Tired of trying to teach people how to treat you while you’re in the middle of a breakover? Take the stress out of communication about a break-up by printing and cutting this post into small sections, then passing it out:
Dear People Who Keep Asking Questions About My Breakup:
1) The question, “What happened?” is not an acceptable question. This makes me have to rehash this for the 1,543rd time and, you know, I’m kind of done talking about it. Let’s safely assume that what happened is that we broke up and that’s how I’ll reply. Repeating the question multiple times will result in me repeating this answer and then we’ll both be frustrated.
2) Asking if I’m okay is also kind of silly. Of course I’m not ok. Someone just broke my heart. The fact that I’m a functioning human being right now is a triumph of the human spirit so let’s celebrate that, shall we?
3) Don’t keep asking if I’ve heard from my ex. No good can come of this conversation. Your morbid curiosity only prolongs the issue so move along and it’s perceived as a weird, passive-aggressive tactic. If the answer is yes, you get to smugly hear how I’m grappling with a bad situation. If the answer is no, you get to smugly listen to how they’ve moved on without me. Who wins in
4) The acceptable and fantastic questions you can ask that would make my day are “Do you need anything?” or “You look great. Have you done something new with your look?” Ask me about work, my pet, my apartment or my collection of antique pencil sharpeners but keep it light and breezy, m’kay, Pumpkin? Thanks.
Dear Parent, Guardian or Person In Authority Who is Concerned With My Marital Status,
1) Putting pressure on me right now about dating, prospects and/or whether or not I’ll ever get married/procreate/find someone nice is really about the lowest thing you can do. If you want me to invite you to said celebration later and even eventually pay for your face lift in my wedding budget, I would stop asking these questions.
2) If pity comes with free vacations, movies, snacks, cocktails or spa treatments, feel free to lavish this on. Otherwise, I’ll ask for it. Thanks.
3) If I decide to get into shape or change my appearance for the better after this little heart-rending episode, don’t tell me I looked better before or put weird limits on my efforts to sabotage me (“You look best as a size 10.”) Go work that aggression out somewhere else. I have things I need to do over here.
4) Acceptable support, hugs and comments that go best with warm milk and cookies are things like, “Sweetie, we love you. Can we do anything to help?” and “You look great. Have you done something new?”
Dear Glam Squad Professional (a.k.a. hairdresser, makeup professional, aesthetician, nail technician),
1) My parents, co-workers, friends and landlord have already made me feel weird about my appearance since I might have missed an appointment so please don’t make me feel any more weird about this situation. Smile, tell me you’ve missed me and ask me what took me so long to get here. Offer me a beverage and let’s get to it.
2) I might be tempted to make a rash decision about my look. This note gives you carte blanche to completely ignore any ridiculous requests I might make. Cutting 9″ off my hair and getting a French Press-On pedicure might sound like hilarious fun but I’ll hate you later and then nobody wins.
3) If I am making an excellent decision about hair color or shape (enriching my hair color, a spectacular but gorgeous new haircut or facial that will make me look like I’ve taken a 10-year nap) then by all means, I will love you for it. Just give me explicit instructions on how to maintain this look or I’ll be further lost.
4) Encourage me to make future appointments before I leave and be completely supportive. Acceptable support, hugs and comments like, “Sweetie, we love you. Can we do anything to help?” and “You look great. Have you lost weight?” are completely acceptable and we’ll love you for them.