In the self-pity paradox, a distressed person interprets any attempts to reassure them as further evidence of the very thing that’s distressing them. For example…
Red Queen: No one ever believes me!
Alice: Well, I do.
Red Queen: There you go again! I say that no one believes me, and scarcely a moment passes before you’re disbelieving me again.
Alice: I’m not! I said that I do believe you.
Red Queen: Precisely! If you believed me, then you’d have agreed that no one believes me.
Alice: But if I believe you, how could I agree that no one does?
Red Queen: Wretched girl. You have no idea what it’s like to be Queen. Everyone contradicts me – and you worst of all!
Alice: I do not!
Red Queen: You’re doing it again! I assert that everyone contradicts me, and you assert otherwise – contradicting me yet again!
Alice: Fine, then. You’re right. No one believes you, and everyone contradicts you.
Red Queen: I knew that already, stupid girl. I’m the one who just told you so.