Health & Wellness Magazine Live + Thrive Magazine - Summer 2018 - Page 11

Vanessa Van Edwards is lead investigator at the Science of People—a human behavior research lab. She is the national bestselling author of Captivate: The Science of Succeeding With People, which was chosen as one of Apple’s Most Anticipated Books of 2017. She writes a monthly column on the science of success for Entrepreneur Magazine and the Huffington Post. Scienceofpeople.com You should use this if: • You worry that they will not accept a break • They will not be honest if you have The Talk • They are bad with boundaries • You hate confrontation This method is less direct — so it’s not my favorite, BUT it can help gently end a relationship or avoid hurting someone’s feelings. The slow back away is usually done by just being "too busy" and "too hard to reach." I hate writing this, but the goal here is to have a gentle easing in the relationship. You want them to slowly get the message that you want a different kind of relationship. You don’t want to hurt their feelings. You want them to save face. RECOMMENDATIONS: • Text instead of call • Engage less on social media • Take longer to respond to texts • Respond with shorter texts • Get together in less intimate settings • Get together for shorter, more casual occasions • Be too busy to get together **Again, this is my least favorite because it feels the least honest. But sometimes it is the nicest way to break up with someone. OPTION #4: THE BURST There comes a point in some unhealthy, unfulfilling relationships where the friendship bubble needs bursting. The lies. The faking it. The pretending everything is fine. It needs to stop. I believe friendship breakups should be treated EXACTLY like a romantic breakup. Something like: Hey, I know we have had trouble getting together over the last few months. I think that is mostly my fault. I have been pulling away. I think last year when X happened, it really hurt my feelings. I have not been able to get over it. I know you are a great person and have been a wonderful friend, but I think our relationship has changed. I do not think we can salvage it with so much that has gone on. I am sorry. RECOMMENDATIONS: • State needs that are not being met • Be gentle and kind • Talk about how you feel • Don’t assign blame • Don’t make excuses This is incredibly hard. I know it. But I think that if you feel you have to end a relationship, you have to clear the way. When we say no to relationships that don’t serve us, we make room for relationships that do. 11