Rejection 17 – Self Pity

A Rejection Profile is handled differently by people. So there is no exact image of a rejected person. I suggest that there are several lifestyles which people carrying rejection will be drawn toward. Which one any person settles for depends on their personality and other factors.

This lesson looks at the first of the “stopping points” where a rejected person may end up.

The Defeatist

Some people respond to rejection by simply giving up all hope for a normal life. These people tend to be the defeatists, who take on a self-pity based persona, as their response to what they have suffered. While others may have a strong sense of fight, or be motivated by rage or a desire to be popular, the defeatist seems to wallow in their pain and make it the focus of their life.

Since all rejected people feel at some point that everything is against them, the defeatist succumbs to those impressions and gives up any hope of winning against them.

This does not mean, however, that the person buried in self-pity is not still quite cunning, exploitative, manipulative or the like. Their choice to live in self-pity is, in itself, a survival strategy.

reject-02-heart-cryPity Poor Me

The defeatist takes on the persona of a loser and plays the “Pity Poor Me!” performance. Some are genuinely shattered and unable to find their feet. Others have simply chosen that they have no real chance of winning, so they may as well exploit the sympathies of others around them.

Many people on welfare have taken the “pity poor me” value system, but can be quite demanding and exploitative, despite their helpless position.

Those who are emotionally unstable may be lost in their depression and downcast feelings. Those who are more resilient emotionally may be careful to look out for those they can manipulate to assist them, no the basis of their “pity poor me” situation.

Withdrawal From Life

The ‘loser’ mentality that goes with the Self-pity persona may cause some people to withdraw from life. They have certainly withdrawn from the race and the competitive elements of life. They no longer expect to have the nice things that others have. They expect to live life on other people’s left-overs and charity.

Sadly, many people who go down this road lose their ability to take responsibility. They have withdrawn to the point of refusing to take responsibility when it is appropriate for them to do so.

I have seen second generation welfare recipients refuse to take up opportunities for personal success, since they will then lose their ‘benefits’. They have withdrawn to the point of refusing to re-enter life, even when they are well able to do so. One lady I knew was forced back into employment and excelled at her work, achieving financial freedom. But initially she refused to even try, for fear of losing the benefits she had become addicted to.

Emotional Wreck

Some people become so messed up emotionally that they weep openly and have public displays of emotion which others would avoid doing. Rather than hide their shame, pain and need, they let it all hang out, spilling their mess without any care. They seem to be beyond embarrassment.

They have given up. They have abdicated from life. And in so doing they have lost the ability to hold themselves together or to show appropriate decorum in certain situations.

People in this situation pull at the heart strings of the compassionate, and that leads to the next problem area for the “pity poor me” reject.

Dumping Onto Others

People who have given up usually try to find others to carry them. They need support emotionally and in most other areas of their life. Rather than being able to contribute to relationships and life in general, these people tend to always be making emotional withdrawals, at the expense of others. They dump their problems onto others.

The welfare networks and caring professions are often targets of these people. They look for people who could or should help them and they exploit that help when they can. They may ask others to manage their money, fill out their paperwork, make decisions for them, be there whenever they call, and otherwise become their permanent lifeline.

They usually have an excuse for everything and often have a whining story to tell about their hard-luck background. “I always wanted to play piano, but we were too poor for lessons.” “If only my dad didn’t leave things would have been different.” And so it goes.

Such people are terribly draining and usually wear out or burn out those they rely on. They become a bottomless pit of needs.


Some people in this self-pity mode become experts at wheedling their way into situations, exploiting other people, especially those who have a soft heart, and using people for their own ends.

When a self-pity person is denied any support they can prove to be quite resourceful, but when someone comes along who they can manipulate, they suddenly become “helpless” again.

When there is something to get for nothing, or some opportunity somewhere, the self-pity person can often be the first to line up, expecting to get whatever is available.

Sadly, these people are almost impossible to satisfy. When they are given more, they find some reason to put it down as “not enough”. Their need is not so much real, but perceived from their own internal mess. So, no matter what is done for them they never rise out of the situation they are in.


The self-pity mode is one of irresponsibility. The pity-poor-me person has stopped trying to make life work with God’s grace and the responsible use of what they have. Instead, they have chosen to give up and even to make other people carry their load for them.

This position of abandonment undermines their life and leaves them on the ground of complaint, unhappiness, inability to be fulfilled, and so on. They are controlled by the feelings they have given in to.

It can be very difficult to help these people to move into true freedom. Freedom means they will have to accept responsibility shoulder their own load and take their place in society. They will no longer have an excuse or be able to dump their responsibilities onto others. So, they are likely to resist coming into freedom. It takes a work of grace to awaken their hunger for wholeness and their hope in God for glorious liberty.

A Temporary Condition

Many rejection sufferers, however, do not wish to remain in the trap of self-pity. So in the next few lessons I’ll discuss some different outcomes which rejection victims gravitate toward.

Once that is done we can look in detail at how the Lord sets people free and I can share more of my own testimony of coming into freedom.

Tags: , , ,


  1. says

    There is a place of “acceptance” or acquiescence to our lot – no matter how bad it may be, without fight or self-pity.
    For some it becomes, “This is my lot” or “There’s nothing I can do about it”. So they just get on with life, carrying their emotional damage in the way a physical cripple might get on with life.
    So we’ll look more at that in a later lesson.
    I’m glad you’re finding these lessons helpful.
    Here’s a comment from my friend Serge …
    “thank you for sharing these things, chris … i have been reading a few of your blog posts and enjoyed them/found them beneficial … cheers!”

  2. evie says

    I am looking forward to your next lessons about rejection.
    Do you feel that another image of rejected persons can be when the rejected person has come to ACCEPT rejection (without self pity etc.) ?
    That would be hardly possible without Christ!?
    In Him, Evie.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *