Posted by: RealisticRecovery | August 9, 2009

Managing Resentment and Self Pity

Managing Resentment and Self Pity
Most of us can feel a little put upon from time to time, but for some people, indulging in this kind of behaviour frequently can lead to deep resentment, bitterness and self pity. Self pity occurs when a person who has self centered tendencies, becomes offended by someone else. They then redirect the resentment they feel towards the person who offended them towards themselves. The result is that self pitying people see everyone else as being a success and themselves as failures. This causes them to resent their position in life and to feel taken advantage of by others.

Unfortunately, some people who suffer with chronic self pity can become apathetic in the pursuit of their goals, whilst blaming others for their lack of success.

Self pity and resentment are very destructive emotions that fester and grow the longer they remain unchecked.

  • Do you suffer from resentment & self pity?
  • Do you feeling short changed by life?
  • Do you often say or think “Why me?”
  • Do you often resent other people’s good luck, health, happiness and success?
  • Do you feel that you grumble a lot?
  • Are you often irritable?
  • Do you feel as though you sulk a lot?
  • When sick, are you reluctant to admit any improvement?
  • Do you often feel like a victim?
  • Are you rarely pleased or satisfied with your circumstances?

Ways to help

  • Stop replaying past hurts. Replaying past hurts in your mind causes real wrongs to grow worse, and wrongs that are merely imagined assume a life of their own. You then embellish the situation to make it worse than it actually was, casting yourself as a victim in the process.
  • The only person resentment and self pity hurt is you. Resentment doesn’t resolve anything, nor does it do anything to change the person we resent. Resentment allows the people who have wronged us to win, because they dominate our thoughts.
  • Write down your resentments. Resentments seem more powerful when they’re in your head but once you write them down, they often fail to look as powerful and you’ll see them as what they are – 90% your own creation!
  • Stop indulging in negative emotions. Self pity and resentment are self indulgent and seductive behaviours that provide false comfort. You need to train your brain not to succumb to dwelling on them. Tell yourself it is a waste of your time and if need be, start doing something else to get yourself out of the negative mindset.
  • Practice appreciation. Start appreciating and becoming grateful for all the wonderful things in your life. Try writing down a list of all the good experiences you have had during the last week on a Sunday night. You have more to be grateful for than you think, it’s just that you’ve trained yourself to think mainly of the negative.
  • Exercise can really help your motivation and self empowerment. It will also increase the production of feel good endorphins that lift your mood.It is very difficult to exercise and feel self pity at the same time!

source: No Longer Available (it’s an online store now, can’t have that here)



  1. “Stop replaying past hurts.”
    “The only person resentment and self pity hurt is you.”

    These are two things I wish I could have remembered over the last 3 months as I was doing an Emotional Sobriety bookstudy, and a Gentle Path stepstudy.

    I totally fell into the resentment and selfpity trap thinking of growing up in my dysfunctional family.
    Time to bury some old ghosts once and for all and move forward. I’ll try to find more articles like this.


  2. I can’t help feeling resentful towards other people who used to make fun of me as a young adult, i can’t help feeling rage, knowing that now that i am a successful and productive adult they would act as if everything was fine and great.
    As if all the past wrongs and neglect they had put on me for years was nothing. Well, F**K them. Every now and then i wish i could meet up with them and punch them. IF i ever see them again i will mess them up. I still feel anger and resentment even today towards them, this will never change. I really hate those bastards.

  3. I understand completely how you feel. I did not want to physically hurt anyone but I wanted to achieve success and then when those people-relatives-aquantices ‘ etc would try to come into my life I responded by totally shutting them out. This became just a natural part of my being. I am sure I did what I intended to do- hurt some of these people by behaving this way but I did not care and that was my intention. As time has gone on though this kind of approach divides your personality. Its very hard to have your thinking work this way with a certain group of people and then have another type of personality for others. Unfortunately they merge and the person who gets hurt in the end is yourself. I am not saying necessarily drop all your feelings for those that hurt you or you percieve hurt you but rather-move on. You are letting those that hurt you rule your life. In many ways these hurts may be over exaggerated but maybe not. Regardless- move on- become stronger in your own independent strength and grow. From experience I can teel you that to harbor all this anger hurts you more in the end. That is what I am learning anyways.

  4. i am an alcoholic and has been sober for 10 months today. i know that during my drinking i have hurt lots of people and that there are a great deal of resentments out there which i will not be able to adress and make amends with, i have accepted that but what is very difficult for me to do is forgive myself, i “to a big part” resent myself that i had allowed people to manipulate ‘/ talk me into / hurting others and that i can not make amends to them. then the self pitty starts in a big way,”poor me”. i will try and get more info and help with this, i need to make this work and kill this self pitty and rersentments ASAP. thanks for the info on the site. marlo

    • Congratulations Marlo on 10 months, that’s awesome.
      Keep going.
      And thanks for reminding me of this article, I’m in a similar boat to you on this issue.
      I really need to find more articles like this one.


  5. hey, I never really realized how self centered I was or how acoustomed to negative thinking I was until I was trying to let go of someone I was in love with. I had expected nothing to change even after we agreed to walk away and remain friends. when it became clear that my expectations were unrealistic and we had to go our different ways I became resentful and full of self pity.”no one likes me anymore” dominated my thoughts. I magnified every single comment, action and looked for reasons to fight. everyone around me including myself suffered. I was jealous of his new friends and opportunities and felt bad for being jealous. before I knew it,I became apathetic and had to be counselled. This is the first article that has really exposed my feelings for what they really were.I am confronting all the negative emotions in a way I never have. this article is very apt and I thank the writer for being this “on point”.

  6. I’ve been a rich man and I’ve been a poor man. No matter what your situation is, there’s always somebody richer or poorer than you are.
    I’ve also finally learned that if your happiness depends on the actions or inactions of others, well then, you’re pretty much screwed.
    Hello from the US, Brits.

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