• Wheatley
    1.3k
    Nowadays you can't mention self pity without someone telling you it's bad. A quick google search about self pity and nearly everyone has something bad to say about it. We are told that self pity is harmful, self pity is devastating, and should be avoided as much as possible.

    As person who pities himself quite a lot, I find the negative perception of self pity unsettling. It feels very natural for me to pity myself. Living with mental illness and many other ailments has put me at significant disadvantage in life. Others won't be able to understand everything I go through, so they are little help in providing me pity. Life can be very difficult and unsettling, and I don't want to abandon my small comfort in feeling bad for myself.

    I think human being should embrace all their emotions, happy, and yes - sad. While some of us will try to avoid the negative side of us because it can be painful and temporarily slow down our productivity, I think they are being superficial. I don't believe it is for the best to shun away our negative feelings just because they are an inconvenience.

    But I'm not all gloom and doom, just because I want us to embrace sadness doesn't mean I have forgotten about the positive side to our emotions. Yes, feel your sad feelings, but explore the happy side of life to. There should be a balance between your positive and negative emotions. Kind of like the yin yang in Chinese philosophy.
  • Coben
    1.6k
    I think it might be useful to reframe what is getting labeled self-pity as other things: self-love, grief related to activities and people and connections lost, self-concern, honest emotional reactions to situations and events and relationships

    and so on.

    A great book on the actual roots of depression is

    https://www.amazon.com/Lost-Connections-Uncovering-Depression-Unexpected-ebook/dp/B07583XJRW

    There is a more than ever pathologization of emotions - not coincidentally profitably for some organizations and professions.

    Yes, there is no reason to learn to hate or feel shame for sadness. Sometimes we get into habits with emotions. IOW we can stay in sadness when we are actually at least also angry. That's just one example. It may be good to notice how our habit of focusing on one of our emotional reactions is keeping things frozen. But there is nothing wrong with feeling bad about what is unpleasant.

    There's a war on, a war against the limbic system. We are all being taught to hate ourselves, our emotions and reactions. Right now that war comes through ideas, medication, surface presentation/branding of the self via social media, psychiatry, advertising and more. Right now they are working on getting at the physical roots of their hatred of the limbic system through genetic modification, human machine interface and better drugs, nano-interventions.

    I am being melodramatic and realize that in each person's life it looks, generally, nothing like a war. Think of it as a cyberwar, a meme war, a psyops campaign. It's slower and subtler that a literal traditional war. But it is still violence.
  • Bitter Crank
    8.8k
    Sometimes self pity is the only option available.
  • Wayfarer
    10.1k
    Although theoretically philosophy is said to be the antidote. Presumably by inculcating the realisation that, as everyone is subject to self-pity, then really the emotion should be extended to others, which magically transforms it into compassion.
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