Facebook share
LinkedIn share
Google plus share
Twitter plus share
Give Advice
Ask For Advice
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 14

Thread: How do I stop thinking people feel sorry for me?

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    69

    How do I stop thinking people feel sorry for me?

    As a brief history, I'm 33 years old and until April 2019 had been with my wife since we were both 18. We've been separated since then. We have a five-year-old daughter together and at this point have worked out most details of our future co-parenting lives together. We are not acrimonious, don't have lawyers, have come to a reasonable custody arrangement. We are basically just waiting for the coronavirus pandemic to pass so we can make our divorce official.

    I'm posting in this forum because I'm mainly concerned with my own personal "feelings" and "healing" process. My wife was mean to me. There is no other way to say it. She is a good person and a good mother but was highly critical of me. She made me feel like I was not a "real man" and that I could never measure up. She couched a lot of her meanness in jokes, but made me feel like no one else could ever want me, that I was lucky she chose me. I had never known adult life without her, so I came to believe her. I lost touch with a lot of my passions and forgot who I was. I was sad and beaten down. Looking back, I've come to see our relationship as an emotionally abusive one. It's hard to admit that as a "man." I've been told by multiple people that they're glad I've gotten out of the marriage. They tell me to "spread my wings" and find out who I really am when I'm not stuck in a bad relationship. I've done that in large part. I've reconnected with my interests and discovered a lot about myself, both as a parent and a single adult. I've made a few new friends and gotten in touch with old ones.

    I just can't shake the feeling, though, that people are nice to me and encouraging because they feel sorry for me. That they feel I'm a pathetic wreck and they'll throw me a bone so I don't jump off a bridge. Typing that out, I realize how ridiculous it sounds. People have told me that I have emotional depth, that I'm creative and intelligent, that I deserve a woman who can really appreciate me and make me happy. But still, there's that little voice saying, "No one really likes you. You're not good enough." It was loud enough that I went on one date with a woman who turned out to REALLY like me and I cut it off, because I was scared to move forward. I know my therapist would call these thoughts cognitive distortions. There is no reason to believe that people would lie to me just to make me feel good. But I can't shake it. I've found these forums very helpful over the years. Does anyone have any thoughts?

  2. #2
    Platinum Member boltnrun's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Posts
    14,041
    Please continue with therapy. You're still hearing your ex wife's voice inside your head telling you you're inadequate.

    You're not. She was wrong. But working to get her words out of your head with a therapist is an excellent idea.

  3. #3
    Platinum Member Cherylyn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Posts
    2,390
    Don't fixate and preoccupy yourself with imagining other people's pity upon you because it doesn't exist. People are very busy with their own priorities to care about you regarding pitiful thoughts about you. Don't care what other people think and don't bother because they don't bother to think about you in that much pity depth.

    Since you're scared to move forward and develop commitments with a woman, give yourself a break from the dating world. Regroup yourself. Continue your professional therapy. Don't rush into dating and relationships because you are not ready.

    When you're ready, don't be scared because you'll never know if she is "thee one" unless you give a new budding relationship a chance. You have to take calculated risks in order to be happy.

    In the meantime, do some soul searching and take good care of yourself. You are too insecure at the moment which does not make for a conducive relationship. Work on yourself first before delving into dating and flaking out on a woman again.

    Take your time. Don't rush. Work on YOU first.

  4. #4
    Forum Supporter ~Seraphim ~'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared
    Age
    53
    Posts
    37,961
    Gender
    Female
    Something my mom always told me.... People are 99.9% concerned with themselves. They donít have time to pity anyone for the most part.

  5.  

  6. #5
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Posts
    2,042
    Whatís wrong with people feeling sorry for you?
    Thatís just empathy.
    I feel sorry for you but that doesnít mean I think anything negative about you.
    In fact most of what you have done for the past year has been very positive.

    Allow people to help you.

    In saying that the people you do not want to feel sorry for you are potential dates / romantic interests.
    That would be a recipe for disaster.
    So donít enter the dating world until you realise itís ok for people you know to feel empathy towards you and your situation.

    Good luck, you are doing great!

  7. #6
    Platinum Member melancholy123's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Ontario Canada
    Posts
    6,566
    Gender
    Female
    Dr Phil says something to the effect of - if you knew how little time people spend thinking about you, you'd be shocked.

    People are too busy with themselves to spend time worrying or wondering about the other guy. Please keep on with your therapy.

