This powerful study explains the power of good intentions and why you should show your ex that you still care; if you want your ex to care about you.
No question about it, there are ways to show your ex you still care that are needy and push your ex away; and there are ways to show your ex you still care that are healthy and relationship-building.
If you’ve been reading my blog and have my eBook, by now you know I’m all for keeping the lines of communication open with your ex; and being open and honest about your feelings and intentions. This is the very opposite of everything you might have read about getting back your ex.
“Ignore your ex” and “show your ex you don’t care” mind games and psychological tricks actually do the opposite of what you’re hoping to do. They may make your ex feel bad in the moment; but in the long term, it makes your ex feel insecure and unsure about the relationship.
So if you want your ex to care about you, and sincerely looking to create a loving relationship; both your intentions and your actions mean a lot.
People love people who not only do good things for them; but also make them feel good, says “The Power of Good Intentions”; a newly published study in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science.
For those in relationships, which is pretty much everyone reading this; the message is to make sure your partner, sibling, friend, etc. know you care, notes UMD Assistant Professor Kurt Gray, author and Director of the Maryland Mind Perception and Morality Lab.
“It’s not enough just to do good things for your partner; they have to know you want them to feel good. Just imagine saying, “fine, here’s your stupid hug,” — hardly comforting.
“The results confirm that good intentions — even misguided ones — can sooth pain, increase pleasure and make things taste better,” the study concludes. It describes the ability of benevolence to improve physical experience as a “vindication for the power of good.”
While it seems clear that good and evil intentions can change the experience of social events — think of a reaction to a mean-spirited, cutting remark compared to gentle teasing spoken with a smile — this study shows that physical events are influenced by the perceived contents of another person’s mind. “It seems we also use the intentions of others as a guide for basic physical experience,” Gray writes in the journal.
The study also suggests the general benefits of thinking that others mean well. “To the extent that we view others as benevolent instead of malicious, the harms they inflict upon us should hurt less, and the good things they do for us should cause more pleasure,” the paper concludes.
“They have to know you want them to feel good”. This is very important when trying to get your ex back. One way to let your ex know that you want them to feel good is to show them that you still care.
Beyond keeping the lines of communication open with your ex; and being open and honest about your feelings and intentions; other ways you can show your ex you still care about them include:
- Be available and responsive in a safe manner
- Show interest in your ex and what they care about
- Be sensitive to your ex’s emotional needs (including their need for closeness and/or distance)
- Encourage your ex to express their feelings and thoughts without judgement
- Be willing and able to be an empathetic listener
- Reflect an open-minded attitude and regard towards your ex
- Be willing and able to understand the problems and concerns your ex has about the relationship and respond appropriately
- Recognize when your ex is feeling down and be support in the way they want you to
So before you hit “send”, ask yourself, will your text 1) make your ex feel good, 2) elicit “no feeling” or 3) just piss off your ex?
If your texts are not making your ex feel good, you are not showing your ex that you still care.