Neutralizing the naysayers

Starting over at 57

Author: Mary/Wednesday, May 28, 2014/Categories: Life after 50, Workforce

“Now you’ll see what the rest of us have been dealing with … let’s see how long you’ll be a confirmed practicing optimist now! … you’ve been living the high life (employed with the same organization for over 20 years/job security) well, welcome to the real world!”
I could go on, but you get the idea of what I’ve been bombarded with since I informed some of the people in my small world about my impending job loss. Truthfully, I never expected to be assaulted with the amount of doom and gloom that I’ve experienced … and so gleefully! 
The comments above were stated with relish and smug morbid satisfaction. Some of the comments were voiced with an almost celebratory cackle. My mouth was open with disbelief at their obvious enjoyment of my impending predicament. My response? Nothing. While I silently let them have their moment, I also retired them from my support circle. When they ask, “how’s the job search going?” I respond, “Interesting!” and immediately end the conversation and refuse to say anything more.
The first time I experienced one of the naysayers’ comments, I was caught off guard, unprepared to be mean-spiritedly slapped in the face with such negativity instead of encouraging support. After all, that is exactly what I had given them when they became unemployed—positive support in any way that they would allow me to be!
I know that they are concerned about my situation. However, it has also become quite apparent that they are smugly relieved to have company in the land of the unemployed. 
You know the old saying, “misery loves company.”  Well, I’m determined to broaden the company I currently keep.
Although I’ve narrowed my community circle, every now and then a troll is exposed and I have to exterminate the contaminated entity. However, most of us understand the importance of proactive positive reaction and focus!
It’s barely been two months since my “job security” was yanked out from under me, and I’ve been on emotionally positive steroids since. I’m determined to keep practicing Steven Covey’s 90/10 Principle (see my previous post) because it works!
My most important lesson learned already from this experience is: It is seldom important what is being said or who said it. What is important is I have a choice to either swallow it whole, or dump it in the garbage where it belongs and move on.

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Pacific Region OASIS member Mary L. Calhoun has worked in the public sector for over 35 years. She's a former staff writer for a Los Angeles City Councilmember and a technical writer who has published annual reports, media portfolios, training and instructional manuals, policy and more.

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