Does Your Ex Have A Negative View Of You?

Attractive elegant young couple having dinner at the restaurant.
Attractive elegant young couple having dinner at the restaurant.

I’ve said this in my many of my articles and write quite a bit about in my eBook: what you talk about with your ex is so much more important than how many times you contact your ex.

The number of contacts especially in the beginning means nothing if the “content” of your exchanges do not, and cannot convince your ex that the relationship can be better, and will be better.

The reason I emphasize this is that each person remembers in his or her own way. While you may think your ex shares how you remember the relationship (the good, the bad and ugly), this is usually not the case. Two people sharing an experience doesn’t always mean they perceive and/or remember it in the same way. In addition, sometimes memories fade and other times new experiences push old memories to the background or squash them altogether. External influences including advice from friends, relatives and strangers can influence your ex’s perception of you, and the future of your relationship.

So if you’re just “timing” your contacts and not really doing anything to show your ex that the relationship can be better, and will be better, you’re not just wasting your time (and your ex’s time) but may actually be contributing to your ex’s negative perception of you.

Your ex doesn’t understand why every few days you text him/her, and don’t seem to have anything important to tell him/her, or anything substantial to talk about. Once in a while you make a connection, the conversation picks up, but then you disappear for a few days.

To you, you are practicing “low/minimal contact”, but your ex doesn’t know that’s what you are doing. All he/she knows is that every few days, you text him/her and then disappear.

He/she begins wondering if may be you are playing some sort of mind game or have an “agenda”. Now add in negative advice from friends, relatives and strangers. Even an ex who wants to believe the best is left wondering what you are up to.

This may explain why one of the most searched questions about an ex on my site and on the internet in general is, “why is my ex contacting me?”

But say that instead focusing your time and energy “how many times do I contact my ex?” you’re more focused on “how do I show my ex that the relationship can be better, and will be better”, you find that your thinking, feeling and reacting takes on a whole different energy. Instead of focusing on things you can’t control (i.e. if and when your ex responds/initiates contact), you’re focused on things you actually do control (what you CAN do).

This opens up the mind to “possibilities” as opposed to “limitations’. You find yourself no longer anticipating and just reacting to what your ex says or does, but responding to each moment/experience as it comes. And because your mental focus is directed towards possibilities, you’re mind is more open to framing your contacts in ways that move things forward in a positive way.

And if you do not allow fear stories generated from “what does it mean that he/she has not responded in this number of days” to sidetrack you, and keep focused, you may not only be able to show my ex that the relationship can be better, and will be better but also expand and/or add new pleasant memories to the existing ones.

Bottom line, what you allow your mind to dwell on will determine how you will think, feel and react.

Ask yourself, where is most of my energy and time spent?

  1. On what I am saying to my ex, OR
  2. On the number of contacts/when to contact my ex.

If it’s on the later, you may be making the mistake that’ll cost you the chance to get back your ex.

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14 Comments

  • Yangki, thank you for your eBook. I followed your advice and established contact with my ex. He responds to all my texts and also initiates contact. However, he responds to some questions but ignores others. I don’t know what to read from this. Is he interested or is he just being polite?

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    • If he was just being polite, he’d not be initiating contact.

      There seems to be some interest there but not enough emotional safety. You didn’t mention it but from my experience, the questions he avoids have to do with “emotional places” he doesn’t want to go to or is not ready to.

      Don’t push. Work on creating a safe environment for those kind of conversations to happen, and you will see him open up more to emotionally difficult conversations.

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  • Hi Yangki. I want to thank you for your work as it has helped me get through some of the toughest times in my life. I also got ur eBook and it has helped me tremendously. I have a question which I am hoping you may help me with. What is the difference between “reacting” and “responding” as mentioned in ur blog above? Thank u in advance

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    • I’m glad to be of some help.

      In simple words… A response is action you take from a conscious level — with emotional composure, confidence and deliberate intention. A reaction is action driven from a sub-conscious level, usually from a place of panic, fear, anger, neediness etc.

      Here is a link that might help: Are You Responding Or Reacting To Your Ex?

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  • I have been looking all over the internet and this is the first site that I can honestly say strikes the right code for me. I don’t think no contact or the other things that many experts advice is healthy and especially at our age, we are both in our 50s. I also bought your book and everything seems clearer than it has ever been. I was a jerk and she put up with so much because she loved me, she couldn’t do t anymore as she told me and ended the relationship. I want her back and doing the things you advice to get her back. For the first time yesterday, she seemed more open to talking to me but said it does not mean we are getting back together. I know I have a long way of me, but thanks for this resource.

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  • This is really helpful. I am an anxiety sufferer and struggled with it for years. It gets worse with separation but I am working on being positive as much as I can.

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  • Something happened today. We broke up two weeks ago, I didn’t contact her and she didn’t contact me. Today I had this strange feeling to be honest with her and basically tell her, I still love and miss her. All my friends told me not to do it but I wanted closure and being honest and open with her was the only way I was going to get it. She replied right away and said we needed to talk. We messaged each other for 2 hrs as I was out of town. She asked me what time I’d be returning, I told her I’d call her when I was home, which I did. We ended up meeting and just hung out for hours talking about the issues we had in our relationship. It was really great. Your advice is the best. Thanks!

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    • Open and honest is risky business, but the rewards are far greater.

      You didn’t ask me a question, so I’m assuming you are really not looking for my advice, but I’ll give it anyway. Disregard it if you think you don’t need it…(:

      Talking about the old relationship in the very initial stages can seem like a good idea short-term, but is not something that I’d advice. You run the risk of not only dragging back all the issues of the past into the present, it also makes “starting over” impossible. You may even get back together, but it’ the same old relationship because you just continued from where things ended. Soon or later, you’ll break-up again.

      You may actually have a good shot, just try to do it right.

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  • Hi Yangki,

    What do you suggest qualifies as “effective contact” and how do you transition from minimal to effective? I read the Ebook but I am not sure what sort of comments or exchanges are needed to move forward. I have kept things positive and light and my ex responds but very basic. I also am keeping things distant since he still seems angry. Thank you for your smart approaches by the way!

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    • 1. There is no such thing as “effective contact”, contact is just contact. I spent quite sometime explaining the difference between contact and communication, and communication and effective communication (pages 164 – 170).

      2. The whole section on “Contact” Pgs 80-162 is about regulating your contacts and the type of topics that can make him/her want to respond. The section on “Effective communication” Pgs 163-222 is about sustaining conversation to get him/her to want to initiate contact and want to be engaged in back and forth communication. Pgs 223-293 “Emotional Bonding” is about triggering the right emotions.

      3. All those three sections help to move things forward. It’s not just one thing but a series of things. That’s why I spent time writing over 200 pages just on that alone. If you do this right, things begin to fall in place. It’s the foundation for asking him to try things again.

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  • First I wanted to say thank you for the session last week. What you said about issues with control made a lot of sense to me. It made it a lot easier for me to face my fear and anxiety over contacting her. She hasn’t responded but I didn’t expect her to since it’s been almost 3 months since we had nay contact. I’m going to contact her again next week and hopefully I get a response. Even if I do not, I’m still glad I’m finally working through my issues with fear and control.

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    • You are right that after a long period of no contact, re-establishing contact is not easy. Contact her again at least 3 times (at intervals) before you give up.

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