Break-Ups Don’t Have to Leave You Broken | Gary Lewandowski | TEDxNavesink

Break-Ups Don’t Have to Leave You Broken | Gary Lewandowski | TEDxNavesink

Translator: Ailie McCorkindale “So, we need to talk.” Hearing those four simple words
from your relationship partner never feels good. Your heart sinks, palpitates, your stomach flutters,
your palms get sweaty because it’s never, “We need to talk
about what a great relationship we have, how we’re best friends and how we’ll spend
the rest of our lives together.” It’s never that. It’s always, “We need to talk
about the beginning of the end.” And whether your relationship
is awful, good or great, we don’t like endings,
we don’t like to lose things, and especially, we don’t like
to lose things that are important to us. And make no mistake, relationships are the single
most important thing to you in your life. It’s the source
of all of your best memories. It’s the source
of all of your worst memories. When you think back on your life,
when you’re 95, 100 years old, and you look back
over the course of your lifetime, you’re not going to think,
“I wish I owned a better phone. I wish I spent more time on the Internet. I wish I spent more time
at work or sleeping.” It’s not going to be any
of those kinds of things. It’s going to be, “I wish I spent
more time with the people I love” because our relationships, they build us,
they define us, they sustain us, and they can break us too. And we know relationship break-up
can be tough, right? The research is pretty clear: loneliness, depression,
increased crime, increased drug use. Some of my own research shows that break-ups lead you
to experience a loss of self, so when you lose a relationship, part of who you are
as a person goes with it because relationships are important. And it’s bad, don’t get
me wrong, it can be bad, but it’s often not as bad as we think. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon
and Northwestern asked people who are currently
in happy relationships to look out into the future,
to make a prediction, and they said, you know,
“If your relationship were to end, how bad would you feel about it?” And then, those researchers do
what researchers do is they waited. And they waited for those people,
those happy, happy relationships, they waited for those people to break up. (Laughter) Because only then could they actually see
how bad was it, right? They waited for them to break up and said,
“So, how bad is it now that you broke up?” (Laughter) And they compared
what the predictions were to their actual break-up experience, and what they found was people were wrong. They were wrong. Their break-up simply wasn’t as awful
and devastating as they thought. So, I’m curious, by a show of hands, How many people here have experienced
a break-up or divorce? Show your hands. Please keep your hands up
if you survived that experience. (Laughter) Perfect, good. I’m glad you’re here. Now, please keep your hand up still
if you learned something about yourself or about having better relationships
by going through a break-up or divorce. Right? Perfect, right. It’s what Ralph Waldo Emerson said: “Our greatest glory
is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail.” No one emerges from
their dating life unscathed. Break-ups happen; relationships fail. And when they fail, it hurts
because you start a happy, vibrant person, very much in love –
things are going perfectly. You break up, and you’re alone. You’re sad. You’re disappointed. Things hurt; you’re heartbroken. You’re confused. This is not good. We’ve all been there. It’s awful. We’ve been there. No one likes being there. But life, thankfully,
happens on a continuum. There’s good things and bad things. It goes the other way too. Sometimes your relationship
really isn’t perfect. It could be improved. So, sometimes breaking up
in a relationship that’s not that great is like being paroled. (Laughter) Right, you’re free now,
you don’t have this other person to weigh you down
with negativity, nagging, asking you to change
how you look or how you act. Sometimes, it’s a pretty good experience. This experience, getting out
of that relationship, restores your heart. You’re back to be the person
that you know you can be. Some break-ups I would argue
are worthy of celebration. (Laughter) I don’t know if you’ve had
these kinds of break-ups, but I have, and they’re glorious. It’s really fantastic. But I acknowledge that we’re talking
about a break-up, which is typically sad, and it sounds a little counterintuitive
to say it can be such a good experience, but I know, I’ve had it. But it’s also entirely possible
that I’m weird. I mean, look at my stick figures. Right? So, it’s possible that I’m weird. So, the scientist in me said,
you know, “Let’s go out and look. Let’s go see if people when they break up, does anybody else or just me,
