The sting of those three simple words – ‘I pity you’ – can cut deep. Whether uttered with sincerity, sarcasm, or downright cruelty, having someone express pity for you never feels good.
It implies weakness, failure, and misfortune on your part. The judgment is clear: you are to be pitied.
How exactly should one respond in the vulnerable moment when those pitying words come your way? A clever quip? A graceful acceptance? A defiant objection?
There are many potential responses, some better than others. The ideal reply depends on the context and your relationship with the pitier. It’s a delicate moment.
In this article, we will explore the 20 best responses when faced with ‘I pity you.’ From witty comebacks to thoughtful reflections, you’ll discover potential scripts to draw from when next faced with those provocative words.
We’ll consider responses that diffuse the situation with humor, questions that uncover the pitier’s true motivations, as well as answers that flip the script and leave the pitier pondering their lack of empathy.
20 Best Replies When Someone Says “I Pity You”
Being pitied is one of the last things anyone wants to experience, as it implies weakness, lack, or inadequacy. No one enjoys feeling as though they are an object of someone else’s sympathy or compassion.
However, sometimes despite our best efforts, we may find ourselves on the receiving end of pity from others. Here are 20 effective responses you can deploy to shut down pity, make the other person reconsider their perspective, and come out of the situation feeling good about yourself rather than diminished:
- Don’t waste your pity on me, save it for yourself.
- Pity from you is a compliment.
- Pity me? Oh, don’t worry, my life is a comedy show. Care to join the audience?
- I don’t need or want your pity. Move along.
- Pity? Sorry, I don’t accept sympathy from amateurs.
- Pity is like a boomerang; it always comes back to bite the thrower.
- I’d pity you too if I cared about your opinion.
- Thanks for your concern, but I’m doing just fine without it.
- I’ll trade your pity for indifference any day.
- Pity? I’ve got my fan club. They call it the ‘Unpityables.
- Your pity is duly noted and equally disregarded.
- I don’t envy anything about your life, so save your pity.
- You’ll have to do better than pity if you want a reaction from me.
- It’s cute that you think your pity matters.
- Pity? Oh honey, save it for your own life’s highlight reel.
- Maybe you should save your pity and spend it on something that needs it.
- Sorry, I don’t have time for pity parties. Maybe you should throw your own.
- Thanks, but I’d rather earn respect than pity.
- If that’s supposed to upset me, you’ll have to do better than pity.
- I think you’ve got me confused with someone who cares what you think.
1. Don’t waste your pity on me, save it for yourself
‘Don’t waste your pity on me, save it for yourself’ is a response to ‘I pity you’ that turns the tables on the person expressing pity.
It suggests that perhaps they are the ones who deserve pity, not the person they are pitying. It asserts that the target of pity does not want it.
By telling the other person to save their pity for themselves, you imply there may be something wrong or lacking in their own life that causes them to feel the need to pity others.
This response handles the insult of pity gracefully while also subtly challenging the other person and leaving them thinking about their situation rather than pitying the target.
2. Pity from you is a compliment
‘Pity from you is a compliment’ takes a positive spin and turns the expression of pity into something favorable.
It implies that if this particular person feels the need to pity them, it must mean they are in a better, stronger position. Their life is worth envying rather than pitying.
By framing the pity as a compliment, you rob the other person of the power dynamic implied by pitying someone.
It asserts the target’s integrity and sense of accomplishment in their own life by implying it is worthy of another’s jealousy in a backhanded way.
3. Pity me? Oh, don’t worry, my life is a comedy show, Care to join the audience?
‘Pity me? Oh, don’t worry, my life is a comedy show. Care to join the audience?’ is a lighthearted response to ‘I pity you’ that refuses to take the expression of pity seriously.
It paints the target’s life in a positive light as some source of entertainment and laughs rather than something to be pitied.
The invitation to ‘join the audience’ further emphasizes that their life is enjoyable to observe, engaging, and humorous rather than pathetic.
This response handles the insult of pity gracefully by not acknowledging any reason for real pity at all.
4. I don’t need or want your pity, Move along
‘I don’t need or want your pity. Move along’ is a straightforward response to ‘I pity you’ that leaves no room for argument. It directly states that the target does not value or require the other person’s pity in any way.
