Don't break up - just disengage graciously! A.k.a. Reshma's Guide to Breaking Up
Yesterday evening I was watching an episode of Caroline in the City where the characters were debating on the best ways of breaking up. I then reflected on how hard it's becoming nowadays to sell the "It's not you, it's me" approach. No one is convinced :-) This made me think of the countless hapless souls who're trapped in meaningless relationships, withering daily, just because they don't have the right words.
And I thought of all the stuff I've tried on people, and the ones that have actually worked. Please remember that the lines by themselves can sound vacuous and sometimes corny. But couple them with the right body language and they become barbs!
Note: Capitalized words are to be stressed. Physical cues are included within the instructions.
Technique # 1 - The Detached Method
This comes at the end of a particularly long & tedious argument, when your partner says, "But what about US?"
Look deep into his/her eyes, smile, and say, "There IS no us. There is a you, and there is a me, (pause here, inhale deeply), but there is no US. (Look away from your partner, as if you're trying to peer into a distant future where the two of you shall never cross paths.)
Technique # 2 - The Elegant Approach
Some people, no matter what you'll say to them, will stare at you incredulously for the first few minutes, and will then begin babbling incoherently. Typically, their rant will sound something like, "So this is it? it's over between us? Are you breaking up with me?"
Here's what you need to to: Smile a slow, beatific smile, nod your head sympathetically and say, "Of course we're not breaking up, we're just graciously disengaging."
Technique # 3 - Even Steven!
Also known as the smart Alec approach. If you're the dumpee instead of the dumper, just smile, shrug, and say, "Hey, that's ok, I'll meet someone else."
Watch your partner stare at you in total disbelief. This moment is a high. While their jaws are inching close to the ground, smile more, and say, "Yeah sure, I'm like even Steven, things always even out for me! Nice meeting you!"
Technique # 4 - The Care and Concern Approach
Try to sound like you *actually* have your partner's welfare in mind. Try and convince them that they're not happy, even though they vehemently deny it. This is more a test of willpower
and patience. You really need to hang in there.
The lines that will see you through this approach are, "I'm not good enough for you . . . you need to find someone who will treat you right," or even, "You don't smile enough. Saying you are happy and looking it are two different things." In the end, promise that you'll always be around for them. Then, get a new cellphone number.
Technique # 5 - I need to find myself Approach
Pretend like you're the Buddha seeking your personal Enlightenment. Sprinkle your conversation with stuff like, "I love you lots but I have got to spread my wings and fly like an eagle."
Technique # 6 - Always works!
If none of the above have worked for you and worse, you're still hurting about the whole situation, hurl something heavy and shout, "I hope you and your progeny die and rot and burn in hell." Works every time!
Used With Permission