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Sometimes You Have To Let Go Even If You Still Love The Person

Sometimes You Have To Let Go Even If You Still Love The Person

The process of letting go of someone you love is one of life’s most painful experiences. When you have invested a considerable amount of time and emotional energy in someone, the prospect of living without them may be unthinkable. You may look back on the memories you shared, the plans you made, and feel nothing but psychic agony. If you are newly broken up, envisaging a new future may feel close to impossible. You may find yourself ruminating on what you could have done differently, the arguments you may have had, and the things you regret saying.

Every relationship is unique, and there are many reasons why cutting ties may be the kindest solution for all parties. Maybe you discovered as time went on that your values and dreams did not align. At first you may have hoped that you could overcome your differences, but in the end they drove you apart. Sometimes, love just isn’t enough and you come to the sad conclusion that it’s time to part ways. Perhaps you love one another and even revel in your differences, but seem unable to communicate or resolve conflict. Maybe you had to end the relationship for another reason entirely. Whatever the trigger, the emotional fallout will be considerable. This is completely normal. Be kind to yourself, and expect a period of emotional turbulence.

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What are you really releasing when you let go?

Letting go of a person involves letting go of hope. We may have believed this person to be our soulmate, or at least someone upon whom we could rely to stick around for a long time. It can be tremendously difficult to face the stark reality that we need to carve out a new path for ourselves, and allow the other person to do the same. You may be feeling lonely, even when surrounded by friends and family who want to comfort you. If you can, allow yourself to be nourished by their support.

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Taking the momentous decision to let go of someone you love is a brave step. In doing so, you are proving to yourself that you are capable of creating your own happiness, and that you do not need to rely on someone else to make you feel as though life is worth living. In evaluating your relationship, deciding that you would be best off apart and then letting them go, you are demonstrating that you have faith in the universe. When you summon the courage to move on from a relationship that isn’t working, you are affirming that you are worthy of the best life has to offer, and that you are confident that with time you can move on to a more constructive relationship.

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Why letting go can herald a beautiful new beginning

Letting go of harmful relationships allows you to move forwards a brighter future. Remember the old saying, “If you love someone, let them go?” If you look deep within yourself, you will realize that in freeing yourself and the other person from a relationship that is holding you both back, you are helping two people to create a happier, more authentic life. In this way, letting go of someone you love can be an act of supreme care and kindness. Every relationship can teach us something, and occasionally the whole purpose of a relationship may come only when it ends. Although it may feel as though your world is ending when you break up with someone you love, over time you will realize that you are merely embarking on a new beginning. Let the lessons you have learned from your interactions with this person serve to guide you in forming healthier relationships in the future, and rest assured that you can and will find love again. See this painful period as a step closer to getting what you really need and want from life.

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More by this author

Jay Hill

Jay writes about communication and happiness on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on October 14, 2020

The Art of Humble Confidence

The Art of Humble Confidence

To be confident or not to be confident, that is the question. I’m not sure about you, but I’ve been a bit confused about all this discussion about the subject of confidence. Do you really need to be more confident or should you try to be more humble? I think the answer is both – you just have to know where to use it.

East VS West – Confidence, It’s a Cultural Thing

In typical Western countries, the answer to the confidence debate is obvious – more is better. Our heros are rebellious, independent and shoot first, ask questions later. I think this snippet of dialog from The Matrix sums it up best:

Agent Smith – “We’re willing to wipe the slate clean, give you a fresh start. All that we’re asking in return is your cooperation in bringing a known terrorist to justice.”
Neo – “Yeah. Well, that sounds like a pretty good deal. But I think I may have a better one. How about, I give you the finger”
[He does]
Neo -“ …and you give me my phone call.”

In Eastern countries, the tone is often considerably different. Elders are supposed to be revered not dismissed. The words ‘guru,’ meaning a teacher, and the philosophy of dharma, loosely translated to mean ‘duty,’ come from here. In Eastern cultures humility and respect are more important than confidence.

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These perspectives are generalizations, but it shows how the confidence debate goes back deep into our culture. I think that both extremes of pure confidence or pure humility are misguided. Instead of rectifying this situation by simply blending the two: becoming somewhat humble, somewhat confident all the time, I believe the answer is to know when to be confident and when to be humble.

Humble Confidence – Know When to Use It

I’m going to make another broad generalization. I believe that virtually every relationship you are going to have is going to fit into one of two major archetypes, either master or student. In peer relationships this master/student role may switch frequently, but it is extremely rare that the relationship never leans to one side.

In the master role, you are displaying confidence to get what you want. This is public speaker, leader or seducer. Being the master has advantages. You have more control and ability to influence from this role.

The student role is the opposite. You are intentionally displaying humility. This is the student, disciple or follower. Being the student has advantages too. You can learn a lot more in this role and are more likely to win the trust of the other person.

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Know When to Shut Up and Learn

If you are a typical Westerner, you are probably already thinking about which role you prefer. Being the leader is great. You get respect and a higher status. Most of all you get a greater degree of control.

But the problem is that you can’t and shouldn’t always try to be the leader. Trying to assume that role without the skills, resources or status to back it up will lead to conflict. More importantly, there are many times when you purposely want to display humility. Some of the benefits to the student role include:

  • You learn more.
  • Smooths relationships.
  • Makes others more willing to lend a helping hand.

Knowing when taking the humble route is to your advantage. It is far easier to get mentors and advisors if you use humility rather than arrogance. A small sacrifice to your ego can open up the potential to learn a lot.

Confidence to Persuade, Humility to Learn

In reality almost no relationship is as clearly defined as master/student. Within our connections, people have overlapping areas of expertise. I might be an expert in blogging to a non-blogger, but they might be an expert in finance. In each area there are different roles to take.

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Before any interaction ask yourself what the purpose is. Are you trying to learn or persuade?

Persuasion requires confidence. If you are trying to sell, instruct or lead you need to display the confidence to match your message. But learning requires humility. You won’t learn anything if you are constantly arguing with your professors, mentors or employers. Taking a dose of humility and temporarily making yourself a student gives you the opportunity to absorb.

Persuade Less, Learn More

Persuasion is great for immediate effect, but learning matters over the long-haul. Instead of washing over all your communication with pure confidence, look for opportunities to learn. Persuading someone to follow you may give you an immediate boost of satisfaction, but it doesn’t last. Learning, however, is an investment for the future.

Whenever I make a connection with someone and realize they have a skill or understanding I want, I am careful to express humility in that area. That means listening with what they say even if I don’t immediately agree and being patient with their response. This method often drastically cuts down the time I need to spend on trial and error to learn by myself.

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Confidence/Humility Doesn’t Replace Communication Skills

This approach of selectively using confidence and humility for different purposes doesn’t replace communication skills. Humility isn’t going to work if the other person thinks you’re an irritating whiner. Confidence won’t work if the entire room thinks you are an arrogant jerk. Knowing how to display these two qualities takes practice.

The next time you are about to enter into an interaction ask yourself why you are doing it. Are you trying to persuade or learn? Depending on which you can take a completely different tact for far better results.

Featured photo credit: BBH Singapore via unsplash.com

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