Today we’re going to be listening to a question from a guy who would like to remain anonymous, but he has a really interesting question because it’s kind of all over the place. And so I kind of just chalked it up to him, trying to … or him being felt left reeling by the fact that his girlfriend left him for no reason.
She gave him a few reasons, but he’s sort of confused and maybe doesn’t even believe her.
But before I play his question, and I think everyone should be listening to what advice I give him today, because it’s something that is applicable to all relationships.
I want to first talk about the Ex Recovery Chances Quiz on our website
If you don’t know, on our website, Ex Girlfriend Recovery, we put together this special quiz that’s designed to help you understand whether or not you should be trying to get your ex girlfriend back, because I think we can all agree, there are definitely situations where people should not be trying to get their ex girlfriends back. So we put together this ex recovery chances quiz.
It’s a simple, free, two minute quiz designed to basically help you understand that. Now all you have to do if you want to take the quiz, it’s super easy.
Just simply go to the website Ex Girlfriend Recovery, and instructions on the quiz will be there.
So with that out of the way, let’s talk and here from the anonymous person’s question.
Mr Anonymous Asks; My Ex Girlfriend Broke Up With Me For No Reason
I’m dealing with a breakup.
It’s been about two months.
My girlfriend broke up with me and said she needs to figure herself out. She’s not going to date anybody else. She’s going to leave our pictures on the bedroom wall, and she can’t give me a timeframe and doesn’t want to hold me back. I tried doing no contact.
For about two weeks I made it, and I started texting her about once a week. We started some minimal conversation. I probably screwed up when I sent her a love book, which is like a cartoon thing that tells all the ways I love her, which I probably should not have.
That overwhelmed her a little bit I think. And then she ended up cutting me off on Facebook and Snapchat. And now I’m trying to actually do no contact. Hopefully it’s not too late. I’m hoping to get back together with her. And I’m going to wait a little bit to talk to her and see what happens then.
Yeah, she kind of left it open ended, so …
Okay, there’s a lot to unpack here. So ultimately this person who left this question is kind of left reeling because he feels like his ex girlfriend left him for no legitimate reason. Though he never spells that out, you can tell he’s sort of confused about how he should approach things.
So let’s talk about his situation or his breakups so that we can kind of get … take stock of it.
And then we’ll get into kind of the advice portion and I’ll tell you sort of what I think is wrong and what needs to get fixed and his approach should be.
- So his ex girlfriend left him.
- She gave the reason, she needs to figure herself out, which is the most generic reason ever.
- And what we have here is kind of the ultimate litmus test of someone who’s tried the no contact.
- Maybe they heard about it online, but they only made it two weeks into no contact before breaking down.
- He started a bit of conversation with her through text, where she was somewhat responsive.
- And then he sent her a love of book.
- This overwhelmed her quite a bit to the point where she cut him off on Facebook and Snapchat. And now he wonders, is it too late?
- So what’s going on here?
Understanding Sympathy Vs. Empathy
I think what we have here is someone who is struggling with the concept of sympathy versus empathy.
What do I mean by that, sympathy versus empathy?
Well, what I’ve thought a long time ago … when I first started Ex Girlfriend Recovery … I believe I started it in 2013, so it’s almost been seven years now … I believe that the key to winning exes back, if that was what you wanted to do, was sympathy, was understanding their worldview and trying to make them feel better, trying to fix things.
But that’s not what worked.
That’s the beautiful part about being kind of tenured in this program.
We’ve gotten multiple people to come through the program and we’re able to see really what’s working. And it isn’t sympathy. Sympathy is him trying to understand that she was unhappy in the relationship and sending a love book.
He thinks this will make her feel better.
It has all the ways in which he loves her, but it had the opposite effect he was hoping for.
It overwhelmed her and she cut him off on Facebook or Snapchat.
Now he doesn’t really specify what being cut off on Facebook and Snapchat is or means, but we can assume it means he’s blocked or unfriended or something on that level.
What we learned is that really the key to getting exes back is empathy, which is very similar to sympathy.
Now, what is empathy? -Empathy is the ability to understand the emotions of someone else without actually feeling the emotions yourself.
Sympathy, on the other hand, is the physical display of empathy.
