Teenagers are in a fast-paced transition of growing up. No longer a child, but not quite an adult, my grandmother often called it the “Neither World”. And one of the parts of this world is, unfortunately, handling heartbreak.
Heartbreak can come in many forms, from the loss of a beloved pet, to the loss of a family member, or even the loss of a love or a dream. Any of these examples can be painful, and can lead to a troubled time for the teenager. Handling heartbreak is one of the hurdles that people have to learn in order to cope with grown-up life. The following points may be of some use in order to deal with the pain of heartbreak.
Dealing With the Pain of Heartbreak
Whatever has caused the heartbreak hurts….instead of hiding your feelings, acknowledge them. If it didn’t hurt, it wouldn’t be a heartbreak. The loss of something or someone important to you is going to hurt. Some people try to smooth over their hurt by burying it deep inside, or “stuffing” it. These people believe that if they don’t think about it, or don’t acknowledge the heartbreak, that the hurt will go away by itself. This route is often a mistake, and can lead to even more upset down the road. Stuffing emotions rarely works. It is usually better to let it out; even to be angry about the situation. By letting the emotions out, in a controlled fashion, they can dissipate over time, rather than build.
Another way of handling heartbreak is to become involved in other areas of your life that interest you. Community help, talking with friends, sports, or yes, even talking to a trusted adult such as a parent, can help you deal with your feelings, and possibly take your mind of the situation for a while.
Talking about the hurt is a great way of handling heartbreak. Realizing that oftentimes the hurt was beyond your ability to prevent helps as well. Illness, accidents, someone else’s change of heart or mind, is rarely preventable and unfortunately, part of life. Talking about it with friends, siblings, or a parents can often help the process of hurt and encourage healing.
Healing Heartbreak Takes Time
Realize that healing from heartbreak takes time. There are several steps taken in handling heartbreak and while there is no specific order, knowing these steps can help you process what you are feeling. Often, the first stage is denial. “Oh no…it isn’t (or didn’t) happen” is often a reaction to hurt. While it is an understandable reaction, care must be taken not to stay trapped in denial. Refusing to acknowledge the heartbreak will not help, and can often lead to more trouble later on.
Another stage in handling heartbreak is bargaining. “If you do (or don’t do this), then I’ll do (that)”. This kind of prayer is usually borne out of desperation and often does not work to alleviate the hurt. This often leads into the next stage, which is anger. Anger that the situation wasn’t fixed by bargaining; anger that the hurt even happened in the first place. Acknowledging the anger and not “stuffing” it oftentimes will help, as long as it is not done in a destructive manner. Lashing out, especially at family and friends, who often are only trying to help, usually makes matters worse. Being angry is normal and a human thing to do, but again be careful not to become trapped in this stage and become embittered.
The last stage, and often the hardest stage, of handling heartbreak is acceptance. Healing and moving on come with this stage, and even though the hurt may still be there, it isn’t “all consuming”, and can often be dealt with in a positive manner. Don’t be surprised to find that you bounce between stages for a while before acceptance kicks in. It’s natural, and there is no set time frame for dealing with the hurt. Everyone has different time tables, but if you feel as though you are still dealing with the hurt for an extended period of time, don’t be afraid to talk to someone about it.
Heartbreak is Part of Life
Handling heartbreak is rough, and no one enjoys going through it. But realizing that it happens, and that it is a normal part of life, will give you the ability to work through it in a positive manner when it does happen.
- Have you ever had to deal with Heartbreak?
- How did you manage it?
- Did you discuss your heartbreak with your parents?
- What did they advise regarding your heartbreak?