"I look inside myself to find my peace"


Self Pity (The Emotional Parasite)


*Self-pity is a parasite that feeds on itself. Many of us are inclined towards self-pity, not allowing for the balance of life's natural tragedies. We will face good and bad times--and they will pass. With certainty they will pass. The attitude "Why me?" hints at the little compassion we generally feel for others' suffering. Our empathy with others' even our awareness of their suffering, is generally minimal. We are much too involved in our own. Were we less self-centered, we'd see that blessings and tragedies visit us all in equal amounts.  Some people respond to their blessings with equanimity, and they quietly remove the sting from their tragedies. We can learn to do both. Recovery is learning new responses, feeling and behaving in healthier ways. 
We need not get caught by self-pity. We can always feel it coming on. And we can always let it go. Self-pity may beckon today, fortunately, we can learn that we have other choices.
(*The above paragraph, excerpt was taken from the wonderful book: Each Day a New Beginning by Karen Casey.)
"Why does this happen to me? Nothing ever goes right!"
We all have at some point in our lives had this emotion of "self pity." It is emotionally draining. Like a parasite feeding on our emotions. Its a human or natural emotion brought on by sadness, things not working out the way we'd like them to, self doubt and even by other people. Even though we all have the ability to swing down into self pity, we shouldn't. Self pity can cause a clean/sober person to fall back into their addiction. It can also cause a person whom never had an addiction to start one. Its a "negative emotion."  But it doesn't have to lead to a negative outcome for us.  Don't confuse Self-pity with Grief. Grief is feelings that accompany any kind of loss. Feelings of loss and to mourn the loss. Unlike Self Pity which is feelings of shame or guilt that is a result of deeper, more painful feelings that seem impossible for a person to reveal, even blocking or surpressing any chance of a positive outcome.  
Sometimes when we try to listen and then help someone, by showing them that they're allowing self pity to get the better of them, can cause them to become angry. This is due to shame, guilt or hiding of hurtful unexpressed feelings. Emotional pain that leads us to block the helpful or positive feelings that can help us to feel better.  Self pity can cause us to hide the feelings that we feel are shameful. Its also an addictive emotion, at times giving us a sense of pleasure, hiding us from reality.  As human beings, we have free will, which allows us to make choices in our lives. Remember its us, ourselves that can direct our own thinking and thought patterns.  The worse thing you can do to yourself is allow others to direct how you feel. That can be extremely destructive emotionally for anyone.
Learning how not to allow self pity to take control everytime things seem difficult or insurmountable will be key to developing a sense of a positive outlook, understanding and confidence.  Being a good listener to those who are in the self pity state of mind is very helpful. Respecting the self pity sufferer's privacy is paramount.  In other words keep it private, don't go telling everyone. Once that person has purged or expressed their deep emotional pain to you, then you can begin to help them heal by suggesting a positive resolve to their emotional dilemma.  At all costs don't become so emotionally involved that you could fall into shame or self pity youself due to what you may hear your suffering friend tell you. Have empathy, be realistic and find the positive side to whatever the solution could be. Help and encourage your friend or loved one to see the light at the end of the tunnel. In doing this you can help the self pity sufferer onto the road of healing and recovering and you'll feel gratified that you were able to help. You'd be suprised at the healthy results of a good listener and positive input. Hug each other and go about your day.
Copyright(c)2013. Self Pity(The Emotional Parasite)Written by Sherrie Vitello. All Rights Reserved.


  1. Thats such great advice for people in this situation, thanks for writing the article.

  2. This is my first time on this site,you never know who have gone through some difficult situation in their life unless you look for it or talk to someone that is in a bad situation and can't see their way out,well this have really help me deal with and see away out of self-pity no more will i accept this in my life anymore i release it this day in jesus name it will not hold me nor keep me from moving on to a postive atmosphere in my life thank you so very much.You don't realize how much damage self-pity can do until you have walk in a path of darkness of this spirit but know light has shined in my heart it's plain to me know i see how it has and can do more harm then good in your life,i'm staying postive from this moment on god bless you.


We appreciate your comments.