Empathy is what wins you your ex back.
Well it kind of all comes down to listening.
Why I Believe The Key To Winning An Ex Back Comes Down To Listening
I’ve often stated that I believe the key to winning exes back is identifying what your exes problems are and solving them in a way that no one else can.
I’ve said that so many times, I feel like a broken record when I say it.
But how do we identify the problems?
Most of the time people come to me and they’re looking for tactical solutions, the no contact rule, “What do I text?”
But really the work, the real secret sauce, is in teaching you to properly listen. And most of the time we think we listen when we really don’t. Most of the time we listen on a superficial level. We hear certain words just long enough to get the gist of what someone is saying, but we truly don’t dive down and understand what they’re saying.
Once we think we know where they’re heading, our attention slips back inward, where we silently compare what we heard to our own logic and our own worldview.
We put ourselves or make assumptions based on what we think as opposed to what they’re actually saying.
And what I think we have here is a classic case of someone who believes that they’re listening to what their ex wants, but isn’t diving deep enough to truly understand what they want.
She says she needs to figure herself out.
He says, “Well, she left me for no reason. She gave this standard reason that she needs to figure herself out.”
This tells me that they were on two different wavelengths the entire time. She was resonating at a higher frequency than he was, or rather the opposite. He was resonating at a higher frequency than she was. He was a lot more into the relationship than she was it seems like.
Yet, it catches him off guard because it seems out of the blue.
It seems like, “She’s not giving me a legitimate reason. She’s not describing why she broke up with me,” but it’s there if you know what to look for.
You’ve heard of Freudian slips, right?
It’s like you think of something internally and you’re thinking to yourself, “Oh, I can’t say that out loud,” so you start talking to someone and accidentally a small little piece, a sliver of it, slips into the sentence that you didn’t mean to say. And if someone’s careful enough, they can kind of peel back the layers and truly understand what you’re really thinking.
This is probably what happened during this guy’s relationship with this ex girlfriend.
She probably did give subtle cues that he didn’t pick up on because he’s not great at recognizing them yet. And that’s the beautiful part about this.
He can become an expert at recognizing them.
He can become an expert at identifying the problems and then solving them in a way that no one else can.
But it all boils down to empathy, understanding ex girlfriend’s worldview.
What Psychotherapists Say About Listening?
Now, psychotherapy research shows that when individuals feel listened to, they tend to listen to themselves more carefully and openly evaluate and clarify their own thoughts and feelings.
This is important.
Everyone’s always looking for the magic bullet.
“Chris, what do I say to her? Well, give me the exact phrase to say to her to get her to come back.”
Oftentimes you can go on YouTube or even go to Google.
Some of the most search phrases on Google are, “How do I make my ex girlfriend love me again?”
(Yep, I totally wrote an article about that 😉 .)
But there’s no easy way to do that.
There’s no magic bullet phrase I can give you that will do that.
You need to empathize with her.
Yes, we do believe in the no contact rule.
That is a tactical strategy we have found to be effective, but the no contact rule by definition is impossible to help you get your ex back.
Sure, I mean, there’s some outliers where all it took was a no contact rule, of ignoring your ex girlfriend, and all of a sudden she comes back. But most of the time, that’s not what happens. Most of the time, you have to reestablish communication with her, and how you reestablish communication with her is so key.
She needs to feel listened to, because if she truly feels you empathize with her, if she has these moments where she thinks, “You know what? That’s right. I do feel that. He’s right. He understands me,” then they think inwardly. They think about themselves a little bit more carefully, they evaluate your relationship, and to become less defensive.
They don’t become oppositional.
They’re more willing to listen to your point of view when you make a pitch.
They get into that calm and logical place where they’re willing to accept you.
So that’s what I think he should work on. I don’t think I should give him tactical advice other than, yeah, finish out a no contact rule.
Obviously you screwed up because you didn’t finish or complete the no contact rule fully.
But work on empathy, work on trying to understand what your ex girlfriend is going through.
Real Life Applications Of Listening
We see this all the time.
I’m working with a client, who’s a female right now.
