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13 Harsh Truths You Don’t Want To Admit When You Can’t Get Over The Past Relationship

13 Harsh Truths You Don’t Want To Admit When You Can’t Get Over The Past Relationship

If you’ve ever been in a romantic relationship, chances are you’ve experienced the common side effects of sleepless nights, loss of appetite, and somehow managing to interject the name of that person into every conversation. Ironically, these are some of the same symptoms that are also common after a breakup and can be painful (not to mention extremely trying on your friends) when experienced for a long period of time. If you’re having a hard time getting over a lost love, consider the following harsh truths that may be holding you hostage to your pain.

1. Maybe it is you.

girl standing on log

    It’s human nature to blame outside influences when things don’t go the way we want them to in our relationships. We hear things like, “He was afraid of commitment,” or “She was too controlling.” While blaming your ex can help to satisfy your ego, it saps you of your ability to gain control of the situation. However, when you own your actions and/or expectations of the other person that weren’t met, you gain total control to change your perspective and to make different choices in the future. Try this the next time you’re feeling down: Write down all the ways YOU contributed to the breakup (even if you don’t think you did) and make a decision to, next time, make a different choice. It might not be an easy exercise at first, but it’s a great way to shift the power back into your hands.

    2. You didn’t fulfill his or her needs.

    Tony Robbins uses Human Needs Psychology to teach millions of people how to have successful relationships. This theory suggests that though we all have these six human needs — certainty, variety, significance, love/connection, growth, and contribution — we each rank them differently and seek to have them fulfilled in different ways. Usually in the beginning of relationships we all do a pretty good job of fulfilling the needs of our partner because most of us are concerned with what we can give to the person instead of what we can get. But unless we continue to meet our partner’s needs in the way they want them to be met, they’re liable to move their attention off of you in the way that you would want. Here’s the harsh truth: you didn’t meet your partner’s needs in the way they needed them to be met. The “bright” side? They probably didn’t meet your needs either.

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    3. A better match exists for you.

    There are over 7.2 billion people in the world; you’ve just broken up with one of them. And if you’re in the U.S., there are about 96 million people who are single and over the age of 18. I know it might be hard to believe that there could be even a slight possibility that you will ever find another mate or even (could it be?) a better match, but it’s true — just know that you’re someone’s better match, too!

    4. You saw signs and ignored them.

    They say hindsight is 20/20. That’s because usually at the end of a broken relationship we can see all the evidence from along the way that this one wasn’t going to last. Finally, you can recognize their behavior for what it really was — especially after you’ve put so much time and energy into making it work. Do yourself a favor: The next time you see signs on the road of love that lead you to question your relationship, don’t look away.

    5. You believed you would end up with your first love.

    boy-girl kiss on cheek

      Most of us are introduced to the fantasy of love long before we fall in love for the first time ourselves. These impressions are strong in our expectations of living happily ever after, and when we finally find that object of our affection, it can be an overwhelming and profound experience. Sometimes when our first loves ends, it can feel like our whole world is ending too. Research at Stony Brook University revealed that the anguish of romantic rejection creates the same cravings as being on cocaine. No wonder you may feel like you’re going through withdrawal; and every recovering addict needs support during recovery. Find a confidant or support group to talk to; better yet, read this to learn eight things to do when getting over a hurtful relationship.

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      6. You looked to him/her for validation.

      It happens to the best of us: One day you’re a happily independent-thinking person; the next you find yourself crying in a dejected ball on the floor in the bedroom corner. What will you do, and what’s to become of you now? But what if you no longer needed the approval of your ex and, instead, were totally confident in your own skin? It’s hard when you’ve invested so much time and energy into a relationship only to see it end. But the harsh truth is this: you are enough and you don’t need another person’s affection to prove this. If you can truly get this one concept, you’ll be so irresistible, you’ll barely keep from dating yourself.

      7. He/She’s just not that into you (and that’s OK).

      We all have our preferences for different things (food, style, vacation spots, etc.). And if you’re honest, there are probably several people you’d prefer to spend your Saturday night with over others. This doesn’t automatically make those others undesirable people, does it? Of course not. Well, the same goes for you. Just because you’re not one person’s preference doesn’t mean a thing about you; it just speaks to their preference. You, on the other hand, have plenty of fans. Why not give one of them a call and meet for coffee this week? You may be glad you did.

      8. You’ve romanticized the whole thing.

      romanticize; couple on pier

        It’s easy to remember only the good times when a relationship ends, but chances are you can identify plenty of things that weren’t ideal. If you find yourself only able to remember the good times, have a friend remind you of the challenges or complaints you had while you were together. Write these things down and then ask yourself these questions to snap yourself back to reality.

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        9. You want what you can’t have.

