Out of the few guarantees in life, one of them is the inevitable occurrence of unfortunate circumstances. When the unlucky events happen, one consistent reaction from us human beings is self-pity, aka the continuous and addictive unhappiness over our troubles. A common trend with self-pity is that we are often quick to subject ourselves to this unhealthy habit without recognizing it.
How, then, can we identify self-pity before we let this state of mind overcome the best of us?
To find the most definitive answer to this question, I will analyze a particular character who exemplifies various common signals of self-pity... yes, that character being Waluigi.
For those unfamiliar with the Nintendo universe, Waluigi is one of the four "hat" characters in the Mario franchise alongside Mario, Luigi, and Wario. Donning overalls with mostly purple clothes (including a purple hat with an upside-down "L") and possessing abnormally tall height, light weight, and a stingy mustache, Waluigi is Luigi's archnemesis and Wario's sidekick in their adventures to stir mischief.
You may be thinking why I am talking about Waluigi. Well, take it from Charles Martinet, the voice actor of Waluigi, who states himself that Waluigi's foundation of his personality stems from self-pity. Not convinced? Let me briefly dissect Waluigi's character.
All around Waluigi, his counterparts receive massive adoration and fondness from all over the world. After all, the Mario franchise is not number one in the video game universe for just any reason. However, very little of the popularity comes from Waluigi. I mean, Waluigi never even had his own featured game (while the other three "hat" characters have). Quite frankly, Waluigi is the exaggerated stereotype of the neglected side character, the one who we know exists but do not think or care much about.
So, how does Waluigi show some common signs of self-pity?
1. Drama king/queen
Waluigi excessively preoccupies over his own mental and emotional crisis. Waluigi even goes a step further in response to his circumstances by actively seeking to stop others from reaching happiness because he does not have happiness himself. As a result, all of the mischief and shenanigans Waluigi attempts to stir merely is nothing more than an emotional reaction to his unhappiness.
2. Constant comparison to other people
A universal message presented to us in modern society is that your own terms define success. However, Waluigi is the classic example of subjectively judging his success based on other's accomplishments. This action leads to Waluigi finding holes about his own life (popularity and being loved) and thus feeling self-pity about how others live that perfect life he desires. In general, it is a lot easier to find something negative about your life rather than finding something positive when comparing, which then naturally leads to self-pity.
3. Inherent selfishness
As mentioned earlier, Waluigi obsesses over his problems. This reaction leads to him forgetting that virtually everyone else has their issues, whether it be small or significant. It is a misconception to think that anyone is genuinely satisfied just because Waluigi is not and because other people have certain traits of life that Waluigi desires. However, self-pity promotes this misconception and inherently causes people to feel as if they are cursed to suffer by themselves. As a result, these people (and Waluigi) distort reality so that they create a false narrative of themselves being so hapless that nothing can salvage them from their circumstance.
So, next time the going gets tough, see if you can recognize these three common symptoms of what could be considered one of the deadliest diseases in self-pity. Before you know it, you could position yourself in an unrecoverable spot in your life.
The next question now would be, how precisely can we combat self-pity after recognizing that we have some of these signs? Stay tuned for next week.