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.