Elizabeth Claps, psychologist, teacher and writer: “Zero contact to get over a breakup includes not paying attention to your social networks and even blocking”


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How to deal with the end of a relationship? This is a moment of vulnerability, especially if it is not expected. But, with tools to cope with it, it can become a turning point that gives us the opportunity to know ourselves better.

Elizabeth Clap
Elizabeth Claps also coordinates the master’s degree in Couples Therapy and Clinical Sexology at the AMIR Academy and the Distance University of Madrid.EM
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Love, or better, lack of love is one of the main causes of human suffering. But, while grief for the loss of a loved one is understood and accompanied perfectly, according to psychologist Elizabeth Claps (Ibiza, September 17, 1997), “breakup is an undervalued topic.”

For this reason, the also teacher and writer, who disseminates on social networks through the account @esmipsicologa, publishes Lose you to find myself. Get over a breakup and fall in love with yourself again (Ed. Montena), after the success of two other copies dedicated to the topic of emotional well-being. “Many times saying goodbye means break up with a part of you: a family, some mutual friends and, if there is no good support, it can be a very traumatic episode,” he reflects.

If there are children involved it is even more complicated, she defends, because the zero contact that she recommends would not then be possible. “We must speak exclusively for them and never use them as a bargaining chip, because we will not only be harming the couple, but also will have consequences for the children“.

However, whatever the adverse circumstances, she remains positive. “All breakups always teach us something.” Or what we don’t want to be repeated, how we don’t want to behave again or how to deal with loneliness so as not to jump out of control. relationship in relationship for fear of being singleExplain.

Can a rupture be a microtrauma?
Previously, trauma was only considered what we currently understand as traumas with a capital ‘T’: wars, terrorism, explosions, fires, traffic accidents… But today we can consider that a breakup ends up being a trauma in cases in which, For example, there are situations of abuse, third parties involved in situations of infidelity or, simply, when the person being left does not expect it.
Why do we often seem blind with love, when even the environment sees what is happening and maybe even oneself but doesn’t want to see it?
We cannot generalize, but when everyone around us sees it, they are usually situations in which there is some type of abuse. And that in itself explains why the person does not see it. At the beginning of the relationship, especially, we tend to idealize the person due to the hormonal surge, which makes us not see the defects. And then, when that phase passes, that is when the blindfold begins to fall and coincides with the moment in which we begin to remove the defects.
Is the breakup more complicated if there are common friendships or family attachments? Do we also have to cut off with the environment to be able to continue each one on their own?
It all depends on personal history, but as far as possible it is advisable to maintain a safe distance from those people in common, because in the end they will inform us about the other person. And disengaging from the other includes zero contact until the situation cools down. With family members, we must also understand and respect that they are on their side because it is the couple’s family, not ours, and it is preferable that we rely on other people around us. With friends, the same. If we share friendships, it is desirable to reduce contact and avoid meeting for a while.
Social networks complicate breakups, because if you do not eliminate or block the person, it seems inevitable to be aware of the content they upload. And that doesn’t seem very healthy to overcome, right?
Zero contact to get over a breakup includes not paying attention to your social networks, because if I receive information, it will upset me or even hurt. Deleting or blocking is even convenient if we are not going to be able to stop looking at what our ex does.
When one of the parties knows that they have done wrong, to what extent do they have to insist on recovery or continue asking for forgiveness?
This also depends on each specific case. If a person is repentant and has repeatedly tried to apologize or apologize, finding the other person negative or their actions indicating that they have made the decision to move on with their life and separate themselves, they must be respected.
Does the advice that is often given to ‘sign up for an activity’ or ‘go out and have fun’ work?
Yes, it usually works as part of the healing process and to reconnect with you, because you have to keep in mind that while you are in a relationship you lose a little of your essence to unite with another person and be with them, so it may make you feel uncomfortable. You may feel a little lost when you recover your agenda and decide all your plans, but it is not a panacea either. That is, it is not the total solution.
What signs or indications should be taken into account after a breakup to understand that we need help from a therapist?
The main indicator is time. If the months go by and I continue to remain isolated or I am having a hard time getting back to my life, perhaps it is a good time to go to the psychologist.
But is there a set time to know that we have recovered? Because there are relationships in which there is no mourning: they were already dead.
If there is grief also in those cases, what happens is that it has already been developing during the relationship, in a monotony. The breakup is suffered more when it occurs abruptly or unexpectedly, but there are relationships where you see it coming and simply continue in inertia.
Many people live in liana relationships, chaining one person after another so as not to be alone. Does it happen because they don’t know how to be?
Well, we must also understand that this society focuses us on living as a couple. And it guides our entire life to stay together with someone. You cannot pay a mortgage or rent if it is not among several. It also depends on the vital moment in which each person is, if they feel that the time to have a partner has passed and they rush it or on the emotional dependence that exists. So it’s not just about not knowing how to be alone.
And how do you work on emotional dependence?
Finding the root of the problem, and seeing where it comes from, because there is a lot behind it. Return to the ties of childhood, because it can be the result of an anxious attachment, and starting to do activities alone.
How do you know what a definitive breakup is in toxic relationships with constant comings and goings?
In fact, sometimes there is no definitive breakup as such, but rather they extend over time with greater disinterest and wear and tear. It is likely that one of the two will always hope to return because it has already happened on other occasions.
And can you get out of that wheel?
Yes, people ask for help, especially in situations of abuse. Sometimes it’s not just about quitting, because there is a root cause of the problem that needs to be worked on in consultation.
Nowadays there are many types of relationships, many times without formal ties, but with people involved who feel. How to overcome a goodbye when there is ‘ghosting’ and the door is not closed completely or you cannot ask for explanations because there is no partner?
Many times we have to say goodbye on our own, we are the ones who say “this far.” A relationship cannot depend on when the other decides to contact us or not. Starting from the focus that we should never wait for the other to show signs of life, we must know how to set limits on the lack of emotional responsibility. It has to lead us to decide that final point. I recognize that from the inside it is very complicated and, sometimes, it is inevitable to ask yourself if you have done something wrong or if something has happened to him. But not saying goodbye should not prevent you from establishing limits.
Meditate, take a walk, play sports… Are there techniques to avoid rumination?
There are many activities that I recommend in the book, such as reading to learn something new, drawing or doing crafts, going out to have fun with friends, because we are social beings… But again it depends on the particular case, because if I think about it a lot Maybe meditating is worse for me because those thoughts are going to assault me. It usually works to focus on what you like most. For example, I, who am also a writer, find it useful to take refuge in work, because the more free time you have, the more thoughts you are going to give to the breakup.
What recommendations would you give us to face a breakup in a healthier way?
I always recommend zero contact. As we talked about before, don’t check your social networks. And it is very important to learn to tolerate pain. Not everything is solved with a pill, we have to endure the bad times, get through it and learn to rediscover ourselves.

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