Wednesday, March 20, 2019 | ePaper

Relationship tips to navigate social media during a break-up

Social media can be a pain if you just went through a break-up as it throws up constant reminders of your former partner. Here are expert tips on how to deal with it

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Weekend Plus Desk :
The break-up of a relationship is never easy, but in times of social media, it's even tougher. After all, it's hard to move on when you are bombarded with posts about your ex at every turn. While some may choose to completely withdraw from social media to recover from the break-up, others may go overboard and seek validation by posting way too many posts.
Balance is the key, says clinical psychologist and psychotherapist Seema Hingorrany. “One should not go overboard in posting feeds and pictures but it’s not good to disconnect with family and friends either. I find many clients even deleting common friends from their social media accounts after break-up. You should only do so if it is causing toxicity,” she says.
Psychotherapist and trauma therapist Hvovi Bhagwagar says that seeing posts from an ex can be a trigger for some people and make them feel anger, sadness or jealousy. “So it may be better to cut ties. However, if that is not possible then manage the emotions that will naturally emerge,” she says.
Here are some experts tips to cope with a modern-day break-up:
* The best way to tackle social media posts by an ex on social media is to ignore it and let it go. “Never react or pass a judgment. It’s better to not comment on any feed so that you can heal in silence and process your thoughts and emotions. If it's very disturbing to you to see the photos, delete the person from social media to gain composure,” says Hingorrany.
* “Keep in mind that the family and relatives are not the cause of the break-up. You can still be in touch sometimes with them, depending on your relationship with the ex's family and friends,” says Hingorrany.
If your choice is to cut clean from the entire ecosystem that links you to your ex, then do it wisely. “Call closest friends and family and give them reasons for blocking/unfriending,” says Bhagwagar.
* If the break-up is amicable, both the partners can behave maturely. Since they care about each other's emotional well-being, they won’t use social media to spread toxicity or voice resentments against each other. “In fact, we see many clients post likes and comments even after a break-up,” says Hingorrany.
* Keep in mind that stalking an ex is very unhealthy and can cause a lot of issues. “It can lead to obsessive reading of their feeds to check if they are with someone else, comparing the ex's life with your own, and an urge to have a rebound relationship to get the feeling of ‘being in love’ again. Your ex may find out, get really angry about this and the bitterness between you will worsen,” says Bhagwagar.
Hingorrany says that stalking an ex online denotes that the person is suffering from low self-esteem and confidence. “It’s better to move on so that new people can come in your lives. Stalking only creates confusion and makes letting go difficult,” she says.
* Going cold turkey, even on social media, is the best solution for dealing with a break-up. “This prevents flare-ups, reduces emotional pain (especially if the ex has moved on), and prevents the temptation of comparing how their life is (better/worse) than yours,” says Bhagwagar.
* While you don’t need to make a public announcement about the break-up, Bhagwagar recommends you send a generic forward or make a phone call to your closest family and friends about it.
* Avoid sending forwards, quotes, and pictures with personal messages of hatred or anger. “It’s a passive-aggressive way of sending a message and appears immature on a social platform. Avoid gossiping to friends or sympathetic listeners about how much your ex hurt you. Don’t post anything if you are drunk,” says Bhagwagar.
* You can choose to disable settings on social platforms that bring up unpleasant memories from your past. Block them on Twitter or FB, which will prevent you from seeing comments by your ex. “It’s wise to do this in the early stages of break-up when the hurt/pain is especially intense. Re-read anything you post after your break-up. Anything said in a moment of anger becomes a written record,” says Bhagwagar.

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