Emotion #3 – Gratitude
Even I agree that it’s really, really hard to be grateful, let alone thankful to someone who just broke your heart. So let’s try appreciation and acceptance.
The most powerful thing you can do in a break-up situation is literally say the words: I accept your decision. I may not agree with it, but I accept it”.
Do not confuse “acceptance” with “I agree”.
Telling your ex “I agree with the break-up” (which I personally discourage) though well-intended sends the wrong message. By agreeing with the break-up, you are saying you reached the decision that your ex breaking up with you is the right thing to do. It’s only the right thing to do if it was a mutual agreement to break-up. But when someone breaks up with you, and you don’t want them to, agreeing is not the best response.
Acceptance on the other hand is about understanding, not agreement. “I don’t agree, but I understand why” or “This is not what I want, but I accept it”.
To trigger the emotion of gratitude, let your ex know that what you had together, the part of your lives you shared meant something to you. And even though you are not a couple anymore, he/she is still an important part of your life.
The catch here is that you can’t communicate appreciation by sending long emails telling your ex how much they meant and mean to you. As earlier discussed, some actions that may have seemed positive when you were together trigger negative feelings when you are broken up.
If you want to get your ex back, you communicate appreciation by how you treat your ex post break-up. How you treat someone says a lot more about you than anything you can ever say in words.
If you are generally a good person and want to communicate that to your ex, the way you treat your ex doesn’t change just because you broke up. You don’t go from loving someone one day to ignoring them or treating him/her like a stranger and expect that not to affect their perception of you.
Be supportive if they’re going through a health or job situation, offer to run an errand if you see they’re hard of time etc. Do things that you’d do to anyone out of the goodness of your heart — just because that’s the kind of person you are. “Good people” are hard to come by these day, let your ex see you are one of the good ones.
If you want to get your ex back, but struggling with appreciating your ex because you are still hurting, it might help to start keeping a journal of the good and happy times you shared, however few or short they may be. It doesn’t mean you have to pretend everything was amazing, wonderful, beautiful (denial!), but that you keep it in perspective. Sometimes it takes a break-up for you to realize just how good you had it.
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