How to Get People to Feel Sorry for You

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Are you one of those people that others just seem to expect to cope with everything? Does your life seem out of control and sometimes inside you’re screaming out for someone, anyone, to give you a break?

That can be really hard on a person, and that could be where you need to learn how to get people to feel sorry for you. Once they feel sorry for you, they might actually help you!

1. Assess your situation

You need to do this honestly as that is the only way to help yourself. It could be that you find that things aren’t as bad as you first thought, which should be taken as a positive. However, this reflection could underline to you just how much help you need.

It’s important that you don’t wallow in self pity. If you want people to feel sorry for you, your situation must warrant it.

2. Talk to the correct person

There is no point trying to get sympathy from someone who can’t help you or who doesn’t have a clue what you’re going through. Instead, try to talk to someone who has experienced the same difficulties you are going through now. They will also be the most useful ones from whom to seek practical advice.

If there is no-one you know who has gone through the same thing, try talking to a close family member or a trusted friend. Pick someone with whom you can be really honest and with whom you are not afraid to show emotion. They should also be someone who won’t judge you or gossip about what you tell them.

2. Pick your time and place

To unburden yourself, you need to feel safe in the place and also that you will not be overheard or interrupted.

3. Be honest

Tell your confidant exactly what is making you feel unhappy and so overwhelmed. Don’t hold back.

4. Stay calm

This may sound strange advice to stay calm if you want to get people to feel sorry for you. However, it works. You can cry and get emotional, but don’t get hysterical or whine. The idea is that you should appear to be battling bravely with adversity, rather than hosting your own pity party.

5. Show and Tell

In order to get people to feel sorry for you, you must clearly demonstrate how the problems that you are experiencing right now are affecting your life. Tell your confidant how you are feeling (anxious, depressed, angry, isolated etc.) and also how these feelings are affecting your life (lack of sleep, loss of appetite, difficulty in concentrating, etc.).

6. Demonstrate self help

It’s important to explain what you have done to help yourself. If people feel you have been lounging around waiting for others to help you, that won’t encourage them to feel sympathy for you; they will feel you are trying to manipulate them into solving all your problems for you.

If, on the other hand, you can show that your genuine efforts to help yourself have not worked out, other people will be a lot more sympathetic.

7. Look to the future

Anyone who wants to help you out will not want to be a bottomless pit of help. They won’t want you becoming dependent upon them. So, it helps if you can talk through some steps you’d like to take in the future in order to sort your life out, but explain that you feel too overwhelmed to do it all alone.

That way, they can see the parameters of their helping you and they can see that you don’t intend to use them and keep on using them. Tell them openly that you want moral and perhaps practical support from them and a listening ear, but that you know that the responsibility for solving your problems lies largely with you.

8. Express gratitude

Everyone likes to be appreciated, so thank your confidant for listening to you and volunteering to help you. Their sympathy will last much longer if they know you appreciate it.

The issue of how to get people to feel sorry for you revolves around you convincing them you are in a serious situation and need their help. Then you need to work together with your confidant to solve your problems.

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