Often enough, I find myself coaching a friend in distress. Most of the time, the distress is in the form of the opposite sex.
Friend in distress: “He hates me. Now I know for sure. It’s been so great for the last month and now I can see he doesn’t really like me back.” Me: “Did he tell you that?” F.I.D.: “No. But I know.”
That’s the point where I sigh loudly. People must stop confusing ‘no’ and ‘know’. Yes, they sound the same, but they are so very different in the context of relationships.
He may or may not like you, but if you don’t know, then the answer isn’t no. If you live in your own head, then you are certainly responsible for your own misery.
This last point never gets through, though; only rarely does an F.I.D. get it. So I move on.
Me: “Ok. It’s time to stop this chapter of your life. From here on, you are in the process of moving on and focusing on yourself.”
F.I.D.: “But it hurts.”
Me: “Of course it does. Let it hurt for a day or two. But then you close it up and refocus.”
F.I.D.: “You’re right.”
Me: “There is no more communicating with him for the next week. Try to avoid talking about him. The more you are in contact with his name or himself, the slower it takes to heal the wound. It reopens every time you are reminded of him. The goal is to push the past in the back of your head, avoid thinking about him, and focusing on where you’re going in the next chapter of your life.”
F.I.D. “You’re right.”
I know I’m right, F.I.D. knows I’m right, but F.I.D. continues to talk about ‘him’ and wallow in sadness. My advice is rarely heeded. It pains me more than these friends in distress ever know. Why? Because I’ve been through it too, and I’m trying to help get them past it. I know what works because I’ve had plenty of opportunities to test out my theories. I have the confidence to give advice because over time I grew the balls to truck through, despite getting gashed again and again along the way.
Most people refuse to see clearly; either they have never been taught how or don’t have the strength to start. I want to help people see clearly. I want to help friends in distress realize they are strong enough to take responsibility for themselves and their choices, and therefore live better lives.
Relationships are hard for everyone, and I think people need help getting into them, staying in them, and leaving them. I think that leaving them is the hardest of the three because it leaves you with the most damage if done incorrectly – and I think most of the time, it is done incorrectly.
I want to start by being a break up coach… It sounds so negative and sinister, but – as I’ve seen through myself and friends in distress – breaking up can be one of the most positive things people ever do in their lives.