First, let's define Self Pity.
It's very important, before I start, that we agree on what's being discussed here. I'm not talking about persons with depression, or who have legitimate problems. I'm not talking about anybody who feels sorry for themselve WITH REASONS.
I'm talking about people who mistake "humility" and "reducing selfworth", about those who moan and bitch about how much they suck hoping that people will come and validate them, "god I'm so fat (tell me I'm pretty)", this kind of behavior.
AND I AM IN NO WAY ACCUSING ANYBODY OF DOING THESE DELIBERATELY.
Most of people acting like this are not conscious they're doing it, or really think this is how you have to act in order not to be mistaken for an annoying overconfident loudmouth.
But why, god WHY, does Self Pity suck ?
Okay get ready for the ride.
For the person practicing self pity :
It sucks because, unless you're actually someone with a huge ego only trying to manipulate people to tell you that you're great and thus boasting your ego even more (and, frankly, if you crave validation so much, I highly doubt your ego is that great, so really, it stills apply to you), it just lower your self confidence to ground zero.
You're basically repeating over and over that you suck, that your life suck, everything sucks, you can't do anything right, and so forth (without any actual reason. I repeat, not talking about people with real problems like depression or shitty lives with real problems. If you must picture something, picture some teen sitting in his room, in his mom's house, bitching on the internet about how everything sucks, while their mother yells they should be cleaning their room and the neighbourgs' music is too loud. That kind of stuff. Whatever you feel like picturing.)
And if you repeat something long enough, well you'll start believing it, and once you're believing, IT'S TRUE.
Self pity is one of the many possible first step toward depression.
No, really, it is.
Self pitying is not harmless to you. It affects how you see yourself, and how people see you. It makes you see everything a certain way, and do everything thinking about self pity.
Even if you're being manipulative and your whole thoughts process is "man I'm so great at this, I'm gonna post it on the internet saying I suck and waiting for the compliment to flood in."
Obviously, if you're doing this, you're not really okay with yourself.
And now you're gonna say, "but I really do feel so worthless !!! My friends are so much better than me at XXX !"
Well, I answer, that may be so. Maybe you really feel bad, and maybe you really think your friends are better at XXX. But how are they at YYY ? Everybody is good or bad a some stuff. Your friends are certainly not the greatest at doing XXX and it's possible, and very likely, they feel just like you. There are always people ahead and behind you. Really, we're 7 billions of human beings ! If we were to make a ranking of how great people are at XXX, well, I'm not sure we could actually manage to have a consensual top 5, AND, if we did the ranking about how great people are at YYY, the results would be completely different.
So yeah, maybe you feel that way. And maybe you're wrong. And maybe you feel that way, and you're right, but you're also not considering the whole picture.
And maybe you're totally right, and maybe I don't care.
Seriously. If somebody is your friend, they are not your friend because your life is great/sucks, or because you're great/awful at this or that. Most likely, they plainly don't care. They like YOU, or they don't.
For the fucking last time, what you DO is not who you ARE, no matter how hard tv and school would have you believe that.
Also, what you have is not who you are. Sorry about that.
And thus, I don't give a damn about your self pity. I don't believe one word of it, and I don't. care. If you are my friend I give zero shit about how bad you are at singing. I care about how much you like singing. plus with my personnality it's very likely that if a friend went all "god I suck so much at singing" on me I'd just reply "yeah yo do" anyway
For the person recieving your self pity demonstrations :
Well. It's unconfortable to say the least.
They most likely wonder what to do, if they should reassure you (sometimes at the cost of lying) or not (and risk you feeling really bad.)
If it's a friend, they probably have heard it before. If they are not sick of it, they most likely will reassure you with some words that will sound empty even to them. Unless they're your number one fan, in which case they will enjoy telling you once more how much they love you. In which case it still sucks because you're basically invalidating everything they say : they told you over and over they dig your stuff, and yet you keep telling them how much you suck, so you're basically dismissing their opinion as unrelevant, unimportant, or false. Way to go, man.
