Monday, 13 May 2019 11:34
The self-pity gameWritten by Holistic Awareness
Hello everyone! For the opening of this blog, I decided to write about “self-pity” because through my work, I come to see more and more the negative effects it has in peoples’ lives. The goal of this article is to expose all the truth that is associated to this manipulative behavior.
Yes, self-pity is another form of manipulation that people use to get their needs met. It’s a sneaky one! It is common that people who exhibit this behavior are so wrapped up in this “victim role” they’re playing that are not actually aware of doing it. It has been so embedded in the core of their personality that becoming consciously aware of this destructive trait is difficult.
But how self-pity appears in someone’s life in the first place? Kids that don’t have their emotional needs met or that feel ignored, rejected, abandoned, not truly seen and understood by their parents have a tendency of developing self-pity and a more general victimhood mentality. These kids manage to attract the attention, love and care they need only when they are getting sick, they are involved in fights and are been bullied or when having difficulties at school or with their friendships. These kids are not aware that the cost for adopting this survival mechanism is high. If they can get few of their emotional needs met this way then in their mind it’s worth embracing this behavior. However, this behavior is not only limited to the kid’s effort to attract its parents’ attention, love and care. It spreads like a virus in every other relationship that this kid develops later on as an adult e.g. in their friendships, in their romantic relationships or in their school, college, work related relationships.
People that struggle with self-pity are very self-centered. They believe that their problems are more serious than other peoples’ problems. They might show interest for someone’s issues, but that interest is superficial, they do not really care to listen and feel the other person. Even though they suffer from extremely low self-esteem, they might often appear as very arrogant, proud, or snobbish. Also, they have the tendency to take things personally and they get easily offended.
They hate taking responsibility for their life and for how they feel. They are in constant search of someone that can rescue them e.g. a friend or a partner. And if they do find someone that is willing to do that, the expectations they have from them are so high. People with self-pity are master manipulators. They are addicted to controlling everyone and everything around them in order to have their needs met. And when the other person wants to stop playing the role of the rescuer or decides to cut off this relationship because they are tired and exhausted of this game, then they feel threatened and they get really angry. They infuse the other person with lots of GUILT and in order to avoid losing the control they might even take it to the extremes (see people who threaten to commit suicide). Losing the person that takes care of them feels like an actual death to them. It’s re-experiencing that old childhood trauma all over again. Losing control brings them to a space of absolute powerlessness.
People who struggle with self-pity are stuck in a very vicious and painful circle. Even though they want desperately to feel loved, seen, acknowledged and appreciated, when love comes their way, they are unable to recognize it. When love is given to them, they are unable to feel it. They are unable to WAKE UP to the blessings they already have in their life. Their addiction is to CONTROL others to meet their needs and when this happens, it only offers comfort and relief just for a short time. Then the feeling of emptiness and the sense that life is somewhat pointless comes back to consume them. These people also suffer constantly from deep levels of shame, because deep inside, even though they are not conscious of their manipulation, they feel that they are doing something wrong or that there is something wrong with them.
We all do self-pity in our life to a certain degree. But to what extent? Do we do it sometimes to get that extra care, that extra attention or do we let self-pity hold the wheel and we just sit in the back seat without realizing that we are heading towards the cliff? Self-pity is a self-defense mechanism that our ego developed very intelligently in order to help us survive our difficult childhood. But this defense does not serve us anymore, it’s rather destructive. It sabotages our current life and all the possibilities of choosing a happier future.
If you feel pity for yourself, but you are not willing to let it run your life anymore, you need to find the courage to start trusting people again. You were hurt in the past, but that doesn’t mean that everyone is after hurting you in your present life. Don’t set people up to betray you and hurt you in advance. You have to choose to let people in and yes that will make you feel vulnerable and scared in the beginning, because you might get hurt again, but choosing to cut off yourself entirely from love in the first place in fear of getting hurt, will block all love out. And living a life without love and connection is half a life.
Also, you need to start communicating your needs to others in a straight-forward manner. Sometimes other people will be able to meet those needs, some other times they won’t, and you need to learn to be ok with this. Instead of spending all your time thinking of different ways on how to get others to meet your needs, spend that time recognizing what you truly need and find ways to meet those needs by yourself. Don’t make your own well-being other people’s business. Taking care of one’s self is a full time job and everyone needs to do it for themselves first.
Finally, you need to start becoming aware of your motives when giving and receiving. If you give to others in order to get something back in return, you will soon feel lots of resentment for the other person. This manipulation can damage seriously your relationships; instead of building intimacy and true connection with others, you will end up with a bunch of fake and superficial relationships.
I really hope that this article serves as a WAKE UP call to anyone out there that struggles with self-pity and as an invitation to CHOOSE to set yourself free from it. This behavior does not serve you anymore and if you keep using it as means to get your needs met, it will never actually take you where you want to go and have the life that you truly desire. Wake up to the love that already exists around you and open up yourself to all the new possibilities that will bring in more love, connection and easiness!
Published in News