How To Not Offend Your Unemployed Pals

When you lose your job, you don’t want to be coddled by friends and family, and can be more sensitive to subtle, unintended condescension. It’s easy for others to inadvertently say the wrong thing, so a primer is in order to set some rules for social etiquette in place.

The Awl provides such a guide. Here are some of our favorite tips:

*Avoid the word and concept of “funemployment.” Those without jobs can do whatever they want, whenever they want, except for the fact that they can’t because they’re broke and all their friends are working while they’re stuck watching Judge Judy and The Price is Right, which isn’t as fulfilling as it sounds. So don’t project any envy, false or otherwise.

*Hook them up. Keep your eyes open for job opportunities that your friend might be interested in. Scan job sites, forward promising leads and put in good words for your pal with business contacts. But remember to be careful with your recommendations. Don’t mention openings at Wendy’s to stockbrokers.

*Don’t ask how their day went. The question can feel like an accusatory or judgment-laden inquisition, so let your friend bring up what they did on their own. If your friend’s day was mundane or depressing, it probably wouldn’t do much good to analyze it.

If you’ve been unemployed or close with someone who has, what tips do you have to add?

Understanding Your Unemployed Friend [The Awl]