The additional phrase ‘move along’ strongly conveys that the conversation is over and the other person’s input is unwelcome. It assertively rejects attempts to place oneself in a position of superiority through a pitying attitude.
This response resolutely refuses to accept the implied power dynamic of pity while also clearly communicating disinterest in further engaging with the other person and their opinion.
5. Pity? Sorry, I don’t accept sympathy from amateurs
‘Pity? Sorry, I don’t accept sympathy from amateurs’ takes a humorous approach by implying that the person expressing pity is not skilled enough to understand the situation fully.
By using the word ‘amateurs,’ you convey a sense of superiority, subtly suggesting that their pity is misplaced. This confident and witty response allows you to maintain your dignity while dismissing their attempt at sympathy.
6. Pity is like a boomerang; it always comes back to bite the thrower
‘Pity is like a boomerang; it always comes back to bite the thrower.’ employs a metaphor to convey a powerful message.
By comparing pity to a boomerang, you suggest that the negative emotions associated with pity will eventually rebound on the person expressing it.
his response highlights the idea that pity often says more about the person expressing it than the one receiving it. It’s a clever way to turn the situation around and make the other person question their actions.
7. I’d pity you too if I cared about your opinion
‘I’d pity you too if I cared about your opinion.’ allows you to assert your indifference towards the opinion of the person expressing pity.
By implying that their opinion is not significant enough to warrant your concern, you take control of the situation.
This phrase subtly conveys that you value your judgment above theirs, effectively shutting down any attempt to belittle you with pity.
8. Thanks for your concern, but I’m doing just fine without it
‘Thanks for your concern, but I’m doing just fine without it.’ is a reply that cuts directly to the core of why someone says ‘I pity you’ – it’s an expression of perceived superiority and concern for the other person’s circumstances.
By stating that you don’t need or want their concern or pity, you take the air out of their attempt to position themselves as looking down on you.
You also affirm your independence and ability to determine your situation and well-being. Saying you’re ‘doing just fine’ leaves no room for their pity to be valid or impact you in the way they intend.
9. I’ll trade your pity for indifference any day
‘I’ll trade your pity for indifference any day.’ is a great reply to a condescending ‘I pity you’ that challenges the very notion that pity is a favor or benefit being granted.
It suggests that being pitied is not a privileged or enviable position, and indifference would be preferable. It further diminishes the significance of their pity by stating you’d happily exchange it for a complete lack of regard.
This undermines their motivation to use pity as a means to assert superiority.
10. Pity? I’ve got my fan club, They call it the ‘Unpityables
‘Pity? I’ve got my fan club. They call it the ‘Unpityables’ is a lighthearted response to ‘I pity you’ that entirely rejects falling victim to their attempt to diminish you through pity.
It owners their language by repositioning it as a point of pride rather than shame. The implication is that far from needing or wanting pity, you have full self-assurance and are celebrated by others who similarly refuse to be defined or impacted by the pity of others.
This response helps regain confidence and seals in the exchange through humor, making their attempted pity powerless.
11. Your pity is duly noted and equally disregarded
‘Your pity is duly noted and equally disregarded’ is a response to ‘I pity you’ that has an air of practiced apathy about it.
By noting their pity but also disregarding it in the same breath, it conveys that their empty sentiment does not cut very deep. It is a diplomatic way to brush off their words without confrontation.
There is an implied message that one is above needing or wanting their pity. It returns the social exchange to equal footing by declining to accept a position of inferiority or disadvantage.
The calm, matter-of-fact tone maintains composure despite a subtle insult having been issued. Overall, it downplays the power of their words through casual indifference.
12. I don’t envy anything about your life, so save your pity
Flipping the scenario of being pitied on its head, this response suggests it is their life that is pitiable. By claiming to not envy their situation, it questions whether pity is truly deserved here.
Shifting the focus away from any supposed flaws or hardship of one’s own, the target is now their life and what it may lack to be enviable. Telling them to save their pity implies it is misplaced.
Combined with a confident assertion that their life inspires no envy, it achieves the dual purpose of dismissing their pity while elevating oneself in comparison through this insinuation.
13. You’ll have to do better than pity if you want a reaction from me
‘You’ll have to do better than pity if you want a reaction from me’ is a befitting response to someone who tells you ‘I pity you’ that presents oneself as largely unreactive or impressed by a mere showing of pity.
