What to do when you are tempted to call an ex: Stop, Drop and Roll!
My “Stop, Drop and Roll” technique is my tried and true, all-time favorite method for avoiding Relationship Groundhog Day (the insanity of doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result), which is what we do when we make impulsive, unconscious choices like calling an ex when we know better. Learning this skill is not only effective but, according to scientific studies, developing delayed gratification has been associated with success in all areas of life.
It works just like a fire drill!
Stop! True love DOES NOT have a shelf life, Real love will be here tomorrow, next week and next year! Your life is not a movie, and healthy relationships do not thrive on drama, low self-esteem, neediness, loneliness, fear, etc.
Drop: Drop the story you are telling yourself by thinking it all the way through. Ask yourself, “What do I really want? Why am I so desperate? What do I expect my ex to do for me on the other end of the phone?” Then sit down for a moment and listen to your answers. Don’t get up until you have the courage to tell yourself the whole truth. Most often we dial our ex because we are lonely, bored, need validation that we are lovable, are romanticizing the past, need a “fix,” or want to avoid feeling something that makes us uncomfortable. When we drop in, essentially we are learning the most profound relationship skill of all, self-inquiry.
And self-inquiry is key to avoiding self-destructive patterns, developing self-love and attracting a great partner! When we learn how to be with our discomfort (sit quietly and listen to our own real needs, let the pain, etc., come up and out) we learn we can give ourselves what we need. Or at least get clarity. If we don’t know what we feel, we don’t know what we need. Once we have developed this critical skill we can avoid dragging ourselves and our ex through another unconscious round of voluntary pain and suffering!
Roll: Once you have interrupted your impulse by stopping and dropping into what’s really going on, then you get to choose. Our ability to choose is what keeps us from repeating self-destructive patterns and separating us from what our hearts truly desire. When we have given ourselves the space to think through what we need, then and only then can we access these real choices—primarily because we are now internally focused. We remember that love isn’t “out there”; it is and always will be inside of us. From here, healthy choices and plans of action emerge. You will be surprised at all the choices you didn’t even know were an option in that place of reaction and desperation!
Lady walking down the street falls into a hole. Yeoooww. Eventually she figures out a way to climb out. Lady walking down the street forgets the hole is there and falls in again! Yeesh! This time she remembers how to get out and does so expeditiously. Lady walking down the street, sees the hole and…falls in anyway! Seriously? Next time lady takes a different street!
So next time you see or smell “relationship smoke” (especially when the smoke is emanating from inside your brain), Stop, Drop and Roll. It could save you lots of self-inflicted pain and suffering!