How Hosting a Pity Party Increases Productivity


You may have grown up with parents who chided you for wallowing in your own pity party, but wallowing has taken up a new place in our vocabulary since 2020. Most people have known someone who has gotten ill, lost a job, lost a home, or lost the ability to retire. Psychologists warn us about the danger of pent-up sadness and denial, so what do we do when we reach our breaking point?


Sometimes throwing yourself a pity party helps you vent your frustration, angst, and negative feelings so you can begin to let them go. Once you vent and let these feelings go, you have more emotional energy and a new perspective which can improve productivity.


If you’ve never taken time for a pity party or to vent your frustration, here are three reasons you should:

1. Venting helps unlock harmful emotions. People who vent feel as though a load has been lifted from their chest and report feeling less stress. If you can’t vent out loud, try writing your feeling down.

2. Venting can help you understand what you feel. When you hold your feelings in, you may feel confused, overwhelmed, or scattered. By venting them, you become more aware of what you’re reacting to, thus releasing yourself to make a plan.

3. Listening to yourself while venting increases self-compassion. Being aware of what is hurting you helps you treat yourself with more kindness, which generalizes to the way you treat others.


Of course, no one can dwell in an eternal pity party and be productive. So after the venting, here are suggestions to help you move forward:

· Talk about it but be less self-critical and blaming. Negativity is part of life; don’t be ashamed or embarrassed to admit the negative parts of your life. Others trust you more when you can talk about all your feelings not just the positive ones.

· Get active. Establish a routine, make progress in a personal goal, or make social plans with a friend. You can’t hide behind or make excuses for a lost job, a pandemic, or a divorce forever. The only way out and forward happens with you.

· Reward yourself for being a survivor. When life tries to knock you down, sometimes it feels easier to just fall, but you don’t have to be that person. You will come out on the other side of a pity party having greater awareness and understanding of what happened. Time is the greatest healer. Reminding yourself that you’re a survivor earns you more respect for yourself.

· Remember your pain and pay it forward. Be gracious to others who cross your path after your pity party. Use your experience to be a better listener, encourager, and friend. Life throws everyone curve balls; after you deal with yours, be generous with offering emotional support to others.


Throwing yourself a temporary pity party to vent your feelings is helpful but wallowing or staying stuck in your pity party is an ineffective way to move forward. Get your feelings out, gain awareness, and plan to move forward with a renewed understanding and perspective.


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