How to Handle a Breakup & Being Dumped

Being Being "dumped" can cause tremendous stress.

Nearly everyone experiences the breakup of a relationship at some point, and the emotional fallout can be devastating. Being dumped may come as a surprise, creating feelings of shock, anger, confusion and jealousy along with a yearning for the relationship to return. Such victims often experience low self-esteem immediately after the relationship ends and want to isolate themselves. Actively seeking supportive companionship, however, helps you return through the depression and stress of a breakup and perhaps even grow into a stronger, more confident person.

Talk to someone about your feelings with someone you trust. Sharing your thoughts and emotions, especially with someone who understands what you are going through, may help ease some of the burden you feel. Find someone who can at least be sympathetic, such as a close friend or family member. If you don't feel you can unburden to such people, seek a support group to help you get through the short term and rebuild your self-esteem.

Allow yourself to experience the mixed feelings that often occur. You may feel overwhelming sadness that you have lost your best friend, anger that someone you trusted could discard or betray you and anxiety about what the future holds. Grieving helps us cope with intense loss, and these various emotions make up part of the grieving process.

Use positive reinforcement. Remind yourself of your good qualities to help raise your spirits and avoid self-recrimination. People who have been dumped sometimes blame themselves for the loss of the relationship, embellishing their role in the breakup. When you find such negative thoughts creeping in, force yourself to focus on your good qualities.

Stay busy. While it is important to allow yourself to grieve, it is also important to avoid dwelling on the loss. Participate in the activities you enjoy, or discover new ones. Go bowling, see a movie, attend a concert or visit friends. Staying occupied helps pass the time and keeps you from focusing on your pain.

Exercise, preferably outdoors. Physical exercise reduces stress and helps you feel better about yourself. Some studies indicate that sunshine can also positively affect mood, so outdoor exercise is doubly helpful.

Resist the temptation to turn to drugs and alcohol. These short-term solutions create larger problems in the long run. Hiding from the pain does not create the same result as working through it.

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  • If you feel you absolutely cannot get past the relationship or have suicidal thoughts, call a suicide-prevention hotline or seek counseling immediately.

About the Author

Kristie Sweet has been writing professionally since 1982, most recently publishing for various websites on topics like health and wellness, and education. She holds a Master of Arts in English from the University of Northern Colorado.

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