If like me, you struggle with wondering if you are bitter or better after the ending of a relationship, then it might be wise to pay attention to that pendulum that swings between those two powerful emotions.
It’s hard at times not to feel resentful when personal and professional relationships that have ended in less favorable conditions arise especially if bridges were burnt and high emotions were at the center of the breakup.
So often, we become jaded by negative experiences that we fail to take in account what other lessons besides those that shut us down are also choices that we could have picked and that might serve us better.
Finding your way back to center can be tricky at best.
All too often I find people struggling to find meaning in the negative and sometime unexpected treatment they have received by those whom they have made alliance with. From significant others to organizations where they have focused their talents and energy towards, the ripple of uncertainty and betrayal can have a huge impact of one’s mental well-being.
It will happen. A negative situation can spin you around, knock you down, and make you bitter.
The key is to have the pendulum swing towards the outcome that propels you forward with unlimited choices, new opportunities, and lessons learned.
Here are three methods that can ease the blow and quicken the recovery time on emotional setbacks.
1.) Give yourself a break- Seriously; we are excessively hard on ourselves. Take a moment, step back, and breathe. If you find yourself mounting an emotional posse against yourself or against someone else, pull your thoughts over and practice a time-out. You might come back to these negative thoughts, but avoid talking yourself into believing they are choosing you, because you are in fact, choosing them!
2.) Select your rebound team wisely –There’s the “overly sympathetic team,” (friends and family members) that will rally around you, agree that you are entitled to all your negative feelings, (this team is easily equipped with torches and they love witch hunts.) Then there is the “reflective team,” usually a smaller group of one or two close friends, who will listen, and without judgment hold up a mirror, that truly reflects what is going on. Both rebound teams can be a healthy part of overcoming negative feelings after the ending of a relationship. Be cautioned, however, that only having the “overly sympathetic team,” can keep you cemented, making it harder to let go and move on.
3.) Journal – I know that sounds very “girly,” but the men that I get to do this seem to speed passed their counter-parts that go into emotional lockdown. Journal the situation, journal what you perceive happened. Journal your new rules and lessons around relationships, journal as much as you want, or just a couple of words. This is especially powerful for the first few weeks in the aftermath.
4.) Clean-up your side of the street – If you need to apologize for behavior that was less than your “best self” do it! I love Joyce Myers; she says, “The one that apologizes first is the mature one in the relationship.” It has been my experience that those that can “own up,” without blame and justification, are healthier and happier in the end.
5.) Cultivate what was good, pull it out and leave the rest alone- When you have some distance in the form of time and space, take an inventory of all the things that were good about the relationship. What positive lessons did you learn? What can you use right now to make an impact on other relationships you are in, both personal and professional? (i.e. I didn’t like being lied too so I am determined to make sure I communicate openly and honestly with others.)
Rumi the Persian philosopher wrote, “Out beyond wrong doing and right doing is a field. I’ll meet you there.”
If you find yourself right now at the end of a relationship, whether that be personal or professional, and that pendulum is not swinging in the direction of closure and growth swing it back the other way!
It truly is your choice…bitter or better.
Encouraging your Success!
BJ D Leadership Training and Team Development