So you’ve recently broken up with your ex. How do I know? Because, the chances that you’re stalking them on social media are highest if you’ve broken up in the last 3-6 months. You think about them all the time fervently hoping for a sign that they miss you and think about you. Even if your ex was a complete jerk you want a sign that they are miserable without you because that would mean you can gloat with satisfaction!
But wait! Take a moment and think…have you ever seen anyone pouring their heart out on social media about how miserable they are? NO. People always post about how rocking their life is even though the real picture might be different. For all you know, you might have done the same to make YOUR ex jealous! So, don’t you think that when you stalk your ex on social media you’re actually setting yourself up for more misery?
Stop this self-punishment today! We tell you how!
Follow the addiction model
Yes, you ARE addicted – addicted to obsessing about him/her; addicted to not feeling so alone while you have their profile in front of you; addicted to the firing of neurons in your brain that only remind you of the good times you had with your ex. So you need to fight this like you’d fight any addiction. By not giving in to urges and by removing all cues that prompt addictive behaviour. You will also need to remember at all times that urges come and go like waves and each intense wave peaks in an average duration of 3 minutes. So the next time you get the urge to check their Facebook or Instagram profile, distract yourself for just 5 minutes, and in all likelihood the urge will pass, until the next time. Do this is small doses and you’ll soon find that the gap between urges grows longer and longer.
Yup, you heard that right. Remember we said that when you stalk your ex you’re only reminded of the good times and it makes you long for them? Guess what? That’s an illusion. So, every time you feel like you miss them, you need to deliberately remind yourself of all the right reasons you broke up for and for which the relationship didn’t work.
Related reading: The 7 stages of a breakup
Think of it as an exercise regime
So when you start a workout program to get in shape, it’s so punishing in the beginning but when you see your figure turning svelte in the mirror you start enjoying it. You have to do the same thing. Keep a calendar at your desk and give yourself a gold point for each day you exert self-control and don’t stalk your ex and at the end of every week treat yourself with something good. Gradually increase that duration to two weeks, three weeks, a month. By the time you get to a month, you’ll need much less restraint!
Go cold turkey
If you really want to stop, this is one drastic step you’ll have to take. Unfollow their news feeds, unfriend from everywhere. In fact for some time unfollow the newsfeeds of your mutual friends too so that you’re not tempted. We know you’ll be tempted to revert on the action, but even if you do, go ahead and unfollow again.
Be kind to yourself
All said and done, stopping this behaviour will be like going on a diet. It will require discipline and self-control and will be difficult. But as long as you remember that all behaviour can be modified and that each habit or craving is temporary, you can win this. And when you’ve followed a diet for 20 days but cheated for one day, it doesn’t mean that the hard work of those 20 days goes waste. It’s still made a difference. So be kind to yourself and forgive yourself for small slip-ups. It will make it easier!
Good luck with your ex detox!