According to statistics compiled from Facebook status updates, the holidays are one of the peak times of year when breakups occur. This adds an extra layer of difficulty to an already complicated time of year. It is essential to take care of yourself and your aching heart so you can get back into the game as soon as possible.
Friend of Linx, Daniela Tempesta, who is a licensed psychotherapist in San Francisco has put together some great insights into holiday heartbreak. If you are experiencing some holiday blues this season, consider gaining a fresh perspective that Daniela offers in order to gain momentum in 2014 in your personal life. Here are some of Daniela’s tips on strategies for putting back together the pieces and how speaking with a therapist can assist that process.
1) Don’t Carry The Baggage Of Your Last Relationship Into Your Next One
People often run from one failed relationship to another in a desperate attempt to forget the pain in the arms of a new love. But if we don’t seize the chance to really process the grief from a breakup, we are likely to bring it with us into the next relationship. We may project feelings and memories onto our new partner that have nothing to do with them. For example, your ex may have severely broken your trust and as result you are constantly suspicious or accuse your new partner of deceiving you even though they are not. This is likely to result in you walking away from someone wonderful, or pushing that person away. Therapy can help you clear the marks of your last love and give you a clean emotional canvas to work with.
2) Own What Is Yours And Let Go Of The Rest
Many people incorrectly blame themselves for a relationship not working out. They are so busy feeling bad about themselves that they fail to take responsibility for the way they actually did contribute to problems with their ex. It is important that you are able to examine what happened with someone who can help you see it objectively. It is essential that you stop blaming yourself for things that are not your fault, because sitting with blame and shame weighs us down and keeps us stuck. It is also important that you uncover the problematic behaviors or patterns that you did engage in that were not helpful. A lot of the problems that came up in your last relationship probably existed long before you ever met your ex. That is because we have internal dynamics in place for understanding ourselves and relating to others that have been in place since childhood. It is essential to untangle this web before you step into the next relationship so that you don’t repeat the same patterns again.
3) Re-Discover Your Identity As A Single Person And Learn To Love Yourself
A large part of coping with the loss of a relationship is learning how to be single again. This involves learning how to be alone and really getting to know and love an independent you. Skipping this step can lead to dating people who are not right for you as a way of filling an empty hole in your heart. We often lose parts of our identity in our relationships, and therapy can help you connect with your truest self and put the pieces back together. In order to really love someone else, we must learn to love ourselves.
4) Improve Your Communication Skills
Effective communication is hard. It is both an art and a science. Communication problems are often the number one culprit in a failed relationship. Before moving onto your next relationship it’s important to examine how your communication style may have been the source of strife. Is your communication style passive, aggressive, passive-aggressive, or altogether non-existent? For a relationship to work you need to be able to express yourself in a way that honors your voice and desires, but does not alienate or harm others. Remember, it’s not usually what people are saying, but how they are saying it (or what they are afraid to say) that is getting them into trouble.