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If you think about conventional “get your ex back” advice and how it expects you to interact with your ex, you repeatedly see the same types of behaviors being encouraged:
- Impress them.
- Tell funny stories.
- Make them jealous.
- Never text twice.
- Never text or call first.
- Use this pre-prepared text/call script.
- Handwrite them a letter.
- Only talk about lighthearted topics.
- Always act indifferent/mysterious.
- Always end the conversation first.
- Always approach them at an angle.
- Play hard to get.
- Make it seem like you’re living your best life.
- Use reverse psychology.
- And more…
These are what I call “performance behaviors,” and they all follow the same formula: Do behavior X, and you’ll become attractive, and your ex will like you again.
Funnily enough, you can get your ex back through performance behaviors. You can learn all the right lines. You can master attractive body language. You can develop an unerring sense of when to pull back and when to push forward. You can learn all of this like you would learn how to cook, read or code. Performance, at its core, is a skill.
That said, there is a dark underbelly to performance.
The Creation Of An Inferiority Gap
For starters, performance is not authentic to who you are, and it implies that you’re not good enough for your ex as you are. If you feel like you need a funny line, a certain job, or a specific amount of personal growth to get your ex back, what you’re implying to yourself is, “I’m not good enough for them. I need me + X to get them to like/love me.”
What you’re essentially doing here is putting your ex on a pedestal (you care more about what they think, feel, and how they perceive you than what you think, feel, and how you perceive yourself).
Worthiness-wise, your perception is: my ex is above me; I’m below them. And so, there’s a gap between your perceived worth and their perceived worth. I call this gap the inferiority gap.
There are two ways people respond to this gap. Either they try to control, compensate, obsess, and prove that they’re worthy of it, or they try to avoid it and pretend like it’s not there. According to attachment theory, these two reactions are coined anxious and avoidant attachment.
The anxiously attached (codependents) continually sacrifice their needs for their ex and base their entire happiness around them. Whereas the avoidants continually objectify their ex and pretend and lie that they don’t love them.
The Aftermath Of An Inferiority Gap
The inferiority gap always leads to the same result: a need to perform. Then the performance leads to even more feelings of unworthiness, creating what’s in psychology known as a downward spiral: the more you perform, the more unworthy you feel, and the more unworthy you feel, the more you feel like you need to perform.
So the more results you get through performance, the deeper you’ll reinforce the belief that you’re not good enough for your ex as you are, thus widening your inferiority gap. And this creates all sorts of difficulties:
- It kills your chances of forming healthy relationships.
- It makes people trust and connect with you less.
- It drives you to feel and seem more anxious, panicky, jealous, and insecure.
- It undermines your self-esteem.
- It sub-communicates you have low social value.
- It’s exhausting to keep up (you’re always worried whether your performance was good enough).
And this is the whole irony of conventional “get your ex back” advice: the more you try to perform, the more inauthentic you are, the more unattractive you look. The less you try to perform, the more authentic you are, the more attractive you look.
And no, you can’t hide the fact that you’re performing. Your ex isn’t stupid. Eventually, they’ll detect it, and lose attraction for you. So, now the question is, how does one close their inferiority gap and stop performing all the damn time?
How To Close Your Inferiority Gap
For one, there’s a sense of firm core values and personal boundaries that you need to develop. Then there’s becoming proficient in asserting those values and boundaries. Then there’s changing limiting beliefs about your inferiority, shifting your attachment style, not displaying needy behavior, developing character, and taking care of your life. However, most importantly, there is vulnerability.
The inferiority gap starts to close as soon as vulnerability enters the equation.
When you’re vulnerable, you remove performance, imply that you’re of equal status to whomever you’re interacting with, and reinforce to yourself that you are worthy, adequate, and deserve to feel that way. And the way you start is by opening yourself up to the rejection and disapproval of others; in our case, your ex.
If you miss and love them, don’t hide it. Reveal your true feelings. If you aren’t happy with how they’re treating you on a date, tell them to show some respect. If they keep placing you in the friend zone, communicate that you don’t want to be friends and only want to see them romantically.
Let your true intentions and wants be known. Be clear about them. And stay unattached to whatever answer comes back. But, most importantly, always be willing to walk away if your ex can’t give you what you want.
Paradoxically, it’s this boldness that causes you to build self-esteem, become more confident and attractive, and bestows you with the best chance of forming a healthy and lasting relationship with someone — with anyone.
If you need more help getting your ex back, check out my Radical Re-Attraction Course. With over 8h of video, 300 pages of writing, and personalized 1-on-1 coaching, I'll walk you through every step of the re-attraction process from start to finish.
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