😂😃🤔 This article was co-authored by Amy Chan. Amy Chan is the Founder of Renew Breakup Bootcamp, a retreat that takes a scientific and spiritual approach to heal after the end of a relationship. Her team of psychologists and coaches has helped hundreds of individuals in just 2 years of operation, and the bootcamp has been featured on CNN, Vogue, the New York Times, and Fortune. Her book about her work, Breakup Bootcamp, will be published by HarperCollins in January 2020.
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😂😃🤔 Just about everyone will go through a painful breakup at some point. You're not alone in feeling bitter and resentful. However, taking the high road and trying to be a good person in spite of your pain can help you grow as an individual. Work on avoiding your bitter feelings by regulating your emotions and focusing on the positives. Practice basic self-care and give yourself time to grieve. Be careful about contacting the other person. It's okay to have a few conversations so you both get closure, but don't expect to be friends with your ex right away.
Part 1Part 1 of 3:Coping if You Were Dumped Download Article
- 1Avoid bad mouthing your ex. After breaking up with someone, you probably have some resentment for that person. As much as you want to vent, hold off. If you want to be a good person after a breakup, avoid saying bad things about your ex. This is especially important when talking to mutual friends.XResearch source
- If you really can't put off the temptation, write down everything bad about your ex in a notebook. Venting in your diary or journal is better than complaining to others.
- Talking too much about your ex can also be bad for you. You don't want to get into a place where you're wallowing over negative things that have happened. This will not help you move on and let go of bigger feelings.XResearch source
- If someone asks about the breakup, respond without saying anything negative. Instead of saying, "She broke up with me because she thinks she's too good for me" say something like, "We wanted different things, and that's why we broke up."
- 2Limit contact in general. Communication, even online, is a bad idea after a breakup. This can make it harder to move on.XExpert SourceAmy Chan
Relationship CoachExpert Interview. 1 May 2019. Try to un-follow your ex on various social media outlets. Avoid the temptation to visit your ex's Facebook and Twitter pages. If you're feeling any resentment over the breakup, you may start feeling bitter if you see your ex posting happy statuses or pictures.XResearch source
- Do what is best for you when it comes to social media. If you think you will be better off not seeing your ex’s posts, then delete your ex from your friends. If you think deleting your ex will make things harder for you, then don’t delete your ex.
- 3Take a break from dating. Jumping into a new relationship is not fair to your new significant other. You need time to heal after a breakup. Going into another relationship right away is often a means to deflect negative feelings.XResearch source
- You don't want to carry any negativity into a new relationship. If you're still reeling, you want to give yourself a chance to calm down before you pursue someone new.
- 4Replace irrational thoughts with rational ones. If you want to be a good person after a breakup, you need to be good to yourself. If you're feeling bitter or otherwise negative, you're more likely to take this out on those around you. Try to be aware of any negative, irrational thoughts you experience. Work on consciously replacing them with rational thought patterns.XResearch source
- Many people have bitter, exaggerated thoughts during a breakup. You may, for example, think something like, "My life means nothing without my ex" or "I don't think I'll ever be happy again."
- When you experience such thoughts, try to step away and look at them rationally. Replace negative thought patterns with kinder ones. For example, think things like "I have a lot going on for me, even though my romantic relationship did not work out" and "I will be happy again eventually, even if things are rough now."
- 5Do not lean on others for too long. You don't want to emotionally unload on people long term. In the initial weeks after your breakup, friends and family members will be happy to offer you support. However, after a while, people will need to return to their own lives. If you keep leaning on people for too long, they will get frustrated.XResearch source Seek out a therapist if you find that you still need significant emotional support after a few weeks have passed.
- Try not to ask for too many favors for too long. For the first week or so after the breakup, it's acceptable to ask people to spend weeknights with you and listen to you vent.
- After a few months, however, you should give people their space. Work on feeling better on your own instead of expecting other people to fix your problems.
Part 2Part 2 of 3:Handling Ending the Relationship Yourself Download Article
- 1Explain why things ended. If you broke up with someone, you can offer them an explanation. If someone comes to you asking for closure, kindly explain why you wanted to end the relationship. This can help the other person grieve and move forward.XResearch source
- You don't have to be cruel with the person. Remember to phrase things tactfully. You can also give a partial truth. For example, you found the person a little boring and therefore did not want a longterm relationship with them. It's a bad idea to say, "You just kind of bored me as a person, so I wanted to be with someone else."
- Instead, tell the person you just didn't think the two of you were compatible long term. This is true, without being cruel. For example, "I'm just at an age where I'm looking for something longterm. I really liked you a lot, and spending time with you was great, but I felt like it wasn't going to work out in the long run."
