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15 Books To Gently Heal A Broken Heart

15 Books To Gently Heal A Broken Heart

Is it easy to recover from a breakup?

It’s a silly question indeed: how can it be easy to forget the one you loved and considered yours yesterday who has suddenly become a complete stranger today? Time heals, they say. And we say that the best books to read after a breakup can help you much more than simply waiting for the moment when the pain finally goes away.

Books have the power to heal. When you choose the best books to read during some difficult moments of your life, you may be surprised how much easier it becomes to overcome these difficulties. Books give you advice; they share knowledge and experience with you. They do not judge, they talk to you, and they help you cope with unrequited love and find inner peace.

It’s you who decides which book will become your friend. When it comes to a breakup, you need someone to support you, to tell you that everything’s going to be okay, to share their personal stories and let you know that you are not alone with your pain. Moreover, you need someone who will shake and inspire you, instill optimism and explain that a breakup is not the end of your life; rather, it is a new beginning.

Books are silent. They help us write, study, and live.They do not interrupt you; they do not impose their views. They just whisper stories, and you become slowly healed and reborn to a new life without noticing it. Here they are: the 15 best books to read when you go through a breakup.

1. Stag’s Leap: Poems by Sharon Olds

stag-leap-poems

    The winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry (2013), this book of poems will help you let your past go and find courage to move on in your life. Written by a lady whose 26-year-old marriage fell apart, these poems will help you accept your breakup and take on a “I am finally free” perspective without having regrets.

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    2. Dolores Claiborne by Stephen King

    dolores-claiborne

      This author perfectly knows how to make our hearts freeze with fear, allowing readers to get into characters’ heads and disclose the reasons of their actions. This is the story of an eccentric woman and the ways she chose to deal with her drunk husband; this is a story of how strong and powerful a woman can be when it comes to danger and injustice; this is a story about women’s resilience. After reading this book, you will never consider your breakup a problem anymore.

      3. A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson

      history-nearly-everything

        After a breakup, you can think about nothing but love and how unfair it is. This book reveals so many interesting facts that can’t even be compared with your so-called drama, that you will forget about all earthly problems at once. As far as we know, everything is relative: who has never tasted bitter, knows not what is sweet. So, check this book to understand how tiny your problem of breaking up is in comparison with some universe disasters.

        4. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

        eat-pray-love

          There is no lady who would not like this book and the story it tells about a divorced woman and her soul-searching journey to Italy, India and Indonesia. Yes, her divorce was bitter, and her love affair was disastrous, but she has found ways and strengths to change life for better. This is an inspiring story for us to understand that life does not end after a breakup; moreover, life may start after it.

          5. Under the Wild and Starry Sky by Nancy Horan

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          under-wild-sky

            Based on true events, this book will help you understand that your ex was not the last and only love of your life. The story of a woman who escapes from her cheating husband with three children and picks up a new, cool man is a must-read for you to understand that the next love is already waiting, and it can find you at the most unexpected places sometimes.

            6. Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton

            ethan-frome

              Here is another well-written story to help you understand that your breakup problem is small compared to the problems that other people have. This is a beautiful novella about a man who falls in love with the young caretaker of his sick wife. The story allows us to accept the fact that anything can happen in life; you have lots of chances to write the future screenplay of your life, and there is no need to sit and cry over the past.

              7. You Should Have Known by Jean Hanff Korelitz

              you-should-have-known

                What would an experienced couples therapist do if she found out that she was the last one to discover that husband was planning to leave her? Moreover, he could be (maybe) connected to a murder; so, now it’s high time for her own investigation. This psychological thriller will help you realize that it could have been much worse than a simple breakup with your boyfriend.

                8. How Did You Get This Number by Sloane Crosley

                how-did-you-get-this-number

                  What should you do if an unknown girl calls you one day and says she has found your number in the phone of her boyfriend? The problem is, that this man is—your boyfriend. Sloane Crosley knows the answer to this question, and she decides to write a book in a funny and instructive manner for each of us to understand the ugly truth of life: bad things happen, but you can always find a way out and overcome all relationship problems.

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                  9. Him, Her, Him Again, The End of Him by Patricia Marx

                  him-her-him-again

                    Marx writes for The New Yorker, but she also wrote this book which is a satirical story about a girl who has spent 10 years trying to attract a pretentious PhD student just to understand how wrong she was and how much time she wasted as a result. The story is based on the author’s own experience, and shows that your breakup might be a blessing rather than a curse.

                    10. Six-Word Memoirs on Love and Heartbreak by Larry Smith

                    six-word-memoirs

                      Can you find six words to describe your breakup? It’s easier to say than to do, but if you have suddenly forgotten all words, this book is here to help you. A wonderful collection of six-word confessions, it is a must-read for everyone whose heart is broken. All these heartbreaking, confusing, and sometimes optimistic memoirs are here to inspire you and help you turn the page of your past relationship.

