I threw myself a pity party the other day. I tried to invite some friends, but they weren’t really buying into it. I had the sad music on, whined and sulked and sat in the dark. What the heck I was doing?
So what is the purpose of a pity party? For the life of me I don’t know. It seems to be an excuse to let negative emotions and imagination run wild, making us resent, regret, cry over, and even get angry about things that were not done right or areas we were wronged in our lives.
Pity parties are not enjoyable; after all being in the throes of negative emotions is not a fun thing to experience. Yet some choose to have long and lingering pity parties that can go on for years and become addictive / habit forming behavior.
I believe the real purpose of a pity party and that sinking feeling you get when you know you are headed in that direction, is that they are a wakeup call. A reminder that problems and hurt feelings do not just go away, we will eventually deal with them, or have them pop up from time to time as unresolved issues that wreak havoc on our emotions and on the lives of the people around us.
When people enter into the “pity party zone” or their stress levels go up from being afraid, angry, anxious, insulted, or tired; they tend to engage in cognitive tunneling. This means that they start focusing on the threat or unresolved issue and wind up ignoring a lot of other things going on around them.
Focusing on our emotional turmoil, past hurts, and unresolved issues, or perceived threats, is what causes us to miss many of the good things that might be right in front of us. People in that state have trouble hearing / listening, understanding and remembering.
I think it may be human nature to have a pity party every once in a while, but we should remember that it really is just a reminder that there are things that we need to stop, take a good look at, perhaps get an outside opinion on, and come to terms with so that we can move forward and heal. So go ahead and visit the party if you must, but don’t stay too long, don’t make it a way of life and don’t lose yourself in the party. Life is so much more than that! Leave that party and open the door to possibilities instead!
Cherry Coley ©