Self-pity itself generates the inability to achieve anything. It differs from the other two modes in that I do not blame myself (as in guilt) nor am I particularly socially-orientated (as in jealousy). Also it differs from guilt in self-pity mode in that it enables me to identify with people who have made heroic efforts in life and yet have failed (for guilt, heroism is meaningless). Self-pity makes me sentimental. When self-pity is dominant I deny responsibility ; one way of achieving this is the desire for endless travel – so long as I travel I have no responsibilities.
Types of Emotion
In general, endless activity is usually a hallmark of the flight from self-pity. Despite the activity the person is never satisfied.
Self-pity leads to travel as the expression of endless activity.
Self-pity (as a mode of guilt) leads to housework or business as the expressions of endless activity. [The workaholic person].
Self-pity (as a mode of jealousy) leads to duty as the expression of endless moral activity. [²]
This endless activity is the attempt to overcome the sense of failure.
Self-pity implies the sense of social failure.
Self-pity (as a mode of guilt) implies the sense of spiritual failure, or the failure of idealism.
Self-pity (as a mode of jealousy) implies the sense of personal failure, that is, the failure to be an individual.
Copyright © 2002 Ian Heath All Rights Reserved