Self-Pity or Self-Compassion

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There is a vast difference between feeling sorry for yourself and feeling kindness toward yourself.


When you see yourself as a victim, you indulge in self-pity. You are a bottomless pit of misery, and you may find yourself crying endless victim tears. You might say things like:

  • Why do bad things always happen to me?
  • I’m a loser and I’ll always be a loser.
  • It’s not fair.
  • God is here for everyone but me.
  • I’m just not one of the lucky ones.
  • Everything is my fault. I’m not good enough.

Self-pity might serve two purposes:

  • It gets you off the hook from having to take responsibility for yourself. If you see yourself as a loser or unlucky or not good enough, then you don’t have to take loving action in your own behalf.
  • The hope of self-pity may be to make someone else feel guilty enough to take responsibility for you. Self-pity is a form of control – to avoid making mistakes, and possibly failing, by getting someone else to feel sorry enough for you, or guilty enough, to take care of you.

Is self-pity working for you? Even if you do get someone to do for you what you need to be doing for yourself, is it making you feel joyful and secure? The price you pay for not taking responsibility for yourself might be huge.

When you are indulging in self-pity, you may be trying to get someone else to give you the compassion that you need to be giving to yourself. While compassion from others always feels great, if you are stuck in self-judgment and self-pity, it will have no lasting positive effect.

For many years of my life, I was a victim, always trying to get someone else to give me the compassion that I had not received as a child. Most of the time, people resisted giving me what I wanted, as they didn’t want to feel controlled by me, and they couldn’t feel much compassion toward me when I was abandoning myself.

It was a huge shift in my life when I realized that I could give myself the compassion that I kept trying to get from others.


While the energy of self-pity has a very low frequency, and feeds on itself to take you lower and lower, the energy of self-compassion is powerful and uplifting.

Self-pity comes from the false beliefs of the ego wounded self, while the energy of self-compassion comes through you from your spiritual connection.

When you feel sorry for yourself, your heart is closed to the love and wisdom that is within you and all around you; when you choose to be kind to yourself and gentle with yourself, your heart opens to the love, wisdom and power of Spirit.

Self-pity comes from the intent to avoid/control, while self-compassion comes from the intent to be loving to yourself.

When you choose to be compassionate toward yourself, you might say to your inner child – the feeling part of you – things like:

  • I know this is very hard, and I’m here for you. You are not alone.
  • The challenges of life can be very painful. I’m so sorry you have to go through this. I love you and we will be okay.
  • This painful situation has nothing to do with you being bad or not good enough. Everyone has painful challenges in life. You are not being punished.
  • It’s okay to cry whenever you need to. We will reach out for comfort when we need it.

There is a vast difference between reaching out for comfort, and trying to manipulate someone into feeling sorry for you and taking care of you. When you are feeling sorry for yourself, you have abandoned yourself, while when you are compassionate toward yourself, you are taking responsibility for yourself. Sometimes, this involves asking others for help. We can’t always do it alone, but asking for help is very different than asking someone to do it for you.

For me, the paradox is that, once I learned how to connect with my personal source of spiritual Guidance and give myself the compassion I needed, I started to also receive compassion from others. This compassion from others is mostly the icing on the cake, rather than the cake itself.

Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is a best-selling author of 8 books, relationship expert, and co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding® process – featured on Oprah. Are you are ready to heal your pain and discover your joy? Click here for a FREE Inner Bonding Course, and visit our website at for more articles and help. Phone Sessions Available. Join the thousands we have already helped and visit us now!

Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is a best-selling author of 8 books and co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding healing process. Dr. Margaret Paul is the author/co-author of numerous best-selling books, including: Do I Have To Give Up Me to Be Loved By You? Do I Have To Give Up Me to Be Loved By You?…The Workbook Healing Your Aloneness The Healing Your Aloneness Workbook Inner Bonding Do I Have To Give Up Me to Be Loved By My Kids? Do I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By God? Margaret holds a Ph.D. in psychology and is a relationship expert, public speaker, seminar leader, consultant, facilitator, and artist. She has appeared on many radio and TV shows, including the Oprah show. She has successfully worked with thousands of individuals, couples and business relationships and taught classes and seminars for over 42 years. Dr. Paul’s books have been distributed around the world and have been translated into many languages. After practicing traditional psychotherapy for 17 years, Margaret was discouraged by the results – both for her clients and herself. She had spent years trying to heal from her own dysfunctional and abusive background, but found herself still suffering with anxiety and relationship problems. She started to seek a process that works fast, deep, creates permanent change, loving relationships, inner peace, and joy. In 1984, she met and became friends with Dr. Erika Chopich, who had half the Inner Bonding® process, and Margaret had the other half! They have been evolving this incredibly powerful healing process for the last 26 years. Margaret works with individuals and couples throughout the world – on the phone, in workshops and 5-Day Intensives, and with members of Inner Bonding Village at She is able to access spiritual Guidance during her sessions, which enables her to work with people wherever they are in the world. Dr. Margaret has just completed a 12 year project call SelfQuest®, which is a transformational self-healing/conflict resolution software program. SelfQuest® is being donated to prisons and schools and sold to individuals, families, and businesses. You can read about SelfQuest® and see a short video of it at In her spare time, Margaret loves to paint, make pottery, take photos, watch birds, read, ride and play with her horses, and spend time with her children and grandchildren.

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