Straight: Alice shows sympathy for Bob after his brother dies. Bob responds by snapping angrily at her.
Alice shows sympathy for Bob when his brother dies. Bob responds by beating the living daylights out of her.
Bob's family and friends have all been murdered by a gang with whom he has an impossible debt with, his ex-girlfriend has spread the word that Bob has a tiny penis to every single female in the world who takes her word for it, and has an immortality curse that forbids him from committing suicide. Alice, the only survivor, hears his story and replies with the ever-so-slightest hint of pity in her voice, so Bob pulls out a gun and shoots her.
Downplayed: Alice shows sympathy for Bob after his brother dies, and he frowns at her and doesn't seem comforted.
Bob has been receiving pity about his dead brother all day and this is the last straw.
The pity is rubbing his emotional wounds and hurting more than it helps.
Subverted: Alice shows pity and Bob looks angry and takes a deep breath as if to yell at her...but then thanks her for her concern...
Double Subverted: ...but deep down he hates the pity he receives.
Alice pities Bob for a different reason than what he feels he would be pitied for.
Mr T does the pitying. He comes out of nowhere for the sole purpose of pitying a foo'.
Alice pities Bob for not getting any peanut butter, but Bob's response is to beat her into a puddle.
Zig Zagged: Bob is on the verge entering the trope when he decides to just thank her for it. But, deep inside, he wants to kill her because he hates pity. But, at the same time, since he's in love with Alice that would be a way for him to think she loves him. Plus, in the deep end he's just trying to convince himself that he's a tough guy by refusing pity...
Averted: Bob accepts Alice's pity without any problems.
Enforced: "We need to keep Bob's stoic badassery even though he just watched his brother die. Make him reject Alice's pity."
Lampshaded: "You know, normal people would accept people's pity, not try to make them stop."
Invoked: The Big Bad disguises himself as the hero's lancer, and claims to have witnessed a tragic event that happened in the Hero's life, and uses that to try to divide the hero and his lancer (and the rest of his friends perhaps).
Defied: Bob is about to rail on Alice, but realizes she means well and instead politely says, "I appreciate your concern."
Discussed: "Wow, Bob really doesn't want pity does he?"
Conversed: "You think Bob would take well my pity?" "No! He's insanely stoic, he wouldn't take pity even if his life depended on it..."
No matter how badly screwed up Bob's emotional state becomes, he refuses pity, to keep up his charade of nothing being wrong, ultimately causing him to self-destruct.
Bob's rejection of his friends' sympathy drives them away, as they decide that the Ungrateful Bastard is not worth it. As such, when Bob decides that he does want pity, no one is inclined to feel it for him or offer help.
Post-BSOD Bob examines his own feelings, and realizes that he has a deep seated fear of seeming weak. He realizes his friends are showing sympathy for him not because they think he's weak, but because they're genuinely concerned. He starts accepting offers of support from his friends. He still refuses to accept pity now and again, but usually over minor things.
Bob finds his friends and apologizes for being so stubborn and ungrateful. He still doesn't want to be seen as weak, but is willing to accept help and comfort from his friends.