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BellaOnline's Stress Management Editor

How to Handle Your Friend’s Job Loss

We all complain about our job, how tired we are, how bored, how busy, how unfair our boss is, how competitive the environment, yet at the same time we know that we are really lucky to have work and get a pay check. Someone you know is probably out of work at this very moment whether it is a neighbor, friend or family member – maybe it is your spouse. You tiptoe around the laid-off person not knowing how to interact, what to say or not say. Losing a job is a great stressor. A job loss is like a death, not a physical death of course, but the death of an identity. Most people don’t separate who they are from what they do, so when they are out of work, they feel invisible or like nothing at all. A stern inner critic whispers the word, “Failure.” Memories of old losses come to mind like being kicked off the team, not being asked out to the dance, or not getting the lead part in the school play. Old hurts get attached to this job loss.

Obviously, the focus is not on you, but how do you navigate this kind of loss? How can you help? First you have to accept that you are not responsible for everyone’s happiness. You do not possess a magic wand to change the situation. You need to have a healthy sense of who you are and what your role is here. If you offer too much sympathy, you are exuding a weak energy instead of support. Please do not feel guilty that you are working because this will darken the dynamics of the relationship where you absorb negativity and the other person senses your suppression and actually feels worse. You have a right to claim your joy as long as you don’t flaunt it. In fact, the latest research proves that happiness is contagious. Therefore help this person catch the wave of happiness by bringing him out to socialize with others – not just you! Form a “happiness club” with your friends and acquaintances to create happiness synergy.

Job Loss Etiquette
For more information on managing your stress and reclaiming your life read my book, Addicted to Stress: A Woman's 7 Step Program to Reclaim Joy and Spontaneity in Life. To listen to archived radio shows with guest experts visit Turn On Your Inner Light Radio Show

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Content copyright © 2013 by Debbie Mandel. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Debbie Mandel. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Debbie Mandel for details.

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