Getting Over Heartbreak: Why You Can’t Get It Right

Getting Over Heartbreak. Photo Credit – Flickr: marsmet524“Complete abstinence is easier than perfect moderation.” —St. Augustine

Does getting over heartbreak have to do with anything other than love?

In attempt to start a new conversation about heartbreak, I’m not interested in the common notion of heartbreak cures after break-ups or divorces. Post-relationship therapy is not my intent.

The larger implications of heartbreak relate to identity.

The emotions of heartbreak shape our identities and have more comprehensive consequences than just being upset after a failed relationship or dysfunctional love affair.

Who we choose to be after we’ve experienced shattered expectations and nauseating realities affect all human beings. They are choices that everyone makes. Are you aware of the decisions that you’ve made?

Heartbreak can influence your actions in semi-permanent and permanent ways.

Some decisions are reactionary and temporary; they mildly affect your identity for a short time period, but you maintain an awareness that guides you back to your true self.

Other post-heartbreak decisions tattoo your psyche. You become a fundamentally different person for an extended period of time.

In either case, you adapt given the heartbreak that you’ve suffered. You transform to accommodate the heartbreaking circumstances around you.

Wounds may inspire you to behave in ways that make you impervious to future heartbreaks. Personalities and methods of interaction change in order to avoid the emotional attachment that comes along with caring about things that may not give a shit about you.

Minimizing the pain that a combative world inflicts becomes the only way to survive.

This transformation of identity, however, is form of overcompensation.

Overcompensation is a common factor when you let anything influence your behavior.

When you decide that you want or need to make a change, you may begin to make that change by doing the opposite of what you’ve been doing.

In regard to freelance copy editing work, I’m deadline-driven and detail-oriented, so something’s gotta give in my personal life. I tend to run late for anything that isn’t related to Revision Fairy.

At times when I want to remedy this inconsiderate personality flaw, I can never be on time; I have to be early. Overcompensating gets the job done. I arrive early in attempt to not be late, and while arriving early does guarantee that I won’t be late, I’m just throwing myself in the opposite direction of my problem.

The ideal solution would be to arrive on time. Why is that so difficult to achieve?

When I don’t want to be late all the time, “being late” isn’t just “something I need to work on,” it’s the bane of my existence. It’s evil, and I must put a stop to it. I fight it with its nemesis “being early.” “On time”—getting it right—isn’t an option once you’re emotionally invested in a task.

Overcompensating in time management or heartbreak predicaments can be an effective form of practice. Recognizing the benefits of another type of behavior motivates you to avoid mistakes that you’ve made in the past, but you’re treating your reaction to a circumstance more than the actual circumstance.

Being late and heartbreak aren’t evil. They’re just issues that have pissed you off. You need to examine what they actually are in order to treat them effectively.

“Getting it right” takes more dedication and vulnerability than just doing the opposite of what you’ve been doing.

Get Over HeartbreakStefanie Flaxman is the creator of @RevisionFairy and author of a new book about heartbreak.

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