                      11. What Was I Thinking: 58 Bad Boyfriend Stories by Barbara Davilman

                      what-was-i-thinking

                        This book is a collection of 58 stories on broken relationships told by different women and designed to make you more optimistic about your own breakup. Your love may last for a week, a month, or a year; but somewhere deep inside you, understand that, sooner or later, it will be over. And we have nothing to do with that: just accept that, be thankful for those wonderful moments, and keep going.

                        12. Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding

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                        bridget-jones-diary

                          Are you a single and lonely lady now? This book should become your desk book then, because it is a real bible of what you must NOT do while not having a life partner. Forget about sitting and staring at the phone with a hope to get a call from him; do not even think about flirting with your boss, and forget about all those stupid things that come to your mind just after a breakup. But what should you do instead? Bridget Jones has an answer to this question, so keep reading to find out.

                          13. Split: A Memoir of Divorce by Suzanne Finnamore

                          a-memoir-of-divorce

                            Such stories happen every day: love appears, boys ask girls to marry them, and after a couple of years, the same boys make another proposition: divorce. The author of this book shares her story with humor and honesty, revealing all the dirty details of her marriage and divorce to make you understand that when something goes wrong, it becomes an experience which lets you do things differently next time.

                            14. High Fidelity by Nick Hornby

                            high-fidelity

                              It’s time to suggest a breakup story from the male perspective. Yes, girls are not the only ones who cry. This book by Nick Hornby will tell you the story of a music addict who decides to make a list of his own “top 5” breakups, and it will probably change your mind about your own breakup.

                              15. This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz

                              this-is-how-you-lose-her

                                Despite his flaws, you can’t help loving the protagonist of this book. Even though he is a man who does not take women seriously, there is something about this guy that makes you sympathize with him. It helps you understand that all men need to realize how bad they are before becoming good. This is a story that will probably help you perceive your ex differently.

                                Remember: a breakup is not the end of your life, even if it is difficult to believe and accept this fact at first. Your new love is waiting for you somewhere already; so, get ready and open up your heart and mind while reading the above-mentioned books that will help you get through your ended relationship.

                                Featured photo credit: I Dont Want A Broken Heart/Nawal Al-Mashouq via flickr.com

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                                Last Updated on April 11, 2019

                                How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

                                How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

                                Possessing strong communication skills will help you in every phase of your life. This is especially true in the workplace.

                                I have personally worked with several leaders who were masters of communication. A few were wonderful speakers who could tell a great story and get everyone in the room engaged. Those of us in attendance would walk away feeling inspired and eager to help with what came next. Others were very skilled at sharing a clear direction and job expectations.

                                I knew exactly what was expected of me and how to achieve my goals. This was the foundation of an energized and vibrant role I was in. What I have found is strong communication skills are incredibly helpful and sometimes critical in how well we perform at work.

                                Here we will take a look at how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

                                How Communication Skills Help Your Success

                                Strong communication skills pave the way for success in many ways. Let’s look at a few of the big ones.

                                Create a Positive Experience

                                Here are two examples of how well developed communication skills helps create a positive experience:

                                When I first moved to the city I now live in, I began a job search. Prior to my first live interview, I was told an address to go to. Upon arriving at the address provided, I drove around and around attempting to find the location. After 15 minutes of circling and looking for the address, I finally grabbed a parking spot and set out on foot.

                                What I discovered was the address was actually down an alley and only had the number over the door. No sign for the actual company. The person that gave me those very unclear directions provided a bad experience for me.

                                Had they communicated the directions to get there in a clear manner, my experience would have been much better. Instead the entire experience started off poorly and colored the entire meeting.

                                As a recruiter, I frequently provide potential candidates with information about a job I’m speaking to them about. In order to do this, I also provide a picture of the overall company, the group they might be joining, and how their role fits in and impacts the entire company.

                                Time and time again I have been told by candidates that I have provided the clearest picture of a company and role they have ever heard. They have a positive experience when I clearly communicate to them. Even when the position does not work out for them, often times they will want to stay in touch with me due to the open communication and beneficial experience they had during the interviewing process.

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                                Strong communication skills will provide a positive experience in virtually any interaction you have with someone.

                                Help Leadership Skills

                                It’s certainly a skill all its own to be able to lead others.

                                Being a mentor and guiding others towards success is a major hallmark of great leaders. Another characteristic of effective leaders is the ability to communicate clearly.

                                As I referenced above, having a leader who can plainly articulate the company’s mission and direction goes a really long way towards being the Captain of the boat that others want to follow. It’s like saying “here’s our destination and this is how we are going to get there” in a way that everyone can get on board with.

                                Another critical component of everyone helping to sail the boat in the right direction is knowing what your portion is all about. How are you helping the boat move towards its destination in the manner than is consistent with the leaders’ vision?

