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8 Ways To Use A Tough Break Up To Become A Better Version Of Yourself

8 Ways To Use A Tough Break Up To Become A Better Version Of Yourself

Sometimes, breakups feel like the end of the world. In a sense, it is an end, but it’s only the end of that particular relationship. It’s also the beginning of a new relationship, the most important relationship of all — the one with yourself.

Breaking up with someone is like moving out of an old house. It takes time and effort, and it requires you to let go of stuff. However, it also allows you to reevaluate some of your own personal baggage and belongings and decide whether or not they are serving any purpose.

If you’re going through a tough breakup, think of it as a grand opportunity. Here are 8 ways to become a better version of yourself after a painful breakup.

1. Remember your passions.

Relationships are time-consuming. The hours you used to spend practicing an instrument, reading, writing, playing a sport, or traveling suddenly turn into hours spent with your significant other. We often forget about what drove us or brought us real pleasure before falling in love.

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This is a chance to remember what you’re passionate about and pursue it again. You never know where this pursuit might lead you.

2. Start a journal.

One of the best ways to learn about yourself is to start a journal. When in a relationship, we often lose sight of who we are because we’re so focused on our significant other. It’s important, especially during a breakup when you’re feeling vulnerable, to turn your attention inward.

Writing down your thoughts, fears, aspirations, and observations of the world is a great way to process and understand your own emotions.

Research shows that journaling not only decreases stress, it can also help you cope and heal after a traumatic experience.

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3. Spend time with people you’ve neglected.

Be honest. You haven’t been as available to friends and family as you were before you got into a relationship. It happens to the best of us.

Like I said before, relationships are time-consuming. It’s easy to spend every available moment with your significant other, creating a distance between you and the other people in your life.

Breakups are a perfect time to mend those other relationships and remember who you are as a single individual.

4. Don’t rely on friends to cheer you up.

If they care about you, they’ll do it whether you’re depending on them to or not. It’s important to cheer yourself up first. Don’t be that friend who disappeared when they got tied down only to reappear as a total mess after the relationship abruptly ended.

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Use your own sadness to reflect and relate to other people who are going through a tough experience. Inspire them with acceptance and positivity.

5. Don’t stalk your ex.

Nothing good has ever come from stalking. It will only make you pity yourself and seem creepy. The best revenge you could ever get on a painful breakup is not caring — or, at least, seeming like you don’t care.

You might have to pretend at first. Fake it until you make it. Eventually you’ll stop thinking about them. Eventually you’ll stop missing them and obsessively thinking how to get back together with them. You can’t do either of these things if you’re obsessing over their social media accounts or showing up at places where you know they’ll be. Let them go so that you can move on.

6. Practice forgiveness.

You should forgive your ex and yourself. Forgiveness is a virtue that doesn’t come easily to a lot of people. It is also a virtue that, when accomplished, engraves true character in a person.

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Staying angry or holding a grudge only hurts yourself. Having the will and grace to forgive is true strength.

7. Embrace your freedom.

We all strive to be easy-going, free-spirited people. A tough breakup is the perfect test of this characteristic. Do you have what it takes to move on, to embrace your newfound freedom and take advantage of the situation?

When you have the right attitude, being single is actually pretty great. It’s a chance to be selfish and focus on yourself and nobody else. It’s an opportunity to open your eyes and work on self improvement.

When you’re ready, it’s a chance to meet other people, which will, in turn, introduce you to yourself again.

8. Travel.

The worst thing you could do during a tough breakup is lock yourself in your room. Get out there! Explore. Travel. If you don’t have the funds to go on an actual trip, drive down the road to a local bar or café or park.

New experiences are waiting for you at every turn you take, and they will teach you about yourself and the type of people you attract.

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The Gentle Art of Saying No

The Gentle Art of Saying No

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

  1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
  2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
  3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
  4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
  5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
  6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
  7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
  8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
  9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
  10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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