Some love to enrol others into their sad story!
Truth is we all like to enrol people into our Poor Me Syndrome (PMS) at times, because we crave the love and sympathy that it can provide. But it’s a dangerous approach as this article explains…
Perhaps you know someone like this. Perhaps you know someone like this… intimately?
You know when you’re stuck in this rut when you keep telling this story over and over again to random people in your life. When people pat your arm and say how sorry they are for you or if you walk around sighing a lot about your life. You also know you’re doing this when your reason for not being happy is your sad story.
A few sad story examples – sound familiar?
“My husband left me. My wife had an affair. I have no money because…”
“I would be happy if only Bob didn’t leave me for the housemaid. I would be happy if my wife actually worked on our marriage.”
“I cannot work out because I have no time and my husband left me and I am so busy making my business successful so I just eat chocolate all the time.”
Ever catch yourself saying things like this?
If you do, don’t beat yourself up, that might just become another sob story! Instead, it’s time to put that story aside and move past it.
Why self-pity is so seductive
Many people slip into self-pity because that first tiny step seems like a good idea. It’s like a comforting technique when ‘no one else quite gets me and my problem’. Perhaps it even gives you some fleeting therapeutic feeling of solace and comfort.
And that first time you tell someone else your sob story, if they buy into it, it certainly does feel good to have them patting you on the shoulder and saying comforting things to you.
And BOOM, right in that moment you have initiated a few powerful psychological forces which will make it extremely likely you’ll continue making that sad story your friend and identity.
A lovely reward for misery
We all desire attention, connection and feelings of importance. And when people start turning to you and giving you all three at once, just because you put on a sad face and told a sad story, it’s like a huge reward and instant source of pleasure. Your unconscious mind thinks it’s hit the jackpot!
Of course, this is an illusion, comforting is nice, but too much becomes a very negative form of attention. And self-pitying people end up alone in the long run, or at best surrounded by other ‘poor me syndrome’ sufferers.
Consistency and identity
If you’ve read Robert Cialdini’s book Influence, you’ll know one of the most powerful drivers of our actions is a need to remain consistent with what we have previously done and said, and who we have told others we are.
Once you take the first step onto the slippery slope of ‘poor me, poor me’, you will feel compelled to continue. And the further you go, the more you will feel it is your identity, the more you believe it yourself and want to reinforce it. You begin to spiral down into this pit of self-pity and negativity. Until one day you cannot remember life being any other way.
We love the underdog, we feel for the victim
And PMS gives us a chance to become both! Isn’t it a kind of romantic, wonderful feeling to be the poor victim and underdog, downtrodden by the cruel world. You can feel important and have a wonderful excuse for not achieving or even trying to pursue your dreams.
With all these seductive factors you can see why so many people succumb to self-pity…
But it’s time to WAKE UP!
Here is the cold, hard truth;
There is nothing evolved about sob stories!
You just want attention or want to avoid doing whatever it takes to have a great life. It’s a form of laziness and you are not solving anything by telling the world about your story. Every time you tell someone your story you’re reinforcing it. So Stop!
Rather than telling people your sob stories and reasons for not having a great life, get busy on sorting yourself out and commit to living a happy and fulfilled life come hell or high water.
Want a helping push in the right direction?
Get in touch, that’s what I’m here for!