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Sooner or later, you will make a shitty decision that you’ll regret, which will impede your breakup recovery and/or re-attraction efforts. Hell, you’ve probably already made a few, whether you’re aware of them or not.
Maybe you reached out to your ex, even though they dumped you and clearly articulated they don’t want to stay in touch. Maybe you got high or blackout drunk to avoid punching another hole in the wall. Or perhaps you slept with a bunch of random people, not because you enjoyed it, but because fucking them made you feel as though you’re still worthy of love and affection.
Whatever the case with you, here are ten tips on how to make better post-breakup decisions to evade unnecessary suffering.
1. Create A Stable Environment
For starters, get enough quality sleep. Then avoid or cut back on processed and fried shit, as well as sugar and carbohydrates. And don’t skim on exercise and taking care of your physical appearance.
Another thing you should do is consistently practice some good ol’ fashioned mindfulness exercises — meditation, journaling, yoga, qi-gong, breathing techniques, gratitude practice, and so on and so forth.
Rubbing shoulders with friends and family more than usual is also a good idea. As is, working less, going on a vacation, and throwing yourself into hobbies or activities you think might become hobbies eventually.
2. Keep Your Life Simple
The more you complicate it, the more shit you’ll catch, and the more shit you catch, the more decisions you’ll have to make, increasing the probability of making a bad one.
Consider your current inputs: social media notifications, emails, texts and calls, people knocking on your door — all of these inputs invite complexity into your life and rarely provide any real value.
Therefore, start eliminating them. Go on a social media detox. Consider the no contact rule if your ex keeps bugging you. Only give your contact information to people you trust. Reserve time for daily distraction-free reflection. Don’t go to every meetup, party, or gathering you’re invited to. Say “no” more often than you say “yes.”
3. Leverage Your Personal Values
Consider your values by reflecting on how you’d want to live your life and what you find important and unimportant. Then stay in integrity to those values and base your decisions on them.
Note, however, that there is a difference between good and bad values. Bad ones could be a person’s fixation on instant gratification. Whereas good ones could be a person’s desire for a drama-free life.
So if you’d base your post-breakup decisions on your desire for, say, instant gratification, you’d likely reach out to your ex even if they don’t want to hear from you. You just wouldn’t give a fuck about what they want. You’d only hone in on what you want: a shot of instant gratification nested in your ex’s response.
But if you’d base your post-breakup decisions on your want for a drama-free life, you probably wouldn’t reach out to your ex — if you know they want nothing to do with you — for you’d realize that it would likely just lead to unnecessary tension.
4. Analyze Your Patterns And Respond Accordingly
For example: if you keep going on shopping sprees and can see a pattern of failures due to it — a failure to feel better about yourself, a failure to use your cash wisely, a failure to exert self-control, etc. — it’s a flashing neon sign you should replace the habit with a healthier alternative.
Whereas if you keep investing in your personal growth by meticulously attending therapy, and you can see a pattern of success due to it — you’re feeling happier, more at peace, less anxious, etc. — it’s a flashing neon sign you should stick to whatever habit you formed.
5. Define A Goal And Project Vectors Towards It
For every decision you’re mulling over, ask yourself: will this bring me closer to my goal, or will this push me farther away from it?
The be more specific, “will shooting heroin up my veins bring me closer to healing from my breakup, or will it push me farther away from it?”
Or, “will showing up at my ex’s doorstep at 3 am, flowers and chocolate in hand, begging them to give me another shot, bring me closer to rekindling my relationship, or will it push me farther away from it?
6. Consider 2nd, 3rd , 4th… Order Consequences
Everything you do has a downstream effect you should be aware of. For example, here are some consequences of playing video games all day and night when you want to get your mind off your breakup.
- 1st order consequence: buying video games and a rig that plays them costs a lot of money.
- 2nd order consequence: because you’ll be playing them constantly, you’ll focus less on work and self-improvement.
- 3rd order consequence: your intelligence, cognitive abilities, and attention span will decay (depending on the games you’re playing).
- 4th order consequence: you’ll get lazier, go to bed later, and get less sleep.
- 5th order consequence: due to less sleep, you’ll be more emotional, delusional, and neurotic.
- 6th order consequence: you’ll make shittier decisions due to being emotional, delusional, and neurotic.
Need I go on?
7. Consider The Ease Of Undo
Meaning: how easy would it be to undo a decision once you make it?
Eating a shitty burger instead of something healthy once or twice is relatively easy to undo for instance. Just eat something healthy the next day. Skipping your workout or meditation habit is also easy to undo. Just don’t skip it again tomorrow or whenever you have it scheduled.
But reaching out to your ex because you miss them when they don’t miss you is a whole different story. Due to your contact, you’ll likely a) re-open your breakup wounds and b) lower the odds of getting them attracted — none of which are easy undo’s.
8. Gather The Right Amount Of Information
That is relevant, quality information relating to the decision you’re struggling with. This information could include facts, statistics, expert opinions, and your friends’ and family’s thoughts.
Generally, the amount of information gathered, and the time you should take gathering it, should reflect the magnitude of a decision.
If its small and not permanent, it’s better to move fast and loose, with considering minimal information. But if a decision is large and permanent, it’s better to move slow and take time to garner as much information as possible.
9. Understand How Your Biases Fuck You Over
We’re all heavily biased toward short-term rewards as humans. And we suck at seeing long-term ones clearly because it’s difficult to look past our immediate fears and anxieties. Our emotions color everything we see and often steer us astray.
The point of this is to say that your best decisions will often strike you as a marriage between counterintuitive, difficult, and scary. They will also force you to go against your intuition and rely on rationality instead of pure gut feelings.
As you’d expect, this shit ain’t easy nor pleasant. But it is necessary. You must learn to step outside your comfort zone, brutally question yourself, make decisions based on logic and reason and stick with them despite the unease.
10. Write Shit Down
The holy grain of good decision-making. The staple of quality psychotherapy. The modality I’ve been yammering about since the inception of my blog. Writing shit down is arguably the best way to sort out your emotional drivel, clarify everything swirling around in your head, and figure our your own logic (or lack thereof).
Here’s how I’d go about it:
First, write down the costs and benefits of a certain decision. In other words, make a classic “pros” and “cons” list, with the “pros” being separated into both long-term and short-term.
Second, write down your motivation behind your decision. For example: do you want to change towns solely because you’re afraid of stumbling on your ex (in which case you shouldn’t move), or do you want to change towns because you genuinely want to see the world (in which case you should move)?
Last, give yourself a few minutes long break. The come back to what you wrote down and see if it helps you make a better decision.
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