Self-Pity and Condemnation

Howard Schultz once quoted, “In life, you can blame a lot of people and you can wallow in self-pity, or you can pick yourself up and say, ‘Listen, I have to be responsible for myself.’” The primary focus of self-pity is on the self and one’s emotions within, it also possess a very powerful interpersonal component. Employing such an interpersonal emotion of sorrow, which is a choice, is directing the emotional feeling or response toward others with the goal of attracting attention, empathy, or help. Let me clarify; I am not addressing valid clinical conditions. A more complex field of expertise is required for a proper diagnosis. However, some who deal with self-pity usually look outside of themselves for the source of their problems which only leads to a downward spiral of issues.

Yes, horrible things happen in life. It is inevitable. Since this is the case, self-pity and condemnation are not inexcusable. Interpersonal emotions of agony are indeed a choice, and sometimes the choice can be challenging to make. People who consume themselves in self-pity not only deny the opportunity of constructive progression, but they affect themselves in a way that guarantees very few positive products. Reading this is not going to assure an absence of self-pity, but will allow you to be aware of its detrimental outcomes.

Self-pity is primarily the exaggerated and self-indulgent pity over one’s life, position, or circumstance. The interesting thing about self-pity is that it can be temporally soothing to one’s problems, but with such a significant effect, many times people can mutate it into a foul habit. And when self-pity is made a habit, it not only impedes the progress we make in life, but it creates self-destructive cycles of self-sabotage. Self-pity is so addictive it gives us the momentary pleasure of being supported, cared for, and emotionally pampered. Such an occurrence can be a very dangerous, highly maladaptive way of developing emotional bonds and connections with other people. The polar opposite of being pampered, self-pity is one of the most efficient ways of keeping yourself separate and independent from one’s friends, family, and people around you. It creates a wedge between you and the ones you care for dearly. Emotionally, it has the same consequences as an alcoholic choosing to drink rather than putting his family before the bottle. It is self-destructive and self-crucifiable.

People who struggle with such problems tend to be victims of a low self-esteem. The mind is a slave to the craving for acceptance and affection of others. The unrecognizable mask of self-pity promotes its tragic-life-story campaign, collecting flocks of unsuspected and unwanted supporters. Here’s a wake-up call, the more self-absorbed you are, the more likely you are to become lost in the enigma of self-pity.

The indulgence of self-pity is essentially an investment in misery. One makes this investment with the false hope of yielding something of great value in the end. There is no question that this is an endless cycle of misery: a cycle that forces one to increase the size of their investment until they are left with nothing but helplessness and indignation. There is no question that this is merely a mirage that will eventually reveal itself, but not until it has plundered a person’s soul and left it wrecked to drown in a sea of self-destruction.

The famous writer, Deborah Shelby, once quoted, “I was a hapless victim of love, and I played my part like Shakespeare had written it for me. I gave in completely to self-pity. I cried in public for the poor cashier at the grocery store. I wore my swollen eyes like a badge of honor.”

“I wore my swollen eyes like a badge of honor.”

Don’t wear your swollen eyes like a badge of honor.

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