Is Your Glass Half Empty or Half Full?
The “poor me” card is a self-destructive path that prevents you from living your best life.
Sometimes self-pity becomes an act of defiance. It’s almost as if people assume that if they keep feeling sorry for themselves and keep reminding the world that they deserve better, things will suddenly change. But the truth is, it’s up to them to reframe the way they look at a situation — even if it seems bad.
What advice would you give to a friend who had the same problem?
People often use self-pity as a way to gain attention, as it can be an indirect way of fishing for compliments and more often than not — a cry for help. This type of behaviour, however, interferes with relationships as it will eventually wear on people rather quickly.
Oftentimes, we’re better at handling words of encouragement to other people rather than ourselves. It’s likely easier to offer hopeful words to someone else such as, “You’re a mentally strong person. You’ll make it through, I promise.” Why not take your own words of wisdom?
The problem with the “bad things will happen to me” mentality is that it can delay any circumstances that will bring you to face your reality. As a result, you may end up avoiding trying to find a solution to improve your situation.
The key to stop feeling sorry for yourself is simply to behave in a manner that cultivates positive habits that lead to feelings of gratitude.
Replace Self-Pity For Gratitude
- Acknowledge other people’s kindness. When we affirm the positive things in our lives, we will naturally start to appreciate what we have. While practicing gratitude takes time, people who feel grateful often experience more happiness in their lives. It leads to more positive emotions that allow us to behave in a more empathetic manner.
- Ask others what they’re grateful for. I’m happy I’ve had the opportunity to build a strong, supportive network of friendships on Medium. One of my favourite things that Gillian Sisley posts in one of our Facebook groups is a weekly gratitude thread. Hearing what others feel grateful for is a powerful thing and it can remind you what areas of your life needs improvement.
- Notice the beauty in nature. Research has shown that being in nature reduces the everyday stress of our overactive lives. This leads to a better ability to focus, boosts our emotional state, and positive thinking. As humans, it can be easy to get caught up in a digital world that deprives us of nature. When we spend less time in front of our screens and more around nature, we feel more refreshed and relaxed.
- Make someone else happy. One of the best ways to experience happiness is to simply make someone else happy. Whether you’re volunteering for a soup kitchen or you’re helping a friend move into a new apartment — spending time with others with the intention to serve will lead to a higher sense of purpose, compassion, connection, and joy.
- Embrace your failures. Every time failure happens, use it as an opportunity to learn from it. Entrepreneurs know that failure is good for success and that it is essential for our personal growth. Failure can be very discouraging, however, we can use it to open our eyes to new possibilities.
Our emotional wellbeing affects how we perceive the world and it’s up to you to change the channel when you’re experiencing self-pity. Strive for positive change by choosing to actively problem-solve, indulging in supportive relationships, and increasing your feelings of gratitude. Don’t allow yourself to continue on a negative path with the mentality that life isn’t fair.
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