Pity: its Bad and Good Sides

How do you personally feel about being pitied?

I prefer it over being hated so much I’m about to be murdered. Yes. As long as you don’t pity me so much you wish to interfere with my life against my will to “save” me, pity me as much as you like.

At the same time, I have observed that many people really hate being pitied. There could be many reasons for it.

1)      “I pity you” is often used as a barely concealed insult. Usually used when someone dislikes you so much, but doesn’t want to look like a bad person. Roughly translated as “I hope you get hit by a truck”.

2)      It can be purposely used as shaming language, to invalidate your point of view. If someone pities you after you express an opinion, it can mean they consider you too sad and emotionally unstable to form a valid opinion. Example: “I feel truly sorry for anyone who thinks the way you do”. It’s similar to calling someone insane for their views.

3)      It’s different from compassion. These words are often used synonymously, but I think many people can tell the difference. Pity is often defined as a sympathetic, but somewhat contemptuous sorrow for someone because they are suffering. Compassion implies being on the same level as them in some way.

And this is why I mostly keep pity to myself. I feel there is little use in saying how sorry I am that something is happening to them, if I can’t help anyway. Perhaps it’s a mistake. Pity has its good sides as well. Some people don’t even get that, and aren’t too proud to accept it. If someone finally acknowledges they are having a hard time, it makes them feel less alone. Being totally ignored can be worse than pity.

And some people simply prefer pity to even worse feedback – violence.

In the end, I will recommend not to be offended by pity. If you have nothing to be pitied for, then people’s shaming language is powerless. Remind them that pity is no substitute for argument, if necessary. And if they truly meant it, then thank them for such concern, and tell them they’re worrying in vain.



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12 Responses to Pity: its Bad and Good Sides

  1. TempestTcup says:

    Pity in the first two contexts is passive aggressive tactics meant in a mean-spirited way, but feeling sorry for someone losing a loved one or having a tragedy befall them is more what I think of as empathy. The first two kinds gross me out and make me feel the same pity right back at them 🙂

  2. Pingback: Pity: its Bad and Good Sides | Truth and contra...

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  4. Liz says:

    Pity, when expressed during a discussion in internet circles, is almost always intended to be belittling. You can say, “Sh*t that sucks…sorry to hear that” as an expression of honest regret and that isn’t pity, it’s empathy.

  5. RalphLauren says:

    I pity manginas. The only reason manginas behave the way they do is because they think women will have sex with them for it, never because they have a social conscience

  6. SirNemesis says:

    Pity tends to suggest a lack of respect.

    Kind of like “you’re a nice guy” tends to be followed by “but…”

  7. RalphLauren says:

    I pity nice guys. Because of feminism, females have jobs, yet they are still hypergamous, which means they ONLY have intercourse with RICH men, leaving regular men with no incentive to work, which will lead to the collapse of society.

  8. Gilgamesh says:

    I think you have the right idea. I don’t want to be pitied. I want to be envied.

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