This term “pity party” has been given a very negative connotation, but ever since I’ve read one of the articles written by Elizabeth Gilbert, entitled The Wrong Emotion, my perspective towards “pity party” has completely altered. I, too, have suffered under the social pressure to hide my very “vulnerable” and “weak” side of me. I used to be ashamed of a part of me called, “emotional.” I was so disgusted by that word so much so that I was prone to love a character who boasts about his love for logic, who loves deeply and admires the character, Spock, in Star Wars. I also found myself looking highly upon those who commit themselves to work enthusiastically and who fuel their passion in tasks on hand, who can focus sensibly and eliminate whatever unnecessary “personal” feelings aside. I used to think that someone who is emotional is unreliable. And I tried my best to not be that kind of person.
So I strived so hard to be effective and efficient every single day, occupying my mind with endless emotionless solutions to the daily tasks I had to perform. I shoved my emotions inside a jar, sealed it properly with the right cap and placed that repulsive jar in a drawer which I locked with the key that is nowhere to be found, not even I, the owner of the drawer knows where it has gone. I regard those days when I can achieve that powerful state of flow of working as happy productive days. But lately, it seems like my physical and mental strength with the help of some chemical substances reaches its deadline. I have hosted pity parties every once in a while, to be semi-exact, every other day in the week or when I got lucky, once a fortnight. I have sensed a pattern in my life, as much as I refuse to, a trend of using the excuse of dealing with my personal emotional hygiene to ignore my obligations and dismiss my roles as a daughter, a partner, a lover and a friend. It absolutely contradicted my belief, I thought my emotions were sealed safely in a jar, but why on earth had I needed to host pity parties, why on earth would the so-called unfinished businesses come haunting me?
As much as I want to be logical and sensible, I finally acknowledge the fact that I am a human being and there is no magical jar in this world which can contain all these emotions as well as the wrong emotions, as described by author Gilbert. I kept telling myself that I have to prioritize my tasks according to the multiplier’s significance as taught by one of my favorite self-discipline strategists, Rory Vaden. But when these emotions are not properly dealt with, I get caught up with myself, my reflection in the mirror and I cannot get my work done. I simply can’t. I think I have used all my quotas, all my energy in shoving my emotions in the past into this invisible jar which I have created in my own reality. Unfortunately, now, even in my own reality, this jar of mine is full. It is only a matter of time before it shatters. And in my reality, it seems to be already cracking. Therefore, I want to reclaim the right to host a pity party proudly instead of denying its presence every time it rises to the occasion.
In my humble opinion, pity parties, like every meeting, should be hosted with a clear sense of purpose. A pity party needs to serve the purpose of reflection. I need a pity party to reflect on my day, my roles and my life in general. This pity party is one I have to attend on my own. I can’t have anybody else to join me in my pity party because that would defeat its noble purpose. What is the thing most needed in a pity party is a mirror. A mirror in which I can take a good look at myself for minutes, for as long as I am able to come to my senses. And to make a change in my life, I need to reduce the frequency of hosting my pity parties as I reckon that pity parties, like most meetings, are unnecessary. Yes, I do need to reflect on many factors which can render my life in an unhappy situation but not every single incident deserves a pity party.
Someone said something harsh to me, I host a pity party. Someone revealed a side of me which I have been denying to own, I host a pity party. I feel jealous at a friend who seems to have everything she wants, I host a pity party. No, this will be endless. Though I agree with Celeste Headlee who said that every experience is different and someone who said that you need time to deal with your wounds, I do not advocate that we immerse ourselves in our stories. It is true that my story can have the similar gist as someone I went to college with but totally different revelations, different reactions, different outcomes, so that makes my story unique. But I also believe that we need to be honest with ourselves when we are examining our experiences because when it comes to our story, it usually revolves around a central theme in which indicates the angle we use to see things, a central theme which some people like to call it as our core project or what we think when we have nothing to think about. In other words, many emotional problems emerge because of how we value ourselves, others and things we cherish.
Listen to yourself, what are you saying to yourself during your pity party? How many times have you said that? Have you found a solution to your problem? Too many people who failed at pity parties take themselves to the shrink, and they are considered as self-helping if you asked me, compared to those who take their pity parties to the other side. Bottom line is, always bear in mind to have an agenda when hosting a pity party, don’t be ashamed when you need to deal with your own monsters but don’t do it too frequently as it will become a habit, and always celebrate your success in tackling an emotional issue even though people like how I used to be, shudder and repel the very idea of it.
Good luck in hosting your pity parties so that they can help you to become a better yourself, though you might be your worst critic, but you are also your best friend, let your pity parties shape you into someone who takes his or her job (though how insignificant you view them and let’s hope you change your perception of your job or make a change in your life) seriously and thus benefiting the society at large. Do you know that you, as a cashier, a bartender, a dishwasher, an electronic technician, and whatnot, have the ability to make someone else’s life more efficient just because you perform your task accordingly, because you do not let your emotions influence your daily performance, not because you overlook your imperfections but because you had a great pity party to strengthen you, to help you enhance your own strengths, to remind you to become a better man, a more responsible human being?