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Finding a way to see the positive side of something majorly disappointing (and potentially life-changing) can help you get through it, and maybe make you even happier than you were before. Here, expert advice on how to turn 6 bad situations around.
1. You got laid off
Tis the season for cutbacks, downsizing, and restructuring -- all softer ways of saying you're losing your job.
Find the positive: Look at losing your job as an opportunity to consider pursuing a career path you’ve always thought about taking, says psychotherapist Christina Steinorth, author of Cue Cards for Life: Gentle Reminders for Better Relationships. “Being forced to explore other employment options can possibly be one of the best things that ever happened to you: It gives you an opportunity to reinvent yourself in a way you may have been to reluctant to try for fear of losing your job,” she says. In this economy it may take some time to find the first job of your new career, so consider taking a job to pay the bills and build some new skills while making the transition.
2. Your significant other gets a great job in another city
Your partner got an unexpected job offer and can’t afford not to take it, so you'll have to uproot your life.
Find the positive: This situation can actually open up a whole new world of unforeseen possibilities, says life coach and happiness expert Elizabeth Manuel. The chance to live in a new city brings with it a great opportunity to meet new people, find new favorite places and maybe even a better job. “Moving is one of the biggest challenges to our comfort zones, but it can strengthen you and push your boundaries of what you want to create in your life,” she says. So think of it as your next big adventure.
3. Instead of a ring, you got dumped
You were hoping for a proposal but instead he’s broken things off.
Find the positive: “Ultimately, he did you a big favor,” Steinorth says. “Of course it's going to really hurt but, let's be honest, it's far better to be dumped in a dating situation than it is to be divorced six months down the road.” Channel the time and energy that you’d put into the relationship back into yourself by traveling with your friends, taking a class that interests you or maybe even moving to a new city you’ve always wanted to live in (if not a new part of town), she suggests. “Once you learn how to feel complete without a man, any relationship you decide to have in the future will be more balanced because you'll have the sense to know that you are just as important as your relationship,” she says.
4. You maxed out your credit card…again
You don’t know how it happened (okay, you sorta do), but you’re way over your credit limit.
Find the positive: “The positive side of maxing out your credit card is that it forces you to budget because you can't buy anything anymore,” Steinorth says. Because most people max out their cards with impulse buying, having a stricter budget can actually help you conquer that bad (and expensive) habit, Manuel says. “Maybe you'll soon get your impulse to shop under control and never have to deal with a maxed out credit card again” And you'll make better choices and learn to live on budget without sacrificing what you enjoy.
5. Your partner cheated
Whether there was a confession or you pieced things together on your own, you found out you’ve been betrayed. Now you have to figure out if you can transcend this indiscretion or if you’re better off alone.
Find the positive: This is a tricky one -- infidelity is painful. But whether you stay or go, there can still be that silver lining. On the one hand, it could be your chance to finally leave a relationship that wasn't so great to begin with. On the other, infidelity can be an opportunity to improve your relationship. “This is a real situation for many people,” Manuel says. And things get complicated. Just because someone cheated doesn't mean he wants out. Manuel says than more often than not he wants to make your relationship work. “Cheating can be a catalyst for growth and I know a number of couples who have transformed their relationships after one person had an affair. It takes an absolute willingness to change your relationship and provide each other what with what you really need.” So if decide to stay, a little work could mean a much better relationship.
6. You want to go back to school, but your applications were rejected
You decide to go college or grad school. But after taking tests, writing personal statements and getting recommendations, you get rejected.
Find the positive: “Rejection is a very powerful word and most people take it very personally,” Manual says. “But, sometimes delay is for our best good.” If you applied to school because you’re feeling stuck in your job or aren’t sure what to do with your life next, it’s likely in your best interest not to spend thousands of dollars until you know for sure. Take this chance to really think about whether this program was right for you and see if there are other ways you can expand your learning through extension programs or professional workshops.