative feelings. That is the point at which I remembered about a college lecture I heard on TED about self indulgence. I looked "self-pity" up in the lexicon and discovered the accompanying definition: "A self-indulgence on one's own distresses or incidents."
    Therapists have a fascinating name for individuals who constantly enjoy self pity; it's "shamefulness authority." These are the people who are continually harping on their damages and hardships - whether genuine or envisioned - and they appreciate contemplating them and discussing them. They affectionately gather and number every last offense that others submit against them, and they inquiry out individuals who will sympathize with them and sympathize with them. This keeps the attention on themselves, which is the thing that they need most.
    Self indulgence isn't simply inefficient - its dangerous. It can prompt severity, unforgiveness, and disdain. It doesn't unite individuals - it isolates them.
    John Gardner said that self pity is easily the most destructive of the non-pharmaceutical narcotics; it is addictive, gives momentary pleasure and separates the victim from reality.
  4. valiantx

    valiantx Community Champion

    My opinion regarding self-pity, stop over thinking and looping such thoughts in your head, the past is done and gone. I myself am a over-thinker and analyzed things far too much than I should, but over the years, I've learned to balance this out by keeping things simple the moment I start to think too much, which I have conceptualized into a personal phrase,"Be complicatedly simple." Self-pity is beneficial in its own way because it helps a human reflect and introspect about their experiences, but the draw-back about self-pity is that it interferes and holds a human back from learning and growing from their experiences if he/she lingers about too long.
  5. thomas carty

    thomas carty Member

    Self pity is something that is really dangerous and I have a friend right now who is going through something of the same. I will tell you that it was something that I used to struggle with but the good thing is I started going to church and then I learned about Jesus and I will tell you that my life has been a lot better since then.

    This is not about religion though but I will tell you that the quicker you can get out of it the better for you because it will only continue to destroy the quality of your life.
  6. Tournique

    Tournique Senior Contributor

    @thomas is good that you found your source for motivation. Some find it in church, there nothing to be ashamed of.
  7. adfnio

    adfnio Community Champion

    Sometimes you can't do it by yourself. Everyone needs a support group. That is my suggestion. You can get support here or in your loval community. Everyone needs a little shove in the right direction sometimes.
    CallipygianGamine likes this.
  8. MyDigitalpoint

    MyDigitalpoint Community Champion

    Gain courage to take back your life is the first step. As soon as you realize self-pity is not contributing to make your life better nor to move others' heart to have compassion for all what your are going through, courage will come alone.

    Writing down a diary can help, but not in the ordinary way diaries are written. Scarcely annotate what is your mood everyday, what you gained feeling self-pity, and what you got from people due to this. Then discuss what you could get IF...

    Meditate in what you can get if you could only stop this feeling will help you find the workaround to overcome it.
    Rainman likes this.
  9. calicer1996

    calicer1996 Community Champion

    Self pity is easily the most destructive of non-pharmaceutical narcotics.
    • It is addictive
    • Gives momentary pleasure
    • Separates the victim from Reality
  10. calicer1996

    calicer1996 Community Champion

    Not everyone! Speaking for myself, I can say that my self-discipline is good and I like to do stuff by myself. But for the general population, you are right.
  11. Lackluster

    Lackluster Active Contributor

    I agree with your sentiment, and while it is advice usually given in an attempt to help, it doesn't actually help. When you say this to someone who is depressed, it really only makes the feelings worse. That same line of reasoning backs the statement "You shouldn't be happy, because there are people out there happier than you." Our emotions shouldn't be trivialized, they need to be dealt with delicately.

    It's better to say "Look, man, I know it's bad. We all get like this. It may be worse than I think, but we can work this out and we can make it better." If you want to break the self-pity cycle, you first have to acknowledge the cycle, then work towards breaking it. There's a great story that came out of Reddit that may inspire people, and it's something I share whenever I can: No Zero Days
  12. kassie1234

    kassie1234 Community Champion

    I think self pity can be a vicious thing to get into - it allows you to wallow, feel sorry for yourself and oftentimes make excuses for not changing your life...a bit like playing the victim. I would say the best ways of solving the self pity cycle is really to understand the only person that can change your life is YOU. No one else is going to do it for you -- people will want to help, of course -- but ultimately if you want change that passion and drive has to come from within. Also surrounding yourself with positive people helps. If you're surrounded by people that will just enable your self pity cycle you'll continue on with that behavior.
  13. JoshPosh

    JoshPosh Community Champion

    I was down and out like most people here. How I found inner strength was through the help of family and friends. That was my support group. This is my suggestion for you. Get a support group. It's ok to ask for help. You don't have to do it alone.
    missbishi and CallipygianGamine like this.
  14. dyanmarie25

    dyanmarie25 Community Champion

    I must admit, I always do self-pity. I know it's really not going to make me feel better, but I don't know, self-destruction sometimes makes me feel good. Anyway, I think it is time for me to stop doing it.
  15. Lackluster

    Lackluster Active Contributor

    Self-destruction is just a way of directing the anger and pent up energy you do have into a tangible, real form - which of course is a bad thing because all you're doing is hurting yourself.

    What you must do is find ways to direct that energy outwards. Write bad poetry, even if it's about men from Nantucket and Hermits named Dave. Pick at a guitar. There is no finer instrument for expressing your mental state than a guitar. Got a whole genre of music for it called the blues. Just do anything that's not what you shouldn't do, even if it's lay in bed screaming into your pillow. Do that if you must but break your cycle.
    dyanmarie25 likes this.
  16. CallipygianGamine

    CallipygianGamine Community Champion

    I’ve been prone to wallowing, but it’s true that it’s mostly counterproductive. I try to apply a variety of strategies. First I’ll let myself wallow, but only for a specified period of time; denying my feelings usually just leads to bottling everything up, which can be even more destructive in the long run. If I feel better after that, great! If not, then I’ll turn to someone I trust and just vent. Combined with taking at least one step toward a long-term goal, so I can prove to myself that I’m still perfectly capable of doing things, that usually does the trick.
  17. Lackluster

    Lackluster Active Contributor

    Acknowledging your feelings isn't wallowing in them, it's a crucial part of dealing with your issues. You're right about the specified period of time, because dwelling on it doesn't help any more than despairing on it. No zero days. Do something to keep you going, even if that something is the smallest thing you could do. If the only thing you manage to do is check the mail before you collapse back in bed and imitate the dead, then you still didn't have a zero day.
    CallipygianGamine likes this.
  18. pineywood

    pineywood Community Champion

    Oh, nice job pointing out the benefit of self-pity, while focusing on the need to necessarily move on to the next stage of acceptance. I mean, my goodness, if we can not feel some type of remorse and compassion for ourselves, the healing process is not healthy. So, I think, self-pity to a certain extent is essential.

    Of course, again, this does mean to wallow in self-pity continuously. Sure, true friends will stick around and be encouraging. At the same time, if you do not move on to the next stage of acceptance, your true friends are going to understandably get tired. It is kind of like having that good old fashioned good cry.
    CallipygianGamine likes this.
  19. missbishi

    missbishi Community Champion

    Too true and I'd like to add that not only can you ask for help, but the majority of people will be only too happy to help you.
  20. SunnySkies

    SunnySkies Active Contributor

    Motivation and support are the keys out of self-pity and the destructive things that can follow. You need good motivation and self-esteem to escape the rut of self-pity. It's okay to be bad for yourself for a while. But, overextending it harms yourself. Support will provide you with a baseline that can assist you and make you happier.