        If this one applies to you, chances are the person either a.) belongs to someone else, b.) is too young or too old for you, c.) lives in another state, country, or region or d.) has taken a vow of celibacy. Whatever the reason, the fact is they’re not available, and the more you focus on this, the more miserable you’ll be. Do yourself a favor: Shift your attention to what you can have, and go buy yourself your favorite dessert to take your mind off of things. (Hey, it always works for me.)

        10. You took them for granted.

        This is a tough one. If you believe that you let go of someone you truly cared about but took for granted, you might be having the worst reaction of all because, in your mind, if you had done things differently, you would be together today. Take heart: we all make mistakes. But if we’re wise we call them “learning experiences” and make sure we do things differently the next time around.

        11. Your beliefs are not necessarily the truth.

        We all believe something; some of us believe in angels, some of us believe in big business, and some of us believe in the Tooth Fairy. The thing to remember is that belief in itself is neither good or bad. So if you believe that you and your lost love were meant to be together and it’s causing you pain, recognize that you can choose to have a different belief. What if, for example, you believed that this relationship was the perfect set-up for the ultimate relationship on its way to you? Oh, the possibilities when you believe!

        12.You’re holding yourself back from happiness.

        You deserve every happiness that life has to offer. The fact that you’re hurting so badly only proves that you don’t feel the way you know you’re supposed to feel, which is not crummy. Try this: recall a time when you were extremely happy or at peace before this person came into your life. What were you focused on? What activities were you involved in? What contribution were you making to the world? Answer these questions, and you’ve got a blueprint for getting your groove back and moving into happy. Or try something new that you’ve always wanted to do and read this to perk yourself back up.

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        13. Everything will be OK.

        Everything will be OK

          Believe it or not, the earth won’t stop spinning on it’s axis, your heart won’t stop beating, and you will be OK. If you allow it to, time can be your best friend when you’re getting over a relationship. Spend some much-deserved time loving yourself and appreciating all of the good things in your life right now. Make a list and rehearse it each time your default turns to thoughts of your ex, or put yourself in the space of others who are less fortunate than you to give yourself some perspective on how good your life really is. The truth is you’re not the first person to have a hard time getting over a past relationship, and you won’t be the last. Just remember to breathe; everything will be OK.

          Featured photo credit: Logan Adermatt via unsplash.com

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          Published on May 18, 2021

          How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication

          How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication

          We have two ears and one mouth for a reason—effective communication is dependent on using them in proportion, and this involves having good listening skills.

          The workplace of the 21st century may not look the same as it did before COVID-19 spread throughout the world like wildfire, but that doesn’t mean you can relax your standards at work. If anything, Zoom meetings, conference calls, and the continuous time spent behind a screen have created a higher level of expectations for meeting etiquette and communication. And this goes further than simply muting your microphone during a meeting.

          Effective workplace communication has been a topic of discussion for decades, yet, it is rarely addressed or implemented due to a lack of awareness and personal ownership by all parties.

          Effective communication isn’t just about speaking clearly or finding the appropriate choice of words. It starts with intentional listening and being present. Here’s how to improve your listening skills for effective workplace communication.

          Listen to Understand, Not to Speak

          There are stark differences between listening and hearing. Listening involves intention, focused effort, and concentration, whereas hearing simply involves low-level awareness that someone else is speaking. Listening is a voluntary activity that allows one to be present and in the moment while hearing is passive and effortless.[1]

          Which one would you prefer your colleagues to implement during your company-wide presentation? It’s a no-brainer.

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          Listening can be one of the most powerful tools in your communication arsenal because one must listen to understand the message being told to them. As a result of this deeper understanding, communication can be streamlined because there is a higher level of comprehension that will facilitate practical follow-up questions, conversations, and problem-solving. And just because you heard something doesn’t mean you actually understood it.

          We take this for granted daily, but that doesn’t mean we can use that as an excuse.

          Your brain is constantly scanning your environment for threats, opportunities, and situations to advance your ability to promote your survival. And yet, while we are long past the days of worrying about being eaten by wildlife, the neurocircuitry responsible for these mechanisms is still hard-wired into our psychology and neural processing.

          A classic example of this is the formation of memories. Case in point: where were you on June 3rd, 2014? For most of you reading this article, your mind will go completely blank, which isn’t necessarily bad.

          The brain is far too efficient to retain every detail about every event that happens in your life, mainly because many events that occur aren’t always that important. The brain doesn’t—and shouldn’t—care what you ate for lunch three weeks ago or what color shirt you wore golfing last month. But for those of you who remember where you were on June 3rd, 2014, this date probably holds some sort of significance to you. Maybe it was a birthday or an anniversary. Perhaps it was the day your child was born. It could have even been a day where you lost someone special in your life.

          Regardless of the circumstance, the brain is highly stimulated through emotion and engagement, which is why memories are usually stored in these situations. When the brain’s emotional centers become activated, the brain is far more likely to remember an event.[2] And this is also true when intention and focus are applied to listening to a conversation.

