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Do You Know An Eeyore? Why It Can Be Hard To Leave The Self Pity Behind

I ran into a girlfriend who was complaining about her Eeyore co-worker.

What’s an Eeyore? You may remember from childhood that cute, bedraggled old donkey from Winnie the Pooh. Eeyore was always moaning and complaining. He was determined to not let even a tiny sliver of sunshine into his life. Here’s a YouTube with some of Eeyore’s best quotes. Do you know someone like this?

Here are a few Eeyore quotes:

If it is a good morning, which I doubt…”

“End of the road, nothing to do, and no hope of things getting better…”

Anne the Eeyore

This co-worker, lets call her Anne, is someone who is incredibly annoying to her co-workers.  Anne is always complaining, sees nothing positive in her life, and no matter how much help she is offered, she never does anything differently. She complains about her obesity but buys the Big Gulp Fruit Punch at the 7 Eleven every day. (We all do the self-sabotage thing!)

She hates her job but never polishes her resume or tries to do anything different. Anne has been told a zillion times to seek professional treatment for her depression, to get nutritional counseling, and has been offered the support of a ton of people. Anne doesn’t budge.

Eeyores are hard to understand. Why do they choose the Eeyore mindset over anything else?

Well, one reason could be that there are real upsides to victimhood. That’s right. It isn’t as bad as it looks on the outside to be an Eeyore. Here are four reasons some people have trouble leaving the Eeyore life behind:

1. You can feel sorry for yourself.

You can feel as if you are the one who has been wronged and taken advantage of. You can wallow in self-pity. In a weird way, self-pity can feel good. Yes, and this can be addicting, soothing, and can feed a need.

2. It is hard to get out there and take risks.

Heck, it took me a ton of courage just to get up the nerve to write this blog. “What if I suck? What if people don’t like me? What if I fail?” I hate facing these fears and trudging forward. It isn’t comfortable. Sometimes, I wanna’ crawl behind a rock or at least under my puffy comforter and not do any of the hard stuff. I get it.

3. You won’t fail.

If you don’t try, you won’t fail. Believe it or not, some Eeyores are major perfectionists who find it difficult to be imperfect, therefore, they don’t even try. This black or white thinking puts them in the black before they have even taken their first step.

4. Some people don’t know they can choose something different.

Some people believe how they are is just how they are. They don’t know that changed attitudes and changed beliefs can positively impact one’s emotions and one’s life. 12 Step programs and cognitive behavioral therapy can do wonders to change one’s beliefs about their power to find happiness in the world. The Feeling Good Handbook by David Burns is a powerful resource to begin this journey.

Pity Parties Are Alright!

Having a pity party and feeling really bad is absolutely all right. We need this sometimes. It is a part of the human condition, especially when we are feeling great loss, sadness, hurt, or grief. Self-pity can be soothing and useful; however, when we don’t have healthier ways to cope and don’t feel empowered, we can get to where we stay in this mode instead of attempting to change our circumstances.

The problem with too much self-pity is that it is a rut that gets deeper with the time and effort you put into it.

Never ending self- pity is hard for other people to deal with, too. Self-pity, like any other bad habit, can be broken. If you are someone who can’t stop the self-pity, turn that negative energy around and use it to accomplish something. An individual counselor, 12-step group,  or coach can help.

There comes a time in our lives to stop the self-pity.

Giveaway Girls can find it hard to let go. The good news is, we all have choices and we can live our lives in whatever way we choose. No matter how bad the circumstances, we always have choices.

Take care, cherilynnvelandSM

About the author: Cherilynn M. Veland, LCSW, MSW, is author of the forthcoming book Stop Giving It Away. She leads a new self-advocacy movement intended to help women reach out, speak up, and take action steps for what’s best for them. Please support this effort by liking the Facebook page and/or subscribing for updates on my blog. You can also connect on Twitter and Google Plus. “Help me out, sisters!”



Do You Know An Eeyore? Why It Can Be Hard To Leave The Self Pity Behind

Cherilynn Veland, LCSW, MSW

Cherilynn Veland, MSW, LCSW, is a counselor and coach based in Chicago. She has been helping individuals, couples and families for more than 20 years. She is author of Stop Giving It Away, a book about developing healthier relationships with yourself and others. The Stop Giving It Away movement aims to stop the detrimental level of self-sacrifice in which many women live and work. Winner of the 2015 National Indie Excellence Book Award in the Women's Issues category - Stop Giving It Away.

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APA Reference
, . (2015). Do You Know An Eeyore? Why It Can Be Hard To Leave The Self Pity Behind. Psych Central. Retrieved on February 21, 2020, from


Last updated: 2 Apr 2015
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