Dear Bee, if you get an invitation to a pity party…

…CHUCK that thing in the bin!

It may be embossed, colourful, with beautiful curvy writing, but it’s not going to do you any good.

A pity party is a very appealing thing, I know. Who doesn’t want the opportunity to let their hair down and really indulge in a session of ‘poor me’? A session where all the hurts and frustrations of the past can get a good airing? Where the bitterness of yesterday becomes the main feature in a programme of lil ol’ me and how hard done by I’ve been at the hands of those others who always let me down and just darned don’t appreciate me and all I’ve done for them.

The problem is, Bee, a pity party is very easy to get into (you’ll never find ¬†bouncer on the door refusing entrance) but difficult to leave. You’ll get sucked into trying the new drinks “Ooh, an angry appletini, never tried one of those before…”¬†and before you know it, you’re on the floor, a mess of blubbery tears, unable to move or think coherently. Or a particularly maudlin tune will appear on the playlist, the words speaking to you in a way they never have before, and you’ll be down that rabbit hole before anyone can say white rabbit. A pity party can last for days, if you let it. And when you eventually leave, it’ll be with a sore head and swollen eyes. Not pretty.

I’m not saying it’s wrong to give yourself attention, of course it isn’t. We all need a little me time now and again. But it’s about perspective. A pity party makes you the sole focus of attention, the life and soul of the party, and all the other guests get short shrift: it’s all their fault, they’re the ones to blame, they make life difficult for me. All their positive attributes – their kind words and thoughtful actions – go unheard in the mix of me, me, me.

However, the other guests are the key to turning your back on the pity party invitation. Consider who the other guests are – the people who are likely to be the ones you are pointing fingers at during the party – and line them up in your mind. Try to remember a good time you’ve had with each one: a happy occasion; an encouragement or blessing you’ve experienced because of them. Go on, Bee, I know you can do it – these people are not pure evil all the time, are they?

They are? Well, maybe you need to rethink who you give permission to, to have an influence in your life.

If you can remember the good things about the other guests , you’ll find that soon you’ll start feeling thankful, instead of annoyed, and hey presto! That pity party invitation has been shredded and binned for good.

A pity party doesn’t achieve anything Bee. It’s not even fun. It’s the one invitation you should refuse and once you’ve done that, find someone to have a chat with. Make a thank you card for a friend. Or play with kitten. Works for me, every time.