You were terminated from your job. Oh, how you hate that word – terminated! Why don’t they call it like it is: you were fired! Unjustly, for no good reason (other than the boss wanted a job for his new love interest), with virtually no warning. You--who gave 10 good years to the company. You of all people. You are outraged, miserable, and only too willing to tell the tale to anyone who will listen – and to some who have now heard it 100 times.

And. . . your boyfriend left you. Ok, so everybody’s had a boyfriend leave them at some time, but this $%#^& left you for another woman, after he’d borrowed $1,000 from you, which he clearly has no intention of repaying! Like you can afford to be out $1,000, especially now when you’re out of a job. So added to your original rendition of “Look what my horrible boss did to me,” is a refrain of “How could he take the money, dump me and run?!”--both of which you not only repeat to all who will (even superficially) listen, but run in your own mind endlessly, day in, day out.

You’re right. You are in a miserable situation, and it’s only natural to cry out in woe. It feels good to point to your wounds and say “See, I’m hurt!” and have others agree that indeed, you are hurt. The problem isn’t your wanting your distress acknowledged. The problem is revisiting morning, noon and night what caused you grief, who, why, and just how they did it. Justifying your misery over and over again has one and only one result: keeping you miserable.

Like attracts like. Feeling miserable attracts to you more to feel miserable about. The less you are willing to lift your thoughts out of how bad “they” made you feel, the less you are able to see what is around you that might contribute to your feeling good in the here and now.

This does not mean that you should deny your misery. On the contrary, allow yourself to feel it and feel it fully, but then, lay it aside. One of the easiest ways to do that is to take an hour or two to write out all the ways in which you were wronged, the “why, how, who” and “what” of it. Once you’re satisfied you got it all down on paper, set both the paper and your experience aside, not to forget about it nor to pretend “everything’s OK now,” but in order to move on to healing yourself and/or the situation. You can’t heal while you’re focused on the misery: that’s like constantly picking at a scab. The darn thing takes forever to heal!

Then, make a list of all the things you can do, people you can reach out to, or resources you can access, in order to remedy the situation. Being proactive puts you back in charge of your life. Taking charge of your life is a great way to feel better about yourself and your situation. List three or four goals, which represent different approaches to your situation. For example, you feel you were fired unfairly. Your list might include: “find a lawyer,” “speak to my Union rep,” “take an assertiveness class,” “ask Aunt Helen how she got through her termination,” “look up wrongful terminations on the Web,” and so forth. You feel that your boyfriend took horrible advantage of you and then walked out on you: your list might include “find a support group,” “read up on disastrous relationships and how to spot them,” “learn to protect myself better financially,” “speak to my pastor,” “attend some personal growth seminars.”

Licking your wounds may feel great in the short term, but finding a way to heal them is what will feel great in the long term.

Author's Bio: 

Noelle C. Nelson, Ph.D., known as "Dr. Noelle" to her clients, is a psychologist, trial consultant, speaker and author. Her books include: "The Power of Appreciation: The Key to a Vibrant Life,” Winner Takes All: Exceptional People Teach Us How to Find Career & Personal Success in the 21st Century," "Get Your Way," “Everyday Miracles” and "Dangerous Relationships: How to Stop Domestic Violence Before It Stops You.” Dr. Noelle may be reached via E-mail: