Say Congrats Instead
A friend recently told me her boyfriend and her broke up.
I immediately reacted with, “congratulations”.
She looked at me strange, took a deep sigh and said, “you know what, thanks. You’re the first person who has said that to me. Everyone else has been responding with ‘I’m sorry’.”
We can’t control what happens to us but we can control how we react to things. Saying congratulations to something ‘negative’ allows us to shift how we perceive events in our favor.
I’m a wholehearted believer that everything happens for me, not to me so when anything seemingly ‘bad’ happens to friends I also believe that it was for their best interest.
Of course every situation is different but if my friend and her partner separated there obviously had to have been a reason. If a couple couldn’t overcome their obstacles early on in their relationship isn’t that a good thing they parted ways before committing their entire lives to each other?
Women also need to shift how they talk about relationships amongst each other too.
I’ve been in and overheard too many conversations amongst women fretting over how to attract, keep and maintain romantic relationships as if it’s our life purpose to get married and have kids. There is so much more to our lives than getting married and having kids. If you feel that is your calling and true purpose in life, that’s great and I support you in that but I’m addressing the underlining, general dogma here that frames our social conversations.
Are men talking about relationships and dating the same way?
Most likely not.
Of course I’ve been in many dialogues quite the opposite too. But the point here is, stop pitying your fellow female friends if they’ve recently experienced a breakup or are single, that is not empowering.
Stop pitying your fellow female friends if they’ve recently experienced a breakup or are single, that is not empowering.
Flip the script! Wallowing alongside them through pity is neither empowering nor uplifting. Maybe eat a bucket of ice cream with them, listen, and be there for them but also remind them that everything is happening for them. Congratulate them for moving on to the next stage of their lives, to something and someone better.
The truth is, everything is an experience that culminates into what we call life. Experiences always, always, always make us better if we choose to believe they do. But if we are going to go through and experience whatever we are going to experience anyway, why not frame the narrative to empower us each step of the way?