Expert Speak

5 ways to stop stalking your ex on social media

Have you been through a breakup recently but can't stop stalking your ex on social media? We have a useful list of ways to help you stop the obsession
How to avoid stalking your ex

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!

1. Follow the addiction model

woman using a laptop
Don’t torture yourself

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.

Related reading: The importance of burning bridges after a breakup

2. Think negative

thought bubble with a bulb in it
How’s think negatively for an idea?

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 why you broke up and why the relationship didn’t work.

3. Think of it as an exercise regime

a woman exercising
The discipline will pay off

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!

Related reading: 10 ways to deal with heartbreak

4. Go cold turkey

'unfollow' key on keyboard
Unfollow your way to destress

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.

5. Be kind to yourself

man standing at a cliff, arms stretched out
Love 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!!

Published in Expert Speak

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