  8. #7
    Gold Member Skeptic76's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    California
    Age
    43
    Posts
    581
    Gender
    Male
    ďIím not much, but Iím all *I* think aboutĒ

    -Skeptic76

    Haha thatís actually not mine but I have no idea who to credit it to, Iíve heard it a bunch over the years and it always cracks me up.

    You sir, wrote my story out in your post. No kidding, if I signed my name at the bottom of your post and showed it to my closest friends and family theyíd all have no doubt this was written by me six years ago.

    The number one thing you need to do is already done: thatís just becoming aware that there is a disconnect between your inner narrative and whatís really going on. The awareness is enough, now just mentally notice that story every time you start telling it to yourself. Just pay attention and observe it, thatís all you need to do! The light of consciousness will dissolve it quick enough.

    In the meantime, if you want higher self-esteem then make it a point to do esteemable acts. Focus on your character and do even the smallest tasks with integrity. Move the laundry basket over and vacuum underneath, let people over in the lane ahead of you, volunteer at a food bank (they all need help really desperately rn,) floss daily. Do the right thing, the kind thing...as often as you can.

    Make it a point to love yourself. Eat totally clean and healthy at least one meal a day...nourish your body. Spend 20 minutes a day doing push ups and sit ups until the gym opens up and get/stay ripped. When you mess up donít beat yourself up...chalk it up to being human and donít take yourself so damn seriously.

    You are already evolving away from the lie that you were living into an incredibly strong force of nature & freedom and thereís no turning back now. Congratulations!

  9. #8
    Platinum Member Jibralta's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Posts
    4,951
    Gender
    Female
    Originally Posted by SonicYouth
    That they feel I'm a pathetic wreck and they'll throw me a bone so I don't jump off a bridge. Typing that out, I realize how ridiculous it sounds.
    I'm glad that typing that out helped you to see how ridiculous that is.

    These are your thoughts, not theirs. You are feeling bad about the relationship that just ended.

    Yes, your friends and family are probably sympathetic. Yes, they probably felt that you could have done better. But believe me, they are wrapped up in the mundane details of their own lives and are not dwelling on your relationship with the same attention to detail that you are.

    Are you still in therapy? I've always found it helpful to write these feelings out in detail, or talk through them with a good therapist.

    Originally Posted by SonicYouth
    But still, there's that little voice saying, "No one really likes you. You're not good enough." It was loud enough that I went on one date with a woman who turned out to REALLY like me and I cut it off, because I was scared to move forward.
    Your feelings are particularly strong right now, mainly because you are recently out of a very long relationship. You are still raw, and these feelings will continue to interfere with new relationships for a while.

    It's going to take time for you to heal fully and get back on your feet. But it will happen.

  10. #9
    Platinum Member DancingFool's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Wilds of Texas
    Posts
    10,940
    Gender
    Female
    You are correct that your marriage was emotionally abusive and what you are feeling now are essentially like aftershocks. People are being kind to you, caring about you, but due to the abuse, you can't trust or accept that at face value. Your mind is looking for some kind of hidden negativity that's not actually there. The important part is that writing it out made you aware that this mindset is not right and, as another poster said, being conscious and aware of what's going is your road to healing. Any time these toxic thoughts pop up, you have the capacity to either shut them down or change the narrative.

    Please don't try to date while you are working this out. People who've been in abusive relationships tend to end up with more abusive partners if they don't take the time to get clear of all that and to fix their picker. If it helps to write here, do it. If you like, you might want to peruse some self help books, or pursue some therapy to help heal and move along faster. The critic in your head isn't your own, it's still your ex wife and her toxic drip. It takes awhile and some concentrated effort to get clear of that. Being conscious of what is going on is key.

  11. #10
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Cloud Nine
    Posts
    39,557
    Gender
    Male
    Sorry to hear this. therapy would work wonders to unpack and sort all this out. People who hear victim stories tend to respond with pity and that often exacerbates things. Especially if you are confiding in women you are meeting, talking to, dating, etc., you are going to hear about what you "deserve".
    Originally Posted by SonicYouth
    I've been told by multiple people that they're glad I've gotten out of the marriage.
    I just can't shake the feeling, though, that people are nice to me and encouraging because they feel sorry for me. That they feel I'm a pathetic wreck and they'll throw me a bone so I don't jump off a bridge.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Videos


Wedding Jitters Could Be a Predictor for a Future Divorce

Botox Fights Depression And Makes You Feel Happier

Men Are More Sensitive than Women when Having Relationship Problems

Friendship Between Men and Women Often Involves Attraction

Infidelity

Most Women Rather Not Date Unemployed Men
Give Advice
Ask For Advice

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •