You need help getting over a breakup, and the tired old tips aren’t working. Try this instead: learn how to change your story so you can change your perspective of your relationship, your self, and your life. This can help you heal.
In Retelling the Stories of Our Lives: Everyday Narrative Therapy to Draw Inspiration and Transform Experience, David Denborough says that the ways in which we understand and share the stories of our lives a huge difference! If we tell stories that emphasize only desolation, then we become weaker. If we tell our stories in ways that make us stronger, we can soothe our losses and ease our sorrows. This book doesn’t offer specific help for getting over a breakup, but it will teach you how to rewrite and retell the stories in your life.
Below are four steps to changing your perspective of the breakup. It’s a creative way to get help after a breakup and heal your hurting heart: learn how to change your story. Changing your perspective of yourself, the relationship, and the breakup will help you move forward in your life.
What advice and help have you already received about getting over a breakup? Before you read steps on how to change your story, take a moment to think about what you already know. Tell me – I welcome your big and little thoughts in the comments section below.
Help Getting Over a Breakup
Whether or not you expected your relationship to end, you still may feel disbelief and shock at the thought of being alone at this stage of your life. You need help getting over a breakup – and you don’t want to read the same old tips – consider learning how to reframe what happened.
These tips for reframing what happened will help you change the story you’re telling yourself. For example, if you’ve been telling yourself that you’re unlovable, weak, or unable to survive on your won, then you’ll stay in an unhealthy relationship for a long time.
What would happen if you told yourself a different story? I’m not suggesting you lie to yourself. Rather, consider focusing on different aspects of your relationship and yourself. This help getting over a breakup is about changing what you focus on.
4 Steps to Changing Your Story
What is the story you’re telling yourself about the breakup? If you’ve been in an abusive relationship, you may have adopted your partner’s perspective of you. Maybe you’ve lost touch with who you are, and you believe what he says about you.
Take a moment to consider what you’re saying about yourself and the relationship you had with your partner. The first step to helping yourself get over the breakup is to be aware of what you’re telling yourself and what you believe.
Listen to what you’re telling yourself
In his podcast Change Your Life, Change Your Story, Michael Hyatt encourages us to listen to the voice in our heads. What is it saying, how often does it come up, and do you believe about yourself?
For example, your “narrator” might be telling you that you’re a failure. Your relationship ended, your children are damaged beyond repair, and you’ll never heal from this breakup. Maybe the voice in your head is even saying your partner was right about your weaknesses and flaws, and you deserve to be alone because you’re not worthy of love.
Write down what you believe about yourself
Give yourself 20 minutes to write down everything you think about yourself. This may not seem like the best help getting over a breakup, but just try it! What is the voice in your head telling you about the way your relationship unfolded and ended?
You’ll find that the beliefs you have about yourself will look different when you write them down. Their power will begin to evaporate as you’re writing. You’ll see your thoughts more objectively because you will bring them into the light.
Writing down the thoughts you have about yourself will help you start learning how to get over a bad breakup. And, writing will also help you get unstuck if you’re in “victim” mode. Honestly expressing your thoughts about this breakup – and even the fact that you need help getting over it – will help you change your story.
Decide if your story is dragging you down or lifting you up
How do your thoughts make you feel? Your beliefs are driving your behavior, your emotions, your reactions to others, your ability to make good decisions, your ability to learn healthy ways to get over a breakup.
What are your thoughts creating in your life? How is your story changing how you feel and think about yourself? Is what you tell yourself lifting you up, or dragging you down? Take a step back, be objective, and determine what effect your thoughts are having on your life. Finding the right help getting over a breakup could be as simple as becoming aware of how your story is affecting you.
But wait, there’s one more thing to do…
Write down a different story
This is where it gets interesting – and not because you get to lie to yourself or others! Rather, you need to learn how to focus on a different aspect of your story.
If you’re telling yourself how stupid you are for staying in an unhealthy relationship for all this time, you need to reframe it. Find the positive and focus on that. For instance, you may have stayed with him because of your strong sense of loyalty, your love for your children, or your belief in your wedding vows.
When you change your story, you will change how you feel about yourself. Then, you can start to heal and move forward in your life. Don’t stay stuck in this story. Don’t continue to allow yourself to be a victim. Don’t accept wrong beliefs as absolute truth.
You need help getting over a breakup. Try learning how to change your story, and tell me what happened. If you need to reclaim your self-identity, read How to Find Yourself After Getting Lost in a Relationship.
A question for you
What is one sentence that describes how you feel about this breakup? Write it down. Then, take it through steps three and four above. Will this help you get over a breakup? You’ll only know when you give it a try…
While I can’t offer advice, I do read every comment. I encourage you to respond to other readers’ comments if you feel led, and to share your experience of getting over a breakup by learning how to change your story. Writing often brings clarity and insight, and can help you process your feelings.
My next article is about starting healthy habits after a breakup. Make sure you sign up below for my weekly email to receive new articles.