The Best Way to Break Up With Someone

Interview: Carol Barkes

This comes from a communications expert, Carol Barkes. Here are some talking points for an interview on how to break up with someone in the best possible way:

1)  Acknowledge the positive. When relationships end, it doesn’t necessarily mean our love and feelings for the person ends, too.  We can love someone and still know the relationship is not right for each other.  With that being said, acknowledging this is and recognizing the lovely moments that brought the two of you together is a far better spin for our brains than to completely focus on the negatives.

2)  Allow for closure. The easiest way for the person’s brain to reconcile the break up is for us to connect as many dots for them as possible.  When our brains cannot connect all the dots, we go to negative places and ruminate on the matters to which we don’t have answers. Consequently, taking the time to shore up answers to the person can be very helpful for closure.  That being said, there is a difference between connecting the dots in a basic manner and allowing the other person to interrogate you.  Boundary management is important here.  If it is a new relationship, this is far less important than a long term relationship with history.
3)  Avoid criticism.  Criticism is about the person while a complaint is about a process.  It is far better to have a complaint about the relationship dynamics but avoid criticizing the other person.  For instance, it is better to say, “We have huge differences in how we approach life.  I am very goal-driven while you seem to be much more laid back.  I see this as something that will negatively impact us through life. . . .”  than it is to say, “You are lazy and never try to improve yourself.”
4)  Avoid making excuses.  Simply, and briefly, speak the truth—no cliches—and be kind and be firm in your resolve.  If you leave ambiguity, you can give mixed messages to the other person about your intent to permanently end the relationship.
5)  Keep it clean.  End one relationship before you begin another.  This is important not only for the person you are breaking up with but for the person you are starting new with.  The cleaner you keep it, the less your integrity will be questioned when times get bumpy in the new relationship.

Available for Interviews: Carol Barkes

Carol Barkes, CPM, is a trend-setting mediator, business executive and educator specializing in the use of neuroscience to improve business performance, interpersonal communications, negotiation and conflict resolution processes for optimally successful results. She is also a speaker, educator, and author of the bestselling book: Success Breakthroughs.

Jo Allison
PR Managing Editor
Success In Media, Inc.

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