Dealing with rejection when a relationship ends

Posted on: 28 June 2010 by Mark O'haire

Dating expert Keren Smedley explains the best ways to heal yourself and regain your confidence after an ending relationship.

When a relationship ends, it’s very easy to focus on how horrible the other person has been and to spend your time with your friends discussing what a louse they’ve been. This isn’t going to get you anywhere.The important thing is to focus on what you’re going to do next.

We have a choice; either we can fall victim to the situation or you can try to make something good out of something bad. The latter alternative might strike you as impossible at the moment but with time, things will change and you will heal.

When a long term relationship ends there are a lot of practical issues that you’ll have to consider - I’m not going to offer advice on these. I’m going to focus on you regaining your confidence and once again becoming the amazing person you are. Once that’s done, the rest will fall into place.

Your feelings of self-worth will have taken a hard knock. We all have times when something happens that knocks us sideways. We stop feeling attractive, useful, fun, interesting, valuable and suddenly imagine we’re all the opposites. Then we begin to project on to others what we feel about ourselves, setting up a cycle of depressing and debilitating feelings. In the end, our friends get fed up with us, too! It’s time to take stock and to really  believe in yourself.

Take a moment or two to think through these questions:

  1. What’s stopping me from feeling all right about myself?
  2. What’s it doing for me feeling like this?
  3. How would I like to feel?
  4. What three things would I like to do that would make me feel good?

OK, now you know what you want, you’ve completed the first and most important step. You’ve created a plan! You’ve had a knock, your confidence has taken a nose-dive. These confidence-building exercises should take you to the next stage.

Exercise: Ring of confidence

1. Draw an imaginary circle on the floor in front of you. This is a magic circle. You can only be confident and excellent in here.

2. Stand outside it and think of a time when you were confident. It can be the example you used before or something else. It can be something small like driving your car to the supermarket or large like giving a speech to a hundred people. When you’ve got it, step into the circle and re-live the event.  

  • See what you see 
  • Hear what you hear 
  • Feel what you feel 
  • Hold your body as you do when confident 
  • Breathe as you breathe when feeling good
  • Really get that feeling

3. Now come out of your circle stepping backwards.

  • Think of a second time when you were really confident.
  • When you have it, climb back into the circle and associate into the event.
  • Do this twice more so you can put on confidence like you can your overcoat!

Now think of something you have to do where you don’t feel confident – for example, going to a family function without your partner. Climb into the magic circle. Remember, you can only be confident in here. So put on that confidence coat.

  • See what you see going well.
  • Hear what you hear sounding good.
  • Hold yourself as a woman with everything going for her. 
  • Breathe with a sense of serenity. 
  • When you really feel in charge, imagine yourself exiting forward from the circle cloaked in that ring of confidence!

It sounds simple and it is. Our physiology runs us. We create hormones when we’re threatened by a situation and these relay a message that our brain interprets as panic and danger.

Our bodies get ready to cope with whatever it is and we feel bad. Send a message that all is right in our world and the hormones respond accordingly. You may need to practice a few times but the more you do, the more confident you’ll feel and you’ll find yourself feeling a whole heap better.

By Keren Smedley

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