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The Guide to Self-Pity

Updated on February 13, 2012

We have all been taught that self-pity is bad. We are not suppose to feel sorry for ourselves and we are always suppose to count our blessings. I'm here to say, "it's ok, feel sorry for yourself", but with some limitations. I have my own guide that I follow and thought maybe it would help others.

We live in a very hard world these days, with most of us facing many problems. We have so many things to worry about, situations to solve, fears to overcome or learn to live with, so many demands on us and it takes its toll on us physically, but more importantly, emotionally.

Then there are those things that happen that just aren't fair. The most horrible person you know has an incredible streak of luck or someone who is a wonderful, giving human being dies suddenly. It happens and we feel resentment and anger. In some way, something has happened to you that you just can't swallow, something so unfair you want to choke on it. You wonder why bad things happen to good people and good things to bad people. It just doesn't make sense and it can lead to a bout of self-pity.

I think we make way too much out of criticizing what is considered wrong feelings. We are only human, it's as simple as that. We are going to get angry, jealous, resentful, mean many emotions over the events that make up our lives. I think that's alright. We need to recognize these feelings, give them some attention and move on. Most of all, we need to not feel guilty about them. Below is my guide just for self-pity, but can apply to almost any "negative" emotion.


Ok, something happened and you start feeling sorry for yourself. The first thing you need to do is to stop fighting it...give in to it. Go somewhere you can be alone and go ahead and have a huge pity party for yourself. It's best if you can be somewhere you can not be heard, so you can rant and rave out loud. Vocalize all the reasons why this is so unfair to you. Why you have every right to feel sorry for yourself. Say whatever comes to mind and really let go.


While this doesn't have to be exact, I limit myself to about a half an hour of this. You can even set a timer if you want, but most of the time, you will probably get over it by then anyway. Any longer than this and it becomes too overpowering, which is not going to help. When we let our emotions out, we feel better and it calms us. It's only when we try to hold it all in that it hurts us. It's like having a good cry. We feel so much better afterwards. The same is true for the self-pity rant and rave. It will calm you and release you from those feelings.


After your pity party, you are not allowed to feel guilty about it. You don't have to feel you did something wrong or that you are a lesser person for feeling like you do. You don't have to feel shame or that you are somehow a bad person. This is a guilt free practice that should be looked at as a form of therapy. You have a right to feel what you feel and you just honored those emotions and dealt with them. Good for you!


The last thing to do is to "count your blessings." Just realize that although unfair things happen to you, good things happen too. This is the point where you try to let go and move on. That's not to say that your resentment or anger won't pop up again at times over the same situation, but you will probably be able to dismiss it quicker. If nothing else, believe in karma. Whoever you're mad at will have unfair things happen to them too. This can sometimes work wonders to make you feel better, which again is ok to feel and only human nature to feel.

This is my guide for myself to self-pity. I hope it helps someone else because I truly believe we need to face our emotions and get them out, in constructive ways of course, and it will help us not only emotionally, but keep us healthier too. So, go ahead and have a pity's ok.


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    • catgypsy profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from the South

      Claudia, I wasn't always this good at letting go of my emotions. I was always a pessimist, then tried hard to become a pessimist, which I accomplished somewhat, but I still fall into the negative area. I think I just learned that it does no one any good (especially yourself) to hang onto the self-pity or any other negative emotion. I learned to let go by having my pity party and then putting it away, so to speak. You may even have to look at it from a selfish point of view...that you will feel better if you can master this and that is the important thing. Thanks for reading and commenting!

    • catgypsy profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from the South

      Thanks Cashmere. I used to try to stay positive all the time, but I don't think that's realistic. We are only human and we get mad and hurt and need to feel bad about it sometimes. You are right about having to get negative emotions can make you sick to keep it all in. Thanks for stopping by!

    • Claudia Tello profile image

      Claudia Tello 

      5 years ago from Mexico

      After reading this I have to admire you for being so practical and rational in dealing with your emotions. When I feel self-pity it actually goes on for days because I can help my very negative way of looking at my life. I think this practical negative-emotion episodes with fast recovery have a lot to do with someone who is in general satisfied with his life and all-in-all a happy person.

    • profile image

      Olde Cashmere 

      5 years ago

      This is helpful advice and makes perfect sense. It's important to let go of negative emotions and to get them out of our system, this is a constructive way of doing so. Love the count the blessings passage as well. Voting up, sharing, and rating beautiful, useful, and interesting :)

    • catgypsy profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from the South

      Thanks Angela. I have always hated it too, but found that sometimes we need to feel it and accept it. Hope this helped!

    • Angela Brummer profile image

      Angela Brummer 

      6 years ago from Lincoln, Nebraska

      Great subject... I have always loathed self pitty... but when I loath something have to ask myself why... I believe it makes me feel helpless... as I did when I was a child after my mother passed away. Reading this made me think to be more understanding of others. Thank You!

    • catgypsy profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from the South

      thanks so much injured lamb. Good...have a pity party and don't feel guilty! We all deserve one from time to time.

    • Injured lamb profile image

      Injured lamb 

      6 years ago

      Thanks for the guides catgypsy, I agree with you especially this..."believe we need to face our emotions and get them out..." it won't make me feel guilty and bad anymore even I have a pity party next time...voted this up, thanks for the hard work...cheers!

    • catgypsy profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from the South

      Thanks Ruby! I find that so many people are having hard times these days that it's hard not to have a pity party once in awhile...and it helps you feel better to get it out! So we all deserve that half hour.

    • Ruby H Rose profile image

      Maree Michael Martin 

      6 years ago from Northwest Washington on an Island

      Oh yea, having a good cry session, I up for it. Letting our emotions out is healthy indeed. I like your setting a timer idea. Sometimes I wonder if I will ever get off the pity pot. Half an hour, sweet! Thanks for a great hub!

    • catgypsy profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from the South

      Thanks so much Karanda! I'm a firm believer in getting your emotions out to help heal.

    • Karanda profile image

      Karen Wilton 

      6 years ago from Australia

      Oh catgypsy I love this Hub! And I have thrown a few of those self-pity parties myself. It always makes me feel so much better afterwards. You are so right about fighting emotions and trying to hold them in - it doesn't work, in fact mostly it will make the problem worse. This truly is a fabulous guide, thank you.


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