Self Pity is the Worst Attitude
Before we look at the best attitude to adopt let’s look at the worst.
Obviously there are many possible bad attitudes but I would like to talk about the one that I feel is the most damaging to a person’s attitude. I believe that the worst attitude is one of self-pity.
The attitude of self-pity comes from being ungrateful. Every one of us has many things to be grateful for but some people only focus on what they don’t have and are therefore ungrateful for what they possess.
Self pity brings unhappiness
People with this attitude generally are not very happy people and don’t enjoy their lives. They see everything as bad and as a problem. The simplest jobs in life become major hurdles for them.
Often people who possess this attitude end up unhappy with personal relationships because no one would want to be around someone like this unless they had similar views which would mean they were both unhappy. If these two people have similar views they may get along but it will not be a happy relationship.
Most people who I have encountered in life who were alcoholics, drug addicts and criminals had this attitude that they were the victim. It was usually distorted thinking that originated many years earlier.
People with this attitude usually do not do well in their career if they even have one. With such a negative attitude they do not function well at work or in their relationships with their boss and fellow workers.
Giving their all or learning new skills is not something that they are willing to engage in. They do the bare minimum to get by and then wonder why they don’t get raises, promotions and acknowledgement for their work. These people often are unsuccessful on their jobs or don’t have jobs.
Of course it is not their fault and they continue to blame everyone or everything else. They are quite willing to tell you what is wrong with their boss, the company, the government, big corporations or the country.
With the attitude of self pity…it’s always someone else’s fault
To give you an example let me tell you about a young man named Trevor who I met in California. He was twenty-five years old and selling drugs to kids at the local schools and neighborhood. He sold them many types of drugs including marijuana, heroine and cocaine as well as drug paraphernalia.
He was caught and went to jail for only a short time since it was his first offense. When he got out and had the opportunity to get a job and get his life on track, he refused to accept to do anything to improve his life. His attitude was that the police were at fault for arresting him, the judge was bias and the Constitution of the United States was written to discriminate against him. How can someone succeed with such a distorted attitude?
Living with this attitude has one big advantage; if you are a victim then someone else must be responsible and so you do not have to accept any responsibility for your actions. You live a miserable life but can blame it all on someone else like your parents, your boss, the police, the courts, the government, or whatever you see as being the blame for your situation.
Do you have this attitude? You may not be the extreme that I have described here but even a little bit of this attitude is a dangerous thing for your happiness. I know because I had this attitude for a long time. I blamed by parents for my unhappiness and did little to fix the situation because it wasn’t my fault. But then one day I realized that it was impossible for my parents to make things right in my life, only I could do that.
This was not a fun article to write, but I feel that it is important to look at what the worst is so that we can contrast it with the best attitude.
Bruce is a motivational speaker and conducts seminars and workshops based upon the ideas in his book, “Attitude Determines Destiny”.
Contact him for your next event
**originally published 6/4/12