                                If you have a boss or a manager that can show you what it takes for not only you to be successful, but also how your performance helps the company’s success then you’ve got a winner. A boss with superior communication skills.

                                Build Better Teams

                                Most of us work in teams of some sort or another. During the course of my career, I have led teams up to 80 and also been an individual contributor.

                                In my individual contributor roles, I have been part of a larger team. Even if you are in business for yourself, you have to interact with others in one manner or another.

                                If you have strong communication skills, it helps to build better teams. This is true whether you are in an IT department with 100 other fellow programmers or if you own your own business and have customers or vendors you communicate with.

                                When you showcase your robust ability to communicate well with others while interacting with them, you are building a better team.

                                Now let’s jump in to how to improve communication skills to help you pave the way for your workplace success.

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                                How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

                                There are many tips, tricks, and techniques to improve communication skills. I don’t want to overwhelm you with too much information, so let’s focus on the things that will provide the biggest return on your time investment.

                                Most of these tips will be fairly easy to become aware of but will take time and effort to implement. So let’s go!

                                1. Listen

                                Ever heard the saying you have two ears and one mouth for a reason? If you haven’t, then here’s the reason:

                                Being a good listener is half the equation to being a good communicator.

                                People who have the ability to really listen to someone can then actually answer questions in a meaningful way. If you don’t make the effort to actively listen, then you are really doing yourself and the other person a disservice in the communication department.

                                Know that person who is chomping at the bit to open his or her mouth the second you stop talking? Don’t be that person. They haven’t listened to at least 1/2 of what you’ve said. Therefore the words that spill out of their mouth are going to be about 1/2 relevant to what you just said.

                                Listen to someone completely and be comfortable with short periods of silence. Work on your listening skills first and foremost.

                                2. Know Your Audience

                                Knowing your audience is another critical component to having strong communication skills. The way you interact with your manager should be different than how you interact with your kids. This isn’t to say you need to be a different person with everyone you interact with. Far from it.

                                Here is a good way to think about it:

                                Imagine using your the same choice of words and body language you use with your spouse while interacting with your boss. That puts things in a graphic light!

                                You want to ensure you are using the type of communication most relevant to your audience.

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                                3. Minimize

                                I have lunch with a business associate about 3 times a year. We’ve been talking for several years now about putting a business deal together.

                                He is one of those people that simply overwhelms others with a lot of words. Sometimes when I ask him a question, I get buried beneath such an avalanche of words that I’m more confused than when I asked the question. Needless to say this is most likely a large portion of why we never put the deal together.

                                Don’t be like my lunch business associate. The goal of talking to or communicating with someone is to share actual information. The goal is not to confuse someone, it’s to provide clarity in many cases.

                                State what needs to be stated as succinctly as possible. That doesn’t mean you can’t have some pleasant conversation about the weather too.

                                The point is to not create such an onslaught of words and information that the other person walks away more confused than when they started.

                                4. Over Communicate

                                So this probably sounds completely counter intuitive to what I just wrote about minimizing your communication. It seems like it might be but it’s not.

                                What I mean by over communicating is ensuring that the other person understands the important parts of what you are sharing with them. This can be done simply yet effectively. Here’s a good example:

                                Most companies have open enrollment for benefits for the employees in the fall. The company I work for has open enrollment from November 1 to 15. The benefits department will send out a communication to all employees around October 1st, letting them know open enrollment is right around the corner and any major changes that year. There’s also a phone number and email for people to contact them with any questions.

                                Two weeks later, we all get a follow up email with basically the same information. We get a 3rd communication the week before open enrollment and another one 1 day before it starts.

                                Finally we get 2 emails during enrollment reminding us when open enrollment ends.

                                There’s minimal information, it’s more of a reminder. This is effective over communication.

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                                5. Body Language

                                The final critical component to how to improve communication skills for workplace success is body language. This is something most of us have heard about before but, a reminder is probably a good idea.

                                When I am in a meeting with someone I am comfortable with, I tend to kind of slouch down in my chair and cross my arms. When I catch myself doing this, I sit up straight and uncross my arms. I remember that crossing arms can many times be interpreted as a sign of disagreement or conflict.

                                In general, the best rule of thumb is to work towards having open body language whenever possible at work. This means relaxing your posture, not crossing your arms, and looking people in the eye when speaking with them.

                                When you are speaking in front of others, stand up straight and speak in a clear voice. This will convey confidence in your words.

                                Conclusion

                                Possessing strong communication skills will help you in many facets of your life and most certainly in the workplace.

                                Good communication helps create better teams, positive experiences with those we interact with, and are critical for leadership.

                                There are numerous tactics and techniques to be used to improve communication skills. Here we’ve reviewed how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

                                Now go communicate your way to success.

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                                Featured photo credit: HIVAN ARVIZU via unsplash.com

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