By Linda Kelly, RSW, MSW
It’s a terrible thing to have a relationship end on you, to be dumped by someone you really care about. But your eventual recovery will take much, much longer if you blame yourself for everything that went wrong in the relationship. These are unrealistic thoughts (hey, it takes more than one person to create the dysfunction in any relationship). If you criticize and try to hurt yourself more for causing the breakup, you’re choosing to eat the asphalt. You’re not helping anyone.
You’re not being honourable or noble for falling on your sword. You’re just keeping yourself on the sidelines for longer.
Learning how to fall is about knowing that sometimes things don’t work out the way you want them to, for a lot of complex reasons that don’t always make sense. The things that happen around us do not reflect on our value as human beings.
If someone points out that you acted rudely, don’t curl up into a ball in agony. Think about what you did and what you could do differently if you agree that the person’s observation is right. Then do things differently so that you don’t have to feel sheepish for hurting someone’s feelings.
If someone chooses not to spend time with you anymore, don’t obsess over the reasons why. Relax! Everyone is on their own journey. If you stay relaxed and focus on your own, they’ll probably come around again eventually. (If you obsess and start harassing them to get some sort of validation that you didn’t do anything wrong, they will definitely keep avoiding you!)
Don’t waste your time avoiding bad news. Don’t scold yourself for bad things happening. Focus on recovery and get back in the game!
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