If it's NOT a friend, and rather a total stranger, congratulation for the awkwardness. Unless, once again, they are the overenthusiastic type, and same problem happens : you're dismissing their opinion. If they are not the overenthusiastic type, well, they are just wondering "uuuh what the heck. how do I answer. what do I do. I was just trying to be nice and pay a compliment/start a conversation/hanging here and asking nothing", and that's not a position anybody enjoys being in. My guess is that they'll try to get the fuck out as soon as possible. Or reassure you with empty words (if you're lucky they'll believe what they say or choose them carefully for it to ring true) before absconding. If you're really really lucky they'll be a very compassionate soul who'll try their best to cheer you up, which is great for you, and exhausting for them, so you should treasure these kind hearts and try to spare their feelings. No, really, when you find someone sweet, keep them close and treat them wel
But am I not being humble ?
NO YOU AREN'T
just like the "nice guy" wondering why girls won't date him even though he's suuuuch a nice guy is often nothing more but a creep thinking girls are entitled to him, people practicing self pity on a regular basis are NOT being humble.
You know what being humble is ? Being humble is knowing that you are not special. It's knowing you are not better and no worse than any random being, that you have your strenghts and your flaws. You can take a compliment just as well as a critique, and you know that your opinion is just one opinion.
(for future reference, I'm aware of that as I write this. I know people will disagree, and that I do not hold the truth, but I do think that it is a valid point of view.)
If you really want to look humble (I'm not saying be, because that's really up to you) while getting compliments or talking about your art, here is a selection of sentences that could do the trick :
"thank you ! I'm glad you like it. I must say I'm not fully satisfied with it, but thank you !"etc
"Oh, you think so ? I hadn't thought of it that way."
"Well, that's not a perfect piece, but it could have been worse/I'm somewhat glad about it/that's another step toward progress/I'll do better next time, hopefully !"
"I'm a bit disappointed at it. I feel like it could have been better."
"This is the best I can do so far... A long way to go still, but so much already done !"
Here is what not to say :
"Hahaha this sucks so much oh my god I'm a shitty artist"so forth
"Dude no, have you seen what XXX does ? I'm really bad next to them..."
"thank you but really I feel so bad at art lately *insert long personnal rant" (ESPECIALLY TO A STRANGER)
"I'm never gonna improve"
do you see the difference ?
plus. you're allowed to say that you did something cool, without sounding like a prat. Heck, even if you sound like a prat, I'd take a happy prat over a self pity prat anytime.
But I really do feel that way, I got zero confidence !
Okay, lemme tell you the magic trick about confidence.
FAKE IT 'TILL YOU MAKE IT.
that's pretty much it. When you face a situation, ask yourself, "what would I do if I was bold enough ?" (or "what would [character] do ?" if that works better for you. please chose a suitable role model, though)
And once you know that, DO IT. DO IT LIKE YOU MEAN IT.
People aren't going to check if you're really confident inside.
Maybe your hands are shaking and maybe you're sweating too much, maybe your cheeks are burning so bright they'd stop cars and you feel like crying but YOU'RE DOING IT.
Sent your letter, posted your stuff on the internet, showed that picture, told somebody they annoy you, you're doing it. Maybe it won't work, maybe you'll feel regret, but you'll have done it.
And as you start doing more and more things like you are confident, you'll become more confident. Things will seem easier. "Oh, I already did XXX. I can handle this."
It's even easier on the internet, where you don't have to see people.
Plan stuff. Imagine scenarios. Be prepared. I have been told I have a sharp tongue, but really I spend so much of the day imagining conversations, I almost always have three or four lines ready to serve.
Don't overdo it, though. Being confident is different of being a prat, and nothing gives you the right to go to random strangers and tell them with your new confidence that they suck at what they do.
Do your own thing, and let them be.
There may come a time when you'll need all your energy to face haters, anyway.