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To Cry Or Not To Cry After A Breakup?

You may hear or read advice telling you to "stay strong" after an emotional meltdown, which often leads to a misinterpretation of its meaning.

When you hear something along that tone, you may believe that if you cry or explore your emotions it makes you weak. When it is actually the opposite that happens.

Here's a common scenario:

You breakup and you're devastated. Didn't see it coming. You decide to keep your chin up, be strong and hold your ground. You're not going to break down, no matter what.

What you're actually doing is setting yourself up for a massive meltdown and delays your emotional recovery. When you tell yourself "I'm not going to cry", it doesn't erase the emotion. It doesn't go away, it's just pushed aside.

You'll go about your life feeling like you're in control of your emotions. You're being strong. Thinking the pain is gone.

But it's not.

It's actually buried, waiting for a "trigger event" that floods you with negative memories. You'll be going about your daily life when a memory triggers the pain and grief from your breakup that you've been avoiding.

That's when you're faced with reality, and the pain is intensified.

You can't escape sadness. It's there. It's real. You can't make it go away by telling yourself it doesn't hurt. It will always be there until you confront that emotion.

So, if you need to cry. Let it happen. Get that sadness out of the way. It isn't until you confront that sadness, let the crying happen that you ease the pain.

Grieving is a coping mechanism. It's how we adapt. Trying to avoid the grief is only delaying what needs to happen.

Your grief is personal. Keep it that way. If you're hurting, don't let your ex know about it.

A common pitfall is to avoid the emotional pain and grieving. Then when you come face to face with your ex, all those emotions come to the surface and you go through a very public grieving process. Don't let that happen.

If you need to cry, do it on your terms -- away from your ex.

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