Break ups can unfortunately bring out the worst in us. Every bad emotion we have is brewing and there are times when it feels like our emotions can take control of us and we act out in ways that we normally wouldn’t. While all of your emotions during this time are completely valid, no matter what they are- we do have some responsibility in terms of how we react and behave towards other people.
It’s usually the people closest to us who end up getting the brunt of our emotions during this time. We can become extra sensitive to our friends, we can become jealous of those in our lives who are in happy relationships, and sometimes we expect other people to read our minds and to know exactly what we need.
While we are absolutely entitled to our emotions, we’re not entitled to take out our pain on other people. During a time like a break up is when we need those closest to us the most, so these are the LAST people you want to be taking your anger and pain out on.
So how can we avoid that?
Communicate your feelings: Your friends and family will of course know you’re sad and in pain from the break up but it’s so important to communicate your feelings on a regular basis and keep them up to date. If you’re anything like me I’m great at putting on a happy face and pretending everything is OK, but I had to learn that if I’m acting OK it’s easy for others to assume that I’m OK. If I’m honest about my feelings, I’ll get the support that I need from loved ones in my life.
Write down your thoughts and feelings: It is totally valid to feel jealous of friends who are in happy relationships, or if a friend gets engaged- it’s normal to feel bad about it (even though I know you’re happy for them, it can be hard when you’ve just had a relationship ripped from you). However it is not OK to express that jealousy towards them, that’s where a journal can come in. This is a judgment free zone where you can write 100% exactly what is on your mind. If you’re not a regular journal person, you would be shocked by the relief that comes from the honesty between you, your pen, and a piece of paper.
Ask for exactly what you need: NO ONE CAN READ YOUR MIND. I repeat, no one can read your mind. Your friends will be able to relate to you if they’ve had similar break ups but remember we’re all different and we all need different things to heal. Here’s a common example I see- if your friends invite you to something they have planned this weekend, and you say you don’t feel like going. Now, deep down you know you should go and you know you probably want to go but you’re sitting in a little pity party. Your friends don’t push you to go and just say they’re bummed you can’t make it. I’ve seen so many people get mad at their friends because they didn’t push them. That’s not fair to your friend, maybe they think you just need space. So instead of doing that you can say something like “I’m in a little bit of a pity party- my first instinct is to say no and stay home but I really think it would be good for me to go. Please hold me accountable to go I really need it.” That way you’re being honest about your feelings and you’re asking for what you need.
Take your thoughts lightly: Without a doubt your thinking is going to be a little skewed during this time. As mentioned earlier you may be extra sensitive, you may feel disconnected from those around you, and all of those other fun emotions. Because of this, it’s important to take your thinking a little lighter than you normally would and it’s super important to pause before reacting. When our moods are low, we’re WAY more likely to say something mean that we might regret later. So because we’re in a low mood state because of the break up it’s just important to tread lightly with the people around us so we don’t end up saying something we don’t mean.
Bottom line is, this is the time you need your community the most to love on you and support you. Allow your friends to carry you through this time, but just remember they’re the good guys- not your enemies.