I uttered a sentence today and once it was out of my mouth, it lingered.
"I don't want pity."
Now what is wrong with being pitied? http://www.thefreedictionary.com/pity
. pl. pit·ies
1. Sympathy and sorrow aroused by the misfortune or suffering of another.
2. A matter of regret: It's a pity she can't attend the reception.
v. pit·ied, pit·y·ing, pit·ies
To feel pity for.
To feel pity.
have/take pity on
To show compassion for.
[Middle English pite, from Old French, from Latin piets, piety, compassion, from pius, dutiful.]
Synonyms: pity, compassion, commiseration, sympathy, condolence, empathy
These nouns signify kindly concern aroused by the misfortune, affliction, or suffering of another. Pity often implies a feeling of sorrow that inclines one to help or to show mercy: felt pity for the outcast.
Compassion denotes deep awareness of the suffering of another and the wish to relieve it: "Compassion is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism" (Hubert H. Humphrey).
Commiseration signifies the expression of pity or sorrow: expressed their commiseration over the failure of the experiment.
Sympathy denotes the act of or capacity for sharing in the sorrows or troubles of another: "They had little sympathy to spare for their unfortunate enemies" (William Hickling Prescott).
Condolence is a formal, conventional expression of pity, usually to relatives upon a death: extending condolences to the bereaved family.
Empathy is an identification with and understanding of another's situation, feelings, and motives: Having changed schools several times as a child, I feel empathy for the transfer students.
n pl pities
1. sympathy or sorrow felt for the sufferings of another
have (or take) pity on to have sympathy or show mercy for
3. something that causes regret or pity
4. an unfortunate chance what a pity you can't come
more's the pity it is highly regrettable (that)
vb pities, pitying, pitied
(tr) to feel pity for
[from Old French pité, from Latin pietās duty]
After reading this, I ask you - what is wrong with being pitied? Is it not a well meant feeling? If I feel pity myself toward someone, is that a bad thing? But my spinal reflex is clear. I. Do. Not. Want. Pity. ...Why?
Being in a pitiful state isn't unknown to me. Until not so long ago my meds were wrong, and I passed much of this winter in a numb negative mental state; deep depression. My mental health nurse's eyes were visibly filled with pity. It was hard to deal with. And until a couple of years ago when I had an operation, I was VERY fat and was anything but easy on anyone's eyes. But you don't get pity for that until your gut scrapes the ground. So of course, noone wants to be in a situation where they qualify for pity. But if you are, what is wrong with a little human compassion?
Let's try again. How is pity given? Imagine a hobo on the street. People pass him by. They will mostly ignore him completely, but a few might look at him briefly with.... pity. For a more personal variation, imagine going on a visit to a sick relative. He is in sick bed maybe, looking pale and uncomfortable. Now you look at him in pity, and then you say... "Wow, you look pretty bad! Poor you." He knew that already, and now he feels a little worse for having that feeling reinforced. And I HATE getting that kind of attention. Now if I am in that sick bed and the person instead asks if there is something she can do, like getting me a book or a cup of coffee or some newspapers it feels a lot better. Why don't I mind getting THAT sort of pity?
I'm nowhere nearer an answer, and that is why I post this here. Can someone tell me what is wrong with pity; why don't I want to be sympathezised with when I don't see anything wrong in giving it to others? Perhaps I can understand this spinal reflex with the help of other opinions.