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Self-Pity and The Knot Theory of Mind

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Abstract

Aim is to discuss self-pity in the context of my psychological theory-The Knot Theory of Mind.
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Self-Pity and The Knot Theory of Mind
Domina Petric, MD
ABSTRACT
Aim is to discuss self-pity in the context of
my psychological theory-The Knot Theory
of Mind.
INTRODUCTION
˝Self-pity is a psychological state of mind
that can be defined as excessive, self-
absorbed unhappiness over one´s own
troubles. Selfpity is a frequent response to
stressful events. Joachim Stöber described
in his article two studies with N=141
and N=161 university students conducted,
employing multidimensional measures of
personality, control beliefs, anger,
loneliness, and adult attachment. With
respect to personality, results showed
strong associations of selfpity with
neuroticism, particularly with the
depression facet. With respect to control
beliefs, individuals high in selfpity
showed generalized externality beliefs,
seeing themselves as controlled by both
chance and powerful others. With respect
to anger expression, selfpity was primarily
related to angerin. Strong connections
with anger rumination were also found.
Furthermore, individuals high in selfpity
reported emotional loneliness and
ambivalentworrisome attachments.
Finally, in both studies, a strong
correlation with gender was found, with
women reporting more selfpity reactions
to stress than men.
Though the primary focus of self-pity is on
the self and one's own emotions that are
within, it also has a strong interpersonal
component. Being an interpersonal
emotion is directing the emotional feeling
or response toward others with the goal of
attracting attention, empathy or help.
However, some who are dealing with self-
pity usually look outside of themselves for
the source of their problems which only
leads to a downward spiral of issues (1).˝
SELF-PITY AND THE KNOTS OF
NEGATIVITY
When someone experiences a difficult
situation and suffers, it is normal to feel
regret, but it is not normal to fall into the
depths of self-pity. Self-pity is associated
with low self-esteem and blocks the person
to find hope and fight for oneself. When
the person experiences suffering because
something bad is happening (for example,
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that person is victim of injustice,
psychological and/or emotional abuse,
physical abuse, social isolation,
gaslighting…), it is normal to experience
negative emotions (for example, sadness,
anger, fear). The chain of healthy negative
emotions, feelings and thoughts has a
function to create a conclusion that
something bad is really happening and to
provoke useful reaction with the goal of
solving the problem. After experiencing
healthy chain of negative emotions,
feelings and thoughts, leading to the
correct conclusion, there should be a chain
of positive emotions, feelings and thoughts
leading to the problem solving. Self-pity
creates a gap between healthy chain of
negativity and healthy chain of positivity,
and, thus leaving the person in a passive
state. Self-pity does not allow the person to
solve the problem. It blocks the chain of
positivity and causes the deformation of
healthy negative emotions into
pathological negative emotions (for
example, healthy sadness becomes
depression, healthy anger becomes rage
and hatred, healthy fear becomes anxiety).
Staying too long in the depths of self-pity
will cause the formation of many knots of
negative emotions and thoughts. Self-pity
is a gap between suffer and hope,
conclusion and decision, and it transforms
healthy subject into the passive object.
Self-pity closes the optimistic window and
opens the pessimistic window. It can also
break the healthy introspective mirror and
that will cause the deformation of the
picture about oneself. It can also provoke
overthinking with typical ˝self-pitying˝
thoughts (˝Why is this happening to me? I
am so miserable. I will never solve this
problem.˝) that block the person in
everyday life. Instead of having these toxic
thoughts, it might be very helpful to have
optimistic and realistic thoughts, such as
˝This is a difficult situation, but I will do
everything in my power to solve this
problem. I will never give up. I will fight
back the abuser. I will defend myself. I
will seek help.˝
CONCLUSION
The suffering is often in life unavoidable
and there are two ways to deal with pain.
One way is self-pity and all the
consequences described in this article.
Other way is to accept pain and find hope,
fight for oneself and solve the problem
whenever is possible.
REFERENCES
1.Stober J. Self-Pity: Exploring the Links
to Personality, Control Beliefs, and Anger.
Journal of Personality 2003;71(2):183-220
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Article
Full-text available
Self-pity is a frequent response to stressful events. So far, however, empirical research has paid only scant attention to this subject. The present article aims at exploring personality characteristics associated with individual differences in feeling sorry for oneself. Two studies with N=141 and N=161 university students were conducted, employing multidimensional measures of personality, control beliefs, anger, loneliness, and adult attachment. With respect to personality, results showed strong associations of self-pity with neuroticism, particularly with the depression facet. With respect to control beliefs, individuals high in self-pity showed generalized externality beliefs, seeing themselves as controlled by both chance and powerful others. With respect to anger expression, self-pity was primarily related to anger-in. Strong connections with anger rumination were also found. Furthermore, individuals high in self-pity reported emotional loneliness and ambivalent-worrisome attachments. Finally, in both studies, a strong correlation with gender was found, with women reporting more self-pity reactions to stress than men. Findings are discussed with respect to how they support, extend, and qualify the previous literature on self-pity, and directions for future empirical research are pointed out. There are a hundred ways to overcome an obstacle and one sure way not to—self-pity. Dale Dauten, columnist