Why Do People Enjoy Receiving Pity?

by Ashley Fern

There is nothing I hate in the world more than receiving pity, whether it is warranted or not. For some reason though, there are people out there who welcome pity at every angle they can get it.

I understand that you may be sick and need to stay home from work, but why would you feel the need to complain about it to anyone whom is willing to listen? This is because we crave attention in any form we can get it and it’s pathetic. People will literally brag when they get sick, making a huge deal about a little cough.

“Self-pity is a psychological state of mind of an individual in perceived adverse situations who has not accepted the situation and does not have the confidence nor ability to cope with it. It is characterized by a person’s belief that they are the victims of events and is therefore deserving of condolence.”

People play the victim in all sorts of situations because they love the attention it brings them. By acting like a victim, you release your responsibility and put it on someone else. These people look at external factors for reasons to explain their distress or misery. They are unable to accept personal responsibility for their failures.

Isn’t it a lot easier just to sit back and to enjoy your life, rather than to actively complain about every aspect of it? To seek pity is disempowering and degrading; expecting people to feel sorry for you is downright manipulative. Some people just enjoy wallowing and like to insist how hard their lives are, yet are not willing to be helped or to do anything about it. These people are addicted to their own sob stories.

“People who wallow in self-pity want validation for their feelings, justification for their tears and sorrows, and generally require the assistance of another person.”

This is a huge indicator of insecurity. We seek pity because of this need for attention, and without pity, we think that others will not care about us. Pity helps to validate our feelings of inadequacy. This all goes back to a person’s self-esteem. Only through personal reflection can this insecurity be eliminated. Furthermore, laziness can be another reason for this sort of behavior. It takes far less effort to complain about something than it takes to get up and go do something about it.

The only way to eliminate this sort of behavior is to make yourself continuously aware of it. You need to remain conscious of the way you are acting around others. If you are typically in a bad mood or only focused on yourself, you need to stop, to reflect and to analyze the reason you are behaving in this manner. In the end, you will only hurt yourself and all the relationships in your life, whether it be with a partner, friends or family.

“Pity in its embrace strangles respect.”

You need to develop a sense of individual responsibility; recognize that you are in control of the outcomes in your life. Of course, to a certain extent, your environment plays a role in your mood, but ultimately it is up to you. You need to stop the addiction of looking to others for reassurance.

Receiving pity, as opposed to empathy, means that others will view you in a negative light. Empathy means people feel for you and are concerned with your well-being for a good reason; pity has negative connotations attached to it.

“Pity makes suffering contagious.”

The main issue with this type of person is that they choose to wallow in self-pity as opposed to seeking help. They use their “sadness” as an excuse to do nothing to improve their situations, even though they have the capability to do so.

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