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          Utilizing these hard-wired primitive pathways of survival to optimize your communication in the workplace is a no-brainer—literally and figuratively.

          Intentional focus and concentrated efforts will pay off in the long run because you will retain more information and have an easier time recalling it down the road, making you look like a superstar in front of your colleagues and co-workers. Time to kiss those note-taking days away!

          Effective Communication Isn’t Always Through Words

          While we typically associate communication with words and verbal affirmations, communication can come in all shapes and forms. In the Zoom meeting era we live in, it has become far more challenging to utilize and understand these other forms of language. And this is because they are typically easier to see when we are sitting face to face with the person we speak to.[3]

          Body language can play a significant role in how our words and communication are interpreted, especially when there is a disconnection involved.[4] When someone tells you one thing, yet their body language screams something completely different, it’s challenging to let that go. Our brain immediately starts to search for more information and inevitably prompts us to follow up with questions that will provide greater clarity to the situation at hand. And in all reality, not saying something might be just as important as actually saying something.

          These commonly overlooked non-verbal communication choices can provide a plethora of information about the intentions, emotions, and motivations. We do this unconsciously, and it happens with every confrontation, conversation, and interaction we engage in. The magic lies in the utilization and active interpretation of these signals to improve your listening skills and your communication skills.

          Our brains were designed for interpreting our world, which is why we are so good at recognizing subtle nuances and underlying disconnect within our casual encounters. So, when we begin to notice conflicting messages between verbal and non-verbal communication, our brain takes us down a path of troubleshooting.

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          Which messages are consistent with this theme over time? Which statements aren’t aligning with what they’re really trying to tell me? How should I interpret their words and body language?

          Suppose we want to break things down even further. In that case, one must understand that body language is usually a subconscious event, meaning that we rarely think about our body language. This happens because our brain’s primary focus is to string together words and phrases for verbal communication, which usually requires a higher level of processing. This doesn’t mean that body language will always tell the truth, but it does provide clues to help us weigh information, which can be pretty beneficial in the long run.

          Actively interpreting body language can provide you with an edge in your communication skills. It can also be used as a tool to connect with the individual you are speaking to. This process is deeply ingrained into our human fabric and utilizes similar methods babies use while learning new skills from their parents’ traits during the early years of development.

          Mirroring a person’s posture or stance can create a subtle bond, facilitating a sense of feeling like one another. This process is triggered via the activation of specific brain regions through the stimulation of specialized neurons called mirror neurons.[5] These particular neurons become activated while watching an individual engage in an activity or task, facilitating learning, queuing, and understanding. They also allow the person watching an action to become more efficient at physically executing the action, creating changes in the brain, and altering the overall structure of the brain to enhance output for that chosen activity.

          Listening with intention can make you understand your colleague, and when paired together with mirroring body language, you can make your colleague feel like you two are alike. This simple trick can facilitate a greater bond of understanding and communication within all aspects of the conversation.

          Eliminate All Distractions, Once and for All

          As Jim Rohn says, “What is easy to do is also easy not to do.” And this is an underlying principle that will carry through in all aspects of communication. Distractions are a surefire way to ensure a lack of understanding or interpretation of a conversation, which in turn, will create inefficiencies and a poor foundation for communication.

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          This should come as no surprise, especially in this day in age where people are constantly distracted by social media, text messaging, and endlessly checking their emails. We’re stuck in a cultural norm that has hijacked our love for the addictive dopamine rush and altered our ability to truly focus our efforts on the task at hand. And these distractions aren’t just distractions for the time they’re being used. They use up coveted brainpower and central processes that secondarily delay our ability to get back on track.

          Gloria Mark, a researcher at UC Irvine, discovered that it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds for our brains to reach their peak state of focus after an interruption.[6] Yes, you read that correctly—distractions are costly, error-prone, and yield little to no benefit outside of a bump to the ego when receiving a new like on your social media profile.

          Meetings should implement a no-phone policy, video conference calls should be set on their own browser with no other tabs open, and all updates, notifications, and email prompt should be immediately turned off, if possible, to eliminate all distractions during a meeting.

          These are just a few examples of how we can optimize our environment to facilitate the highest levels of communication within the workplace.

          Actions Speak Louder Than Words

          Effective communication in the workplace doesn’t have to be challenging, but it does have to be intentional. Knowledge can only take us so far, but once again, knowing something is very different than putting it into action.

          Just like riding a bike, the more often you do it, the easier it becomes. Master communicators are phenomenal listeners, which allows them to be effective communicators in the workplace and in life. If you genuinely want to own your communication, you must implement this information today and learn how to improve your listening skills.

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          Choose your words carefully, listen intently, and most of all, be present in the moment—because that’s what master communicators do, and you can do it, too!

          More Tips Improving Listening Skills

          Featured photo credit: Mailchimp via unsplash.com

          Reference

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