The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines self-pity as “a self-indulgent dwelling on your own sorrows or misfortunes”. Here are some of the reasons why self-pity is so destructive:
- It is addictive. You want people to feel sorry for you. It becomes a habit and just like any other habit, it is hard to kick.
- It makes you into a victim. It prevents you from being completely honest about your own actions and the control you have over your own choices.
- It makes you selfish. You are so consumed with your own pain that your entire focus is inward. You don’t even see the pain of others and you are unable to feel grateful when people try to help you.
- It is self-indulgent as it is the easy route to take and prevents you from growing into all you can be as a person. It gives you an excuse to not apply yourself. You don’t have to account for your own failings, or look at other people fairly.
This is the script for self-pity: “I am in a really bad situation. I don’t understand why this has happened to me. I can’t do anything to help myself because it’s so bad.” This effectively absolves you from any blame and from taking any responsibility.