depression

How to Survive Unemployment

Getting downsized, laid off or outsourced can be a traumatic experience. At least it was for me the two times I went through it. It hurts your ego and self-esteem, adds a tremendous amount of stress to your life and just makes you feel miserable. To many, it has the same emotional effect as losing a loved one. The first time I went through it, it lasted nine months. I know people now that have been out of work much longer than that. So I thought it would help to share of the best advice I was given.

How I Stopped Dying

I don’t usually put personal posts on this blog but given that I haven’t posted anything in a while, I figured it’s time to at least let you all know that I’m still alive. Like most people in the US (and especially in the Northeast where we literally have wicked weather), December is a busy time for me. On the personal side, I celebrate Christmas and several birthdays of close relatives and friends. And this year was especially hectic because I actually did some traveling – I spent ten days at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida.

Judging Others

Have you ever been in a situation where someone is unexpectedly rude to you? Of course you have. And you know that rotten feeling that you get when it happens. You did nothing to provoke it, so why you? Should you be rude back? Is it worth a conflict? Sometimes it’s tempting to lash out in return, but that’s not always a good idea.

A wise older friend once shared with me after such an incident that most of the time when someone blows up at you for seemingly no reason, it’s almost always someone else (including themselves) that they’re mad at. We all handle stress differently. While I do my best to never take out my anger on someone who isn’t responsible, I’d be lying to you if I said I’ve never done that. We all try our best, but sometimes the moment gets the best of us.

Dealing With Bullies When the System Fails Us

This past week I came across an article about a man in Florida getting on a school bus to confront some kids that were bullying his daughter. He threatened the kids saying that he would kill anyone who picked on his daughter again and this got him arrested. Interestingly, the article asked the question of whether the father was a bully and paints him as some sort of wacko. While one can certainly argue that this wasn’t the best way to handle the situation, the article shows no empathy towards the father or the girl. And that is part of the reason why bullying is an increasing problem in today’s society.

The article doesn’t say much about the bullying although upon further research, it was reported that the harassment was both verbal and physical. The father is criticized as bulling the kids because he’s someone that could carry out his threats of harming the kids. However, the fact that he said he’d only harm those that harass his daughter seemed to have slipped the reporter’s mind.

The Trouble with Being Alone

Author Harvey Mackay once wrote that the only time you’re truly alone is when you’re about to die and when you’re about to give a speech. While there’s definitely some truth (and humor) in that statement, there’s also a lot more to being alone than we sometimes realize. And by “alone” I mean not having another person in the same room or general area as you – not the lack of a significant other.

While many people do appreciate their alone time, and some even prefer it, it can be a tricky time for the some of us. I appreciate alone time every now and then to read, work and gather my thoughts, but I love being around people. When I was in graduate school, I found myself with a lot more alone time than I was used to because most of friends were working or off campus for the weekend. At first it didn’t bother me so much, but after a while it started getting to me. I just found myself unhappy and couldn’t understand why. Eventually things changed and I had plenty of company whenever I wanted it. But I still find it interesting how being alone can have some odd effects on people.

Why You’re Not Worthless

There’s nothing more saddening to me than to meet someone who truly feels worthless. Sometimes, they’ve made a mistake and have allowed it to eat away at their self-worth. Other times, they missed out on something they were vying for – perhaps they lost on out a client, job opportunity, promotion or something else they were competing for or were bullied or abused to the point where they feel worthless. In most cases, there’s a way to reclaim your worth.

The bottom line is that no matter what happens to us, we still have the same self-worth and potential that we had the day we were born. A great way to visualize this is to imagine you’re a $100 bill (or whatever the greatest value of your country’s circulated money is). When a $100 bill gets soiled, crumpled or ripped it has the same value. Even if it is shredded and then taped back together, you can bring it to a store and purchase $100 worth of goods.

Your Words Have Power

Ever catch yourself muttering something negative about yourself under your breath? I’ve caught myself doing it a lot and it’s something I’ve been to working to stop doing. It usually happens when I make a mistake – I’ll say something like “that was really dumb of me.” What I didn’t realize at the time was that when I said things like that, I started making more mistakes because I was essentially convincing myself that I was dumb.

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