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What You Can Learn When Someone Breaks Up With You

What You Can Learn When Someone Breaks Up With You

Going through a breakup is never easy — especially when you’re the one being broken up with. It can make you feel empty and unworthy of love and connection. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be that way if you don’t want it to be. I’m not saying that you are not going to feel pain from the loss you are experiencing, but I am promising that if you look at the glass as half full instead of half empty, you will open up the door for joy. Instead of allowing yourself to wallow and play the victim, let’s take a look at some of the lessons you could be learning from this experience:

1. Acceptance

Learning how to accept that change is a part of life and that nothing lasts forever, you will be able to overcome and easily move with the ebb and flow of life. When we learn to accept life for how it is and understand that there is a beginning and ending to everything, we will be able to clearly see when an experience is coming to an end and let go gracefully. Acceptance will allow us live the most fulfilling life possible — without trying to control and change people and situations — resulting in more fulfilling relationships.

2. About Who You Really Are

This is the time to practice self-love and compassion. It is time to dig deep, wrestle with those internal demons and ask yourself two questions:

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  • What was I not getting out of this relationship that I need in my next relationship?
  • What was I not doing for myself in this relationship?

Take the time now to identify your needs and learn how to ask yourself first “what do I need in order to take care of myself in this moment?” Ask yourself why this relationship ended:

  • Is it from a lack of boundaries?
  • Is it from a lack of communication?
  • Is it from a lack of understanding?

Do not finger-point and blame, but instead ask these questions to try to learn from this experience and become a better you. This is part of the process of learning how to truly love yourself. Until you learn to truly love yourself, you will not know how to love someone else. You can only give what you have, after all…

3. How To Deal With Grief

There is nothing easy about going through the cycle of grief. It’s like an emotional roller coaster ride — tons of highs and lows, and you cant get off until the ride is over. It’s not a pleasant experience, but it is something we must learn to deal with. We are given the opportunity to try out different tools to figure out what works best for us and helps us get through these highs and lows with as much ease as possible.

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Through this process of grief, we will learn how to bounce back and prove to ourselves how strong and resilient we really are. We will also learn that self-love and compassion go a long way.

4. Who Your True Supporters Are

I think it’s pretty normal to question the loyalties of your loved ones from time to time. But have you ever noticed that when things really hit the fan, there’s no need to question who is going to stay by your side? They just show up. This is your support system — take the time to thank them and be present with them. These are the moments that make us feel connected, important and loved; it is also the time we need it the most.

5. Over Time, All Wounds Heal

Pain does not last forever. Neither does heartbreak. Practice leaning into the discomfort and allowing yourself to be present in whatever you are feeling. One day at a time, things will get better and the clouds will lift.

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6. Forgiveness

This is a biggie, and an important virtue to learn if you want to lead a happy life. Holding onto resentment and anger is only destructive to you – no one else. There is an immense amount of freedom that comes with being able to forgive. The first step in forgiveness is to be able to accept things as they are and let go.

When I talk about forgiveness, I am not only referring to forgiving your ex. I suggest you begin by forgiving yourself. Again, you can not give something you do not have, so how can you forgive others if you can not forgive yourself? Let go of the guilt and those thoughts of “shoulda, coulda, woulda,” and forgive.

7. Gratitude

If you want to feel joy again, you must learn how to will gratitude. It may be hard, but gratitude makes the space necessary for miracles happen. Take the time to tell your loved ones you are grateful for their love and support. Also, take the time to thank your Higher Power for the lessons you are learning. One of my favorite daily meditations, by Melody Beattie, reads:

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“Are you hanging on to a resentment for that ex or a friend from days long past? Are you still harboring bitterness about a job or business deal gone bad? Are you holding on to a part of your life that was painful with bitterness and resentment? Are you holding on to a particularly good time or cycle you had with someone, afraid that if things change and you let the past go and come into now, things won’t be quite as good?

Maybe you needed that relationship to teach you about a part of yourself. Maybe you learned compassion or more about what you wanted from life. Maybe that friend, even though he or she isn’t in your life anymore, helped you open up a part of yourself that was shut down and needed to be activated and set free. What about those painful experiences? You learned something, probably a lot, from them, too. And that experience that was so fulfilling? That, too, needs to be let go of if we’re going to open our hearts to the new.

Apply a dose of gratitude. Thank the experience for being in your life. Thank that ex, or that friend, or that business, or that boss. Thank them over and over again in your mind. Deliberately sit down and figure out what the lessons and gifts were. If you can’t see them, ask to be shown.

Move a step closer to letting go and becoming free by being grateful for how that person or experience enriched your life.” –Melody Beattie

Featured photo credit: EliJerma via flickr.com

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Last Updated on May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

Example 1

You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

Example 2

You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

Example 4

You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

  • Understand your own communication style
  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
  • Communicate with precision and care
  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

1. Understand Your Communication Style

To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

2. Learn Others Communication Styles

Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

“How do you prefer to receive information?”

This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

3. Exercise Precision and Care

A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

The Bottom Line

When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

Reference

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