Empathy > Pity

I hate to admit it, but there are a lot of reasons that a person could pity me. I’m a survivor of domestic abuse, have experienced more sexual assaults than I care to count, used to have depression and I have symptoms of PTSD (which aren’t severe enough for a diagnosis). Despite that, I hate it when a burning passion when people treat me with pity.

Why, you may ask? In my eyes, pity means seeing someone as a victim — fragile, broken. Empathy means that the compassion is still there, but without looking down on the other person. It means they share my pain. In the latter, I feel like someone is acknowledging the awful things I’ve experienced, but is seeing me as someone who has triumphed over their past rather than being destroyed by it. I am scarred, not broken. And it’s important to me that people focus on how far I’ve come despite what’s happened to me, rather than looking at me as some “poor little thing.”

 

Thanks for reading this post. You can find my backstory here.

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One thought on “Empathy > Pity

  1. I know what you mean. I feel that my friends sometimes speak to me the way they do is because they pity me. It’s kinda like a barrier between the friendship – and you start asking youself, “Do you know me at all?”

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