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4. The Drumroll Failure
Do you remember all those years ago when Geraldo Rivera opened Al Capone's vault and found nothing there? Most of us don't put our life-defining moments on TV. But we may announce to everyone we know that we're up for a big promotion or that we're applying to grad school. We usually do this because we're nervous; telling people makes us feel like we're doing something about the situation, even if it's only talking. This technique can be helpful. All those listeners can calm us down. But it also means that all those listeners are going to check in with us, because we've set up an emotional drumroll that is rat-a-tat-tat-ing toward the grand finale, in which we go bust.

How much savvier, and safer, we feel when this same kind of situation comes to pass a few months or years later, when we know to discuss our concerns with just the few key people who can help us with something tangible, like advice or a support—influencing the outcome of our situation and not just our feelings about it.