Throwing pity parties

You can see how viewing your life as a beauty contest is hopeless and self-defeating and just a short step away from a pity party — you know, woe is me, no one likes me or loves me, I can't get a date, I'm doomed to spending the rest of my life alone diapering cats, I think I'll go eat worms. The self-loathing can move from face and body (I've got a zit farm and a spare tire that any sports utility vehicle would envy) to heart and soul (I'm not a worthwhile person) with incredible speed. If you really feel you absolutely must throw a pity party, stay in bed for a day, play sad music, feel incredibly sorry for yourself, and then cut it out. It's boring and no fun to be around and very counter-productive to dating.

Why would anyone want to spend time with you if you are so self-centered and sad? . . . And if you've been saying the same thing to yourself — quick! — think of three cool things about yourself. If you can't, call a therapist now. I'm not kidding. Pity parties you can decline; depression is another thing completely. See the earlier sidebar "Dealing with depression" if you're not sure whether you're just momentarily down on yourself or truly depressed.

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