Talk to Your Best Friend
According to research, having a few close friends is one of the keys to a long and happy life. That’s especially true when we have suffered a loss. Reach out to a really good friend (not family member, if possible) and talk. Share your feelings, be really honest with her. Talking to someone you can trust, that isn’t depending on you for money, is important. It frees you up more than talking to your spouse/partner/child, or parent/sibling to be really honest about your feelings, without them experiencing the loss also.
Talk to Your Partner /Spouse Again
Talk to your spouse/partner again. This time, have a longer conversation about how you are both feeling. Try not to solve any problems in this conversation. Processing loss, and this is a loss, isn’t about problem solving, it’s about talking and listening. This is the conversation to just let it hang out there, all the emotions for both of you. If you want, you may want to agree at the beginning not to get mad at each other about getting laid off. It won’t help anyone to blame the victim here. Some studies show that venting doesn’t help, but if you think of this venting as the beginning of accepting the loss you’ve suffered, it’s probably ok.
Remember, It’s not Personal
I’m going to repeat this a lot on this site, getting laid off isn’t personal. It happens to millions of people in the US every year, millions. I love this “open letter” on Psychology Today to us all. It comes from someone that has worked with a lot of companies and people, during times of layoffs. It’s not personal, it’s not rational, it’s not something you did or did not do. It happened to you, and how you react is going to be a key to your happiness now and going forward.
If You Are Calm, Talk to Your Children
Depending on how old they are, you should talk to your children as soon as you can do so without showing too much anger at anyone. It is ok to be emotional in front of them, but you probably don’t want them to be in a cycle of anger at your former employer. But, if they are older, it’s a good time to be honest with them about spending, and how you will be looking at your financial health, and maybe making some unpopular decisions, in the coming days. We sometimes think we should protect our children from hard truths, but they notice things, even at a young age, more than we give them credit for. If they are younger, especially, reassure them that things will be ok in the long run, but that maybe you’ll be a bit sadder than usual for a few days.
This was a hard part for me. I don’t have a ton of really close friends, and those that I do have are back in Minnesota. You can see my stories on my timeline.