It positions pity as an inadequate or insignificant sentiment that merits very little acknowledgment on its own.
By stating they will have to do better to solicit any reaction, you raise the bar for what type and level of engagement is needed.
14. It’s cute that you think your pity matters
With a patronizing description of their pity as ‘cute’, ‘It’s cute that you think your pity matters.’ undermines and trivializes the sentiment of being pitied.
Calling it cute implies it is ineffective, insignificant, or naive rather than meaningful. By further asserting that they think their pity matters when it does not, it questions both their perception of consequences as well as their intentions behind voicing pity, to begin with.
15. Pity? Oh honey, save it for your own life’s highlight reel
When someone tells you ‘I pity you,’ responding with ‘Pity? Oh honey, save it for your own life’s highlight reel’ adds a touch of sass and confidence to the conversation.
By dismissing their pity and suggesting they save it for their own life’s highlight reel, you’re subtly implying that their situation might not be as perfect as they claim.
This response challenges the notion that you need their pity and instead asserts that you are perfectly capable of handling your circumstances.
It shows a sense of self-assurance and resilience, refusing to allow someone else’s pity to affect your self-worth.
16. Maybe you should save your pity and spend it on something that needs it
In response to someone expressing pity towards you, ‘Maybe you should save your pity and spend it on something that needs it’ is a comeback that cleverly redirects their attention to more deserving recipients.
By suggesting that they save their pity and spend it on something that needs it, you highlight the potential misuse of their compassion.
This response challenges them to reevaluate their priorities and consider whether their pity would be better utilized in supporting someone who genuinely requires help.
17. Sorry, I don’t have time for pity parties, Maybe you should throw your own
Sorry, I don’t have time for pity parties. Maybe you should throw your own’ is a response that maintains a lighthearted tone while effectively dismissing the notion of pity.
By stating that you don’t have time for pity parties, you assert your focus on more productive and positive endeavors.
The phrase also suggests that the person expressing pity might be engaging in self-indulgence by dwelling on negativity.
By playfully suggesting that they should throw their pity party, you subtly challenge the sincerity of their pity and encourage them to examine their motivations.
18. Thanks, but I’d rather earn respect than pity
Thanks, but I’d rather earn respect than pity’ is a thoughtful response to someone who says they pity you that highlights the importance of respect over pity, emphasizing the value of genuine admiration and acknowledgment of one’s abilities and accomplishments.
By expressing gratitude for their sentiment while asserting a preference for earning respect, you assert your commitment to personal growth and self-worth.
This response shifts the focus from a potentially condescending or patronizing attitude conveyed through pity to a more empowering and mutually respectful approach.
19. If that’s supposed to upset me, you’ll have to do better than pity
‘If that’s supposed to upset me, you’ll have to do better than pity,’ is a highly effective retort to ‘I pity you’ because it turns the attempted pity insult back around on the person.
By stating that pity alone won’t upset them, it removes the power from their words. It conveys confidence that the person isn’t bothered by someone else’s misguided feelings of superiority.
Saying this maintains the frame and prevents the other person from thinking they’ve gained some kind of emotional advantage.
It shuts down their tactic and forces them to either drop the subject or come up with a more substantial retort.
20. I think you’ve got me confused with someone who cares what you think
‘I think you’ve got me confused with someone who cares what you think,’ is a compelling response to ‘I pity you’ because it directly questions why the person would think their opinion matters.
It points out that the target of their ‘pity’ doesn’t value their judgment at all. Saying this undermines any perceived credibility the insulter believes they have to look down on someone else.
It casts them as overestimating their significance and makes clear their commentary is unwelcome. Using this response protects self-esteem by implying the other person is too unimportant to have any real insight.
Being told ‘I pity you’ is never an enjoyable experience. However, with the right perspective and response, the situation need not define you or ruin your day.
As we’ve explored in this article, there are many thoughtful, insightful, and subtle ways one can respond to express confidence in oneself and shift the dynamic, without resorting to personal attacks or escalating conflict.
At the end of the day, hurtful words often say more about the person speaking them than they do about you. Try not to let another’s attempt to diminish you diminish your light. You know your worth. Walk tall with compassion for others, but do not compromise your self-respect
I hope the response options here have provided some food for thought and encouragement. However you choose to respond in the moment, remember that you define your value.