by Martha Beck: Steering by Starlight: The Science and Magic of Finding Your Destiny

“Story fondlers are chockablock full of disappointment and anger about the bad things that are present in their lives and the good things that are absent. By talking about this constantly, they get help and sympathy from others. This affords them just enough well-being to endure life, as long as they keep complaining (thereby venting their emotions and getting people to do things for them).

If you have a tendency to story fondle, pick something you complain about often, stop discussing it, and take action to change it. If you’re underpaid, ask for a raise or quit. Stating clearly to your boss, “I won’t continue to work here unless I get a 10 percent raise by March,” is very different from telling all your coworkers how bad the boss is and how miserable it is for you to be paid so little. Similarly, if a certain friend mooches off you, stop saying yes-say no and mean it. If a loved one is addicted and it’s ruining your life, stage an intervention or go to a codependency group where you’ll get help making changes in your own life…

If you need encouragement doing this, get a very proactive therapists or a life coach…who emphasizes action over storytelling. Whatever it takes, whatever your complaints may be, stop talking about them and start doing something to change them.”