Strong words. I agree with them. Self-pity comes from a place of victimhood. Self pity is when we see things as happening to us, when we see ourselves as powerless, as victims to outside circumstances. When we feel sorry for ourselves, we are seeing ourselves as not enough, we are saying that what is outside of us has power over us, that in some way it is "better" than us.
Self respect, on the other hand, is when we acknowledge our responsibility for who we are, when we acknowledge that we and we alone have the power to change ourselves for the better (or the worse), when we acknowledge that outside circumstances are just that - outside - and that they cannot determine who we are in the world or how we behave. Self respect is taking responsibility for our own actions and re-actions to outside circumstances. It is understanding that things happen around us but that we are ultimately responsible for who we are and how we respond.
Eleanor Roosevelt once said no-one can make you feel inferior without your consent. Right she was. No-one can make you feel anything without your consent. Period. End of story. We decide how we feel, whether consciously or unconsciously, and so blaming our feelings on other people or situations is not only insane but it places the power to change our feelings outside of ourselves, where it cannot be. That is not self respect. That is self damnation. It is condemning ourselves to powerlessness. It is the opposite of respect.
We all do it. Even the most conscious and aware of us fall into those feelings of not-enough-ness. It's human nature, I think. It's nice to indulge in once in a while, but it's important in the midst of that indulgence to know that what we're doing in that moment is actually insane. If we know that, we don't stay there. We remember that feeling that way is a cop-out, a cop-out of taking responsibility for our lives.
So today, when I get those feelings of poor me, I'm going to remember that what I'm really doing is dis-respecting myself. I'm going to remember that "poor me" means I'm looking outwards instead of inwards, that I'm putting my feelings on everything else except where they belong - with me. And I might still let myself have that "poor me" moment, but at least I'll know then that it's a moment of insanity of my own choosing and that I, and I alone, am the one who can end it.