Tag Archives: self pity

Is It Self Pity Or Self Compassion?

It seems to be a big thing these days to take pride in not feeling sorry for yourself.  Pick yourself up by your bootstraps!  If you can do that, yay you!

It seems to me though, that this doesn’t make a lot of sense.

Compassion is a wonderful thing.  If you are hurting, & someone lets you know that they care or they try to make you feel better, it really helps ease your pain.  Even if the person knows nothing they can do can take away your pain, so they offer you a silent hug or just listen to you talk, these loving gestures can mean the world in times of trouble.

So why is it such a bad to offer yourself these kind of loving gestures?

If I had a friend who had recently experienced something traumatic, I would try to offer her comfort as best I could.  I would tell her to relax while I cleaned her house if she wasn’t feeling up to it or take her to dinner. So why is it any different if I was the one who lost someone to do similar things for myself?  That is NOT self pity- it is self compassion, & I fail to see how it is a bad thing.

Of course, balance must be had.  You can’t feel sorry for yourself 24/7 or you’d be utterly miserable.  That being said though, I think it is quite healthy to feel bad for yourself after experiencing trauma, disappointment, loss or heartbreak.  Basically, you’re telling yourself that you love yourself, & you care about the fact you’re going through a tough time.  What could possibly be so bad about that??

Aside from society’s foolish view on this topic, being someone who has survived narcissistic abuse, it can be difficult for you to give yourself any compassion.  When you are raised by someone who makes it very clear that your pain means nothing, it is very hard to care about yourself.  The more you heal from narcissistic abuse though, the easier it becomes.  The more you finally gain the realization you are worthy & you are lovable, the more self compassion you have.  You finally understand that your narcissistic mother isn’t the only one to have problems.  You have genuine problems too sometimes, & there is absolutely nothing wrong with taking care of yourself when you are suffering because of them.

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Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Mental Health, Narcissism

Self Pity

It seems like everywhere I look lately, I’m seeing something about how no one should indulge in self pity.  It’s dangerous to your mental health, & a sign of weakness & immaturity, etc. etc.

I respectfully disagree.

While constantly feeling sorry for one’s self can lead to depression of course, I believe there are times where self pity is normal &, dare I say, even healthy.

–When someone you love dies, why do you grieve?  Because you miss that person.  That is perfectly normal! 

–When you & your first love broke up, you felt sorry for yourself because you were hurting.   That too, is perfectly normal.

–And, when you learn that your childhood wasn’t normal, but abusive, you’re going to feel sorry for yourself sometimes.  That is completely normal, especially on days when you wake up from nightmares or someone says something that reminds you of your abusive parent, causing you tremendous anxiety.

Although for many years, I shared the common mindset of the dangers of self pity, I have come to realize that it is wrong- self pity is a necessary part of life.  It’s a normal part of the grief process, & it helps you learn from painful experiences.   It also motivates you to be gentle with yourself during hard times.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with feeling sorry for yourself sometimes.  After all, it is evidence of your compassion.  If you can feel sorry for others who hurt, why shouldn’t you offer yourself that same love & compassion? You deserve compassion too!

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Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Christian Topics and Prayers, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Mental Health