Are you afraid of contacting your ex? Get anxious whenever you talk to your ex; or experience severe anxiety just thinking of talking to your ex? You can overcome the fear contacting your ex.
There are two reasons you’re afraid of contacting your ex, or get anxious about talking to your ex?
1. Fear of your ex not responding
You went from texting each other all day everyday to having one text conversation a week; from your ex replying within seconds to them not replying to a specific conversation for almost a week and sometimes ignoring the text altogether; from texting or talking for hours in the evening to not even “a good night text”. This is the same ex who couldn’t wait to get off work and talk to you.
2. Fear of getting a negative reaction from your ex
When emotions are still raw, the fear of getting a negative response from your ex is valid. Even you are on good terms, there’s still a chance that you ex will say that you are contacting them too much (being needy), or that they are too tired, don’t feel like talking etc. or when they get home and don’t feel like chatting.
With everything changing so much, why wouldn’t you get anxious about sending your ex a text?
The good news is: The reality is often not as bad as your fear imagines
I have experienced this way too many times: A client is too afraid to contact their ex because their ex did not respond to the last text or couple of texts. They keep asking me if they should send a text and we even work together on what they should say. The text is ready to go, but my client is too afraid of their ex not responding or of getting a negative reaction from their ex that the text never gets sent.
For weeks, we keep coming up with different topics and different texts to send but the texts never get sent. Then one day, I get an email, “I took a risk and sent the text and he replied immediately. We are chatting back and forth.” or “I sent the text and she replied apologizing for not responding to my last text. Their family just found out her dad has ALS and it’s been hard on everyone. I feel so awful not reaching out sooner”.
My point is, it is okay if your ex takes a few hours to reply, even a day or does not reply at all sometimes. Your ex has a busy life apart from you and what feels like a long time to you, might not be a long time for your ex.
And even if they don’t reply or you don’t get the response you’d want and your fear of being abandoned becomes a reality; it doesn’t mean your ex will never talk to you again.
Like I said, the reality is often not as bad as your fear imagines. Next time you find yourself too afraid to contact your ex or anxious about sending your ex a text; ask yourself these three important questions:
1) What am I afraid of or which of my thoughts are making me anxious or afraid?
Everyone, regardless of age or gender, fears something. And fear is completely normal, yet it is sometimes difficult to admit to fear, perhaps even embarrassing. But admitting that you have fears and stepping back to search for why you are afraid can be extremely eye-opening.
2) Is my fear useful fear or debilitating fear?
The difference between fear that serves as a legitimate warning and one that is just an obstruction can be very tricky. The approach I personally use and works amazingly is carefully evaluating the situation and my fears about it.
If my fears shed new insight and/or light to my shortcomings — especially my beliefs and thinking that I need to deal with — then the fear serves a good purpose. It’s there to push me forward to living the life I want and desire. I accept the fear and in essence it becomes a part of my personal growth.
But if I find myself feeling stuck, unable to take action or focused on the past or future and not the present, then that fear is holding me back and therefore serves me no good purpose.
It is important for me to point out here that some people have been genuinely traumatized and have fears that need clinical attention. The kind of fear is generalized we’re talking about here is a general feeling of anxiety and/or unease.
3) How might what I fear appear like if viewed differently?
The fear of [whatever] often turns out to be worse than [whatever] itself. Sometimes, you get to what you feared will happen and find that you got all worked up, cut yourself off from a connection with someone you truly love and shut yourself from love, all for nothing.
Instead of dwelling on the possible unwanted situation, consciously choose to explore other ways of thinking about it. Do your best to be open to all possibilities and not be constrained by what you think “should” be.
For example, if you fear expressing your feelings because you think they’ll not be positively received.
1) First accept the fear as present: “I am afraid of telling my ex how I feel”.
2) Examine why the fear is there: “They may not feel about me the way I feel about them.”
3) Then make a shift and see what the situation can look like if viewed differently. For instance, “If I tell my ex the way I truly feel; I might find out they feel the same way about me too. But even if they don’t; everything will be out in the open and I will not have to hide how I feel anymore. I’ll know where I stand and can move on with my life instead of being stuck in this place of not knowing”.
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