When I was unemployed, I was completely consumed with the experience of being unemployed. People that were employed had become aliens I could no longer relate to. Finding a job was all I thought about and almost all I talked about. The luxury of talking about something else was unfathomable.

I remember going to a friend’s birthday party and feeling such envy. All those people with jobs – talking about what movies they had recently seen and the new restaurants they’d tried. I was too busy punishing myself to talk about movies. If I wasn’t rambling on about job searching, I felt like I wasn’t trying hard enough to find one. I was probably the most dreaded conversational partner at that party.

Within reason, and preferably with a trusted confidant, I am in favor of a little hand wringing. Sometimes you need to get your worries out of your system to move forward. My behavior at the birthday party was not a good example of that. I was far from getting on with it, and I was with acquaintances that, after that evening, likely had no interest in seeing me again.

As I mentioned in Monday’s post, Internal Dialogue, it’s easy to become consumed with our own inner universe of experiences. And work, or lack of, offers plenty of opportunities for us to become enmeshed in our own reality. But when all we talk about is our own reality, we will likely only become further entrenched in it.

This holiday season I’ll leave you with a bit of my mother’s wisdom, “You never know when you are going to meet someone who knows someone.” In other words, you never know at which party you are going to meet someone who introduces you to the hiring manager of your next job. Think about listening first before sharing your woes.