She’s an extremely great communicator, and her ex-boyfriend is not a great communicator, but what’s really interesting is when it came time to craft the text message for her ex-boyfriend, she sent the text message to me. And I did kind of like a voice note recording, where I was explaining and reading the text message to her how I would read it if I was her ex-boyfriend.
And she falls into the classic trap that I think 99% of people fall into, self-interest.
You see, her text message had the word, I. Seems simple, right? I. “I feel … I think … I feel … I think.” I counted it up. There was seven uses of “I think,” or “I feel.” So I told her that when her ex reads this text message, he’s going to think you’re selfish because he thinks it’s all about you.
So I said, “Go back to the drawing board. You don’t have … I like these parts of the text message, but you need to rewrite them in a way that you’re not using, ‘I think’ or ‘I feel,’ because it always makes it about you.” Relationships are supposed to be equal.
They’re not supposed to be about you, they’re not supposed to be about your ex. They’re supposed to be about together. That’s the approach you need to be trying to kind of achieve.
And today, she sent me the text message back, the amended text message, I should say, and it’s 10 times better.
But I guess my point is when people actually do begin communicating with their exes, they don’t communicate with them in a way that gets them to open up because they start talking about things that relate to them, self-interest.
Human beings by nature are self-interested. We’re tribal and we’re self-interested.
So it’s kind of a breath of fresh air when you approach an ex girlfriend and don’t have that self-interest. You take more of an interest in what she’s interested in. You make the spotlight all about her.
Why Sending Gifts To Your Ex Girlfriend Usually Fails
Take the love book.
The love book is a nice gesture. I like it. It’s sweet. There’s one little bit of a fly in the ointment though.
It’s a love book about how you feel about her.
It’s selfish by nature.
You may not think it is, but she takes it that way. Crazy, right? I mean, it’s like, “Oh, I’m just doing this nice thing for you. Take it the right way. Come on.” But that’s not how she takes it. It’s all about, “I love you because of this. I love you because of this. I love you because of this.”
Maybe it tries to talk about qualities that she has, but she doesn’t see past the selfishness. She sees only the selfishness. She sees the, “Oh my god, he’s making a book about, ‘I love … ‘ It’s all about him. Why can’t he make it about me?” I think that’s where he went wrong.
He didn’t complete a no contact rule, true.
He made a mistake sending a love book, kind of looks lame, not going to lie. It overwhelmed her, but it’s lame only because it feels selfish to her. She feels like, “This is always about him.” And I think if you look at your life in way … sit back, think of the times you’re communicating with your significant other.
Watch how often you say I. “I feel, I think, I love … ” in a way, it’s to make yourself feel better. It’s talking about you. And watch the difference that occurs when you catch yourself and put all the attention on your significant other. They’ll be a lot more willing to listen to what you have to say.
There’s a really great book I’m reading right now by a … I’ve talked about it before in the podcast, a hostage negotiator, one of the FBI’s lead international hostage negotiators.
And I like this book because in the end, what we’re trying to do here is trying to get someone who doesn’t want to agree with our point of view to actually agree with our point of view of getting back together. How do you do that?
Well, hostage negotiation is a great place to look.
You have a hostage taker that does not want to give up the hostage.
How do you get them to give up the hostage?
And so what they talk about is empathy, talking to the hostage with their own worldview.
But you don’t enter a hostage negotiation saying, “I need you to do this.” You don’t even ask them, “Can you do this?” You actually empathize with them. “It looks like you’re feeling this. It looks like you’re feeling that,” labeling their exact emotions so that they actually come to this epiphany internally where they think, “That’s right. I do feel that way.”
But here’s where it gets kind of tricky. You fail if they think you’re right, because they didn’t come to the conclusion. You came to the conclusion for them and basically parroted it back to them. And I think that’s part of your problem, Mr. Anonymous.
You’re sending a no contact … you’re finishing … you’re not completing your no contact rule, true. So you failed in that bit. But I think when you come to communicating with her, you’re communicating with her in a way to sympathize, to make her feel better, but she needs to make herself feel better, and the best way to do that is to make her feel heard, make her feel listened to, get on the same wavelength as her. Because once you do that, she will start to evaluate your relationship again. She’ll start to clarify her own thoughts and feelings, and once you have her doing that, you’re golden, brother.
So that’s what I would do if I was you.