- 2Let the person know they still matter. You want to make sure the person you broke up with still feels valued. A breakup can really affect someone's self-esteem and sense of self. When breaking up with someone, make sure to let them know you still value them as a person, even if you don't want a romantic relationship.XResearch source
- Try saying something to the person along the lines of, " You've been an important person in my life and I still care about you, but this is not working out for me because…"
- 3Allow the other person to ask questions initially. The person you're breaking up with may have some questions for you. It's okay to let the person ask certain things. However, repeatedly answering the same questions will not do any good. It's not good for you or the other person if you are just going around in circles. You both need space and time to heal.XResearch source
- Try to give answers that do not invite further questions and discussion. For example, "I want kids and you don't." Or, "I know you have goals to move up the career ladder and move out of the country. I don't want that for myself." Avoid giving answers like, "I don't know what happened, but I'm not in love with you anymore."
- You can also invite the other person to ask questions if they're curious. For example, "What do you think of this? Do you understand my decision?"
- 4Taper off communication. Whether you dumped the other person, or the other person dumped you, you should not communicate too much directly after the breakup. Both of you need space. Being too involved with one another right after a breakup can lead to bitter feelings and arguments. After a week or so, you can stop talking as often or at all.XResearch source
- If you want to stay friends, make sure to make your boundaries clear. For example, you can agree not to talk for a month or so and then talk again when you both feel ready to reignite a friendship. Try saying something like, "I want us to avoid communicating with each other for one month, so I will not answer your calls, texts, or emails during this time."
Part 3Part 3 of 3:Caring for Yourself Download Article
- 1Take up a hobby. It's a good idea to keep yourself busy in the wake of a breakup. If you linger on bad feelings for too long, you may lash out towards others. To regulate your emotions, take up a new hobby or rediscover an old one. This can help you be a better person, as you'll be focusing on new, positive things rather than negative feelings.
- You can try to join a hobby where you meet new people. You may be in a better overall mood if you focus on starting fresh with new friends. You could, for example, take a cooking or painting class.
- 2Practice basic self-care. You might feel down and uninterested in doing things after a break-up, but it's important that you take care of yourself.XExpert SourceAmy Chan
Relationship CoachExpert Interview. 1 May 2019. If you're taking care of yourself, you're more likely to have the energy to manage your emotions. This will make you a better person in the aftermath of a breakup. Make sure you keep up with eating right, sleeping right, exercise, and personal hygiene.
- 3Take it easy. Don't try to do too much when you're feeling wounded emotionally. Especially in the days right after a breakup, it's okay to take time for yourself. Do not feel bad if you have to lessen your commitments for awhile.
- For example, say no to things more often. Don't agree to do extra favors for others or take on volunteer opportunities. You need time to recover.
- Skip one obligation during the week. For example, miss one meeting for your church's vestry. Instead, stay in and do something nice for yourself.
- 4Make plans with others. It's a good idea to stay social after a breakup. This can help you remember that there are still people that value you, even if you're not in a romantic relationship. Make plans with friends from work or school. Invite an old friend out to coffee. Staying socially active after a breakup can really help you mend.
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- QuestionHow do I feel more positive after a breakup?Amy ChanAmy Chan is the Founder of Renew Breakup Bootcamp, a retreat that takes a scientific and spiritual approach to heal after the end of a relationship. Her team of psychologists and coaches has helped hundreds of individuals in just 2 years of operation, and the bootcamp has been featured on CNN, Vogue, the New York Times, and Fortune. Her book about her work, Breakup Bootcamp, will be published by HarperCollins in January 2020.
Relationship CoachRelationship CoachExpert Answer
- QuestionHow can I tell if I'm ready to start dating again?Amy ChanAmy Chan is the Founder of Renew Breakup Bootcamp, a retreat that takes a scientific and spiritual approach to heal after the end of a relationship. Her team of psychologists and coaches has helped hundreds of individuals in just 2 years of operation, and the bootcamp has been featured on CNN, Vogue, the New York Times, and Fortune. Her book about her work, Breakup Bootcamp, will be published by HarperCollins in January 2020.
Relationship CoachRelationship CoachExpert AnswerIf you are dating to distract yourself from pain from your breakup, you are not ready. If the root of any of your actions is from a low vibrational state (anger, fear, anxiety), you will inevitably create a low vibrational outcome. When you are ready to practice opening your heart and connecting again, that’s when you know you’re ready to start dating. When you date with the intention of creating connection, of practicing your ability to be present and curious, then you are ready. Do not date with an expectation that you’re going to meet your soulmate - this adds an incredible pressure to yourself (which is felt by the person as well), and takes the fun out of dating.
- ↑Amy Chan. Relationship Coach. Expert Interview. 1 May 2019.
- ↑Amy Chan. Relationship Coach. Expert Interview. 1 May 2019.
About This Article
It’s natural to feel a little resentful and down after a break up, but you can still be a good person with the right attitude. End contact with your ex to avoid any arguments and let you start the recovery process. Avoid talking negatively about your ex to other people, even if they treated you badly, since this can complicate your other relationships. Keep yourself busy with your hobbies and work so you’re not always thinking about your ex. You might also want to take a break from dating for a little while so you can process your negative feelings before starting a new relationship. For more tips from our co-author, including how to deal with irrational thoughts, read on.