Our inner struggle with self-pity

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Everyone makes mistakes! It’s a fact of life... but while some people can brush it off, others seem to get stuck. This begins a cycle doubt and self-pity that is difficult to break. It’s hard to talk about our inner struggle with self-pity because it is a source of shame and guilt.

Often, we need to vent about the things that happen in our lives, and this is a good thing, because suppressing our feeling isn’t good for our emotional health either. However, sometimes we get stuck in a vicious cycle of pity and doubt when what started as healthy venting, was reinforced by public support and attention. If this support made you feel validated in some way, you may begin to seek more validation by venting and complaining more often.

This cycle of looking for reasons to complain can turn into a generally negative outlook on life, taking what was healthy venting and twisting it into a victim mentality. All is not lost though, because if you catch yourself starting, or just plain stuck on this path, there is a way out!

It’s time to seek your inner critic and start to confront the negative thoughts with gentle mindfulness exercises and self-compassion. This allows you to look at these negative thoughts and events in a more neutral light and expose them for the false or overly dramatic issues you turned them into. Once you start learning to change your inner narrative, you can take the time to validate your positive thoughts and start sharing some of your joy and happiness with others!

As always, if this cycle continues or you start to feel hopeless, you should seek professional help as soon as possible. Before things get truly desperate, call the Nation Mental Health Hotline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

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