Saturday, January 23, 2010

Bail Outs

In a time when we can easily and quickly make contact with anyone anywhere there is still a lack of communication. Yet all the gizmos and gadgets can never replace true face to face communication.

Thanks to Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, email, IM, texting, video, photos and voice mails along with acronyms and emoticons we are losing touch with being in touch. There is still nothing like seeing a facial expression and hearing a tone of voice. Misunderstandings are caused by not listening. We are too distracted by too many variables that should be irrelevant. The next time you reach out to someone, chances are that you will be misunderstood.

I am constantly hearing stories of how the most intimate of situations have been demoted to what is easier and faster. I cannot fathom that people break up via, email, voice mails, text messages, or even post it notes! Seriously, is this what we have come to!? People, grow up and take responsibility for your actions! Otherwise, the love of the land is lawless and full of anarchy! What makes it worse it that these lazy and impersonal methods are being perpetuated by the media, music, videos, TV and film. Do we now live in a world where it is ok to just slow the car, jump, tuck and roll?

Break ups are not fun for either party. Unfortunately, most of us need closure and in most cases one of the two decides it is over in their mind before even stating so. So, 'Man up!', even if you are a woman. Show some respect and pull the plug in person. I believe in karma and so should you. So treat people with the respect that you feel you also deserve.

If you are so terrible at breaking up with someone here are a few suggestions:

First, I think it is important to pick a neutral location. In a less familiar environment people tend to stay more in control. This way there is no history surrounding you as if you were at your place or hers. Secondly, have a time limit in your head. You don't want this to turn into a marathon discussion. Dragging it out too long will only confuse things.

Never Say, 'We need to talk'

By now we have all been there and there is no perfect time to say those four words. While you may think a 'heads up' is nice, most often it is an excruciating time for the other person. If you have too much time to cover your side of the conversation before hearing a thing they have to say it is a one-sided conversation. It make even spark them to try to talk right then which is never good while out in public, while at work or with friends or relatives. Make sure you keep private matters private.

Never During a Fight

Even if you have to walk away, don't blurt out that you want out then. Plus, if you have had arguments before and one of you has said it before neither will take it seriously. Say what you mean and do what you say. After you both have cooled down and had time to think, calmly sit down and discuss things as the adults that you are.

Never Hit Replay

There is no need to rehash your entire relationship. At this point it is over, you are not trying to work things out. It is normal to question things but at this point there is no going back. You can not turn back time and change the past. There is no reason to drive yourself crazy trying to figure out what went wrong, how you could have prevented it, see red flags you missed and so on. Simply learn from your mistakes and move on.

Never Cry

Crying is an honest reaction, but don't allow yourself to be manipulated into changing your mind. You can comfort them but stand your ground. Don't let their pain cause you guilt. Also, don't join in on the crying session. One of you has to steady the course and stay on track. You have valid reasons so try your best to honestly and kindly explain.

Never Point Fingers

There is no point to go in swinging. Never point fingers and say 'You'. Explain things from your perspective. It is never good to provoke them or make them feel cornered, they will quickly become defensive. Then you have to spend time talking them down. Calmly discuss how you feel and your perspective. Make sure you listen to what they have to say because their feelings matter too.

Never Counter-Argue

They may dispute anything you've said or done, including examples you used in your reasons for breaking up. This is just a form of denial and they may frantically grasp at anything to throw you of course. Let them know that arguing isn't going to change your decision.

Never Allow Threats

When people are hurt they sometimes lash out at others to make themselves feel better. A few examples may be: "You'll never find anyone as good as me", "I'll make you regret this", "I knew you were an asshole", and "My friends never liked you". Threats of physical harm are serious so don't ignore them. If you're physically compromised, stay calm and leave quickly.

Never Make Empty Promises

No matter how much you care for someone, saying what they want to hear never offer white lies to ease the pain. You don't want to give them false hope. It's not going to help the situation. You must be firm but gentle. They may offer to fix things or to do things different but if you've discussed problems in the past and there was no change then it is too late.

There is no perfect formula for the perfect break up. Someone always gets let down even when it is treated in a calm, mature and respectful manner. However, it is very important to take this daunting task to heart and treat them as you would want to be treated. Nothing will ever replace face to face interaction. It is the most sincere of communications. It allows the act to seem more like a mutual discussion and allows one step closer for you both to have closure.

Eventually the smoke will clear and you will have to time to reflect on the situation and realize you did the right thing for both of you. You now have more time to yourself so you can get back to the things you neglected, reconnect with friends, find new hobbies, etc.

Dating is a process and I think sometimes we take it too personally when things do not work out. We often feel like something, someone or ourselves are to blame. Blame is lame. Things just don't always work out. The stars didn't align, the timing was off or it just wasn't meant to be. You can't force a happy outcome.

Getting into a relationship is the best part but when it all collapses getting out is never fun. Yet in time, 'Game Over' no longer fazes us. We will continue to shovel in quarters no matter how well we play the game.

By Trey Mitchell

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