Stop Thinking You’re A Jobless Lowlife

couch potato

This photo has been doctored with sepia undertones to mask the identity of this poor, fine-grade specimen of unemployed male.

Unemployed of the world unite: You have nothing to lose but your pot belly!

There is no greater blow to your self-esteem than losing your job. Thanks to all of that menacing free time, you’re more likely to ruminate on how shitty your life is going, how much your wife hates you now, and what a shell of a man you’ve become. (I imagine women on the other hand, like myself, just weep and eat themselves fat while updating their resumes). Clinical Professor of Psychology Robert L. Leahy, Ph.D points out a toxic thread among the unemployed: self-loathing.

British psychologists Adrian Wells and Costas Papageorgiou have found that people who ruminate actually think that they will figure things out, solve a problem and avoid making the same mistake in the future. Of course, there may be some truth that ruminating may “give you closure” or lead to solutions—but excessive rumination simply makes you more depressed.

As it turns out, sulking is not going to lead you to any kind of productive revelation that will magically transform you into a resume-churning member of society by morning.

As Yale psychologist Susan Nolen-Hoeksema has shown, rumination leads to depression and keeps you depressed. People who ruminate withdraw from the real world, often isolating themselves from other people. When you ruminate you are almost always focused on something negative—what is going on in your head. It adds to your sense of helplessness and makes you feel worse.

See the helpful tips from the PhD, who’s conveniently pimping out his new book on depression at Psychology Today, after the jump.

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Why you should dump your unemployed friends

couch potato cat

Kitty prefers to job hunt in peace, thankyouverymuch.

Let’s be real: the friends you keep tell you what to do, from what d-list music is now cool to  who you’re allowed to sleep with.  And everyone has some members in their crew who moms don’t approve of. But instead of blacklisting the borderline alcoholics or self-obsessed fame whores, your new frenemies may be the fellow unemployed. Continue reading

The best part about staying at home while all of your friends go to work:

Having the luxury of listening to the sophisticated musical screechings of an aspiring indie rock band living a floor above.  (Who knew musicians woke up at 9am with the rest of us?)

This is what I look like when I work from home.

This is what working from home looks like.