I used to wallow in my pain, but now....
I have a few ideals I try to follow:
1. What you focus on grows stronger.
- if I don't want to be reminded of bad things, bad people or bad experiences, then I should focus on the things I love, feel grateful for and appreciate. Even the little things, like that my buddy came over to watch The X-Files with me. That I had a good make-out session with a cute guy who treated me nicely. No matter how bad I'm feelings, just think of something -- anything-- that i can feel grateful for. Like this website, this computer, my summer tan, my cute cat, all the food in my refrigerator, specifically dark chocolate, and on and on. By reminding myself of what I love, my pain will relent by default. It can take effort sometimes though.
2. You can only do three things in any given situation that you don't like.
Remove yourself from the situation. If you can't remove yourself, then change the situation. If you can't change the situation, then accept the situation.
I learned this from Eckart Tolle in the Power of Now. It really changed my attitude towards a lot of situations, even basic things, like waiting in line, being in traffic, to more significant things like whether or not to be around a certain person.
3. Trust my instincts.
They are always right. The times that I've made mistakes, I can recall that I felt a little uncertain. There were moments where my brain said "no this is wrong" or told me to say or do a certain thing and when I didn't listen, it inevitably blew up in my face.
So, I try to remind myself to trust them. Go with what feels right, when you feel confident and good around a person or situation.
4. "Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self- esteem, first make sure that you are not, in fact, just surrounded by assholes."
This basic thought changed my life as well, and reflects on my #3 rule.