feel happy about it sometimes, or is it true of other people too?” So, I use the science,
my training and research to see if break-ups could be
a good thing for other people. So, as all good research does,
mine started with a very simple question: Overall, how does your break-up
influence who you are? How did it impact you? And what I did, I didn’t just ask anybody. I asked people who were likely
to be especially sad, people who had recently broken up
in the last three months, broken up a long-term relationship. They’d been in this relationship
for a couple of years, and they hadn’t found
a new relationship partner yet, so if anybody was going to be sad
about their break-up experience, it was this group. And what I found was some people were sad. They characterized
their break-up as negative, but it was one out of three people,
which sounds like a lot, maybe you didn’t expect it, but it means that two out of three people
didn’t consider it negative. In fact, one out of four
said it was neutral, a little bit of both. As many emotional experiences are,
it’s a little bit of both. Forty-one percent, most people,
characterized their break-up as positive, and remember, this was supposed
to be an especially sad group, right? So, 41% are saying, “You know what? That experience, overall – I’m not saying it had zero negatives,
I’m saying overall – it was a positive experience. So, what research is about is why. Why are those people feeling that way? And in relationships, there’s a lot of things that factor in
to what makes a relationship good. One of the things I focus on
in my research is the self because who you are as a person
touches every aspect of your life, including your relationships. In particular, I focus on self-expansion. This is the experience of a relationship
that helps build who you are as a person, it helps you grow,
it helps add to your sense of self. Being in this relationship
makes you a better person. These are the good ones;
these are the ones you want. But it’s a continuum, right;
it goes the other way too. Sometimes your relationship
is impoverished, it lacks self-expansion, your partner’s not building you up,
they’re holding you back, in fact. These ones are stagnant, stale, those relationships
like when you are stuck in a rut. Your partner’s not helping you grow. If anything, they’re preventing you
from being the person that you can be. And so, I thought if you get out of one
of those impoverished relationships, it’s literally going
to be addition by subtraction. This relationship is holding you back. By getting out of this,
I’m going to now thrive as an individual. This is exactly what we found
in people in break-up. People who got out of a low
self-expanding, impoverished relationship reported a full range
of positive emotions. They’re relieved, calm, energized,
confident, strong, happy. They’re doing wonderfully, right? It’s like their world opened up. Things are getting clearer for them,
they’re experiencing less loss of self, they’re experiencing more personal growth. And importantly, they’re experiencing more
of what I’d call rediscovery of the self, which is recapturing those things
that you may have sacrificed or diminished while you were in a relationship. So, these people are doing better
because they got out of a relationship. So, when your relationship
doesn’t help you become a better person, ending it does, which is important to realize because
it’s, again, a little counterintuitive. What if you’re not inherently strong? What if you don’t have the luxury of getting out of such
an impoverished relationship? So, I wanted to take those findings
and think, How can I help people who have experienced a break-up
or divorce accelerate their coping? How can I help them get better? Looking back at the previous study, I looked at rediscovery of yourself,
and that looked really good. So, I’m going to focus on that,
take people who have recently broken up, bring them into my lab and randomly assign them
one of two groups. Out in the world, they’ll do
activities for two weeks: either rediscovery-of-self activities
or routine activities. The rediscovery-of-the-self things are things their previous relationship
prevented them from doing. So, if you like going to the beach
and your partner didn’t, going to the beach now
is a rediscovery-of-self activity. Routine activities are those things
that you already like doing: hanging out with friends,
going to the gym or the movies, whatever it happens to be. Now, importantly,
both of these should help. Rediscovery because it helps you regain
some aspects of yourself that you lost. Routine because it helps prevent you
from sitting at home alone, eating pints of ice cream
and binge-watching television. It’s forcing you to sort of go out
in the world and get better. And as I expected,
the rediscovery-of-the-selves, those people, it was like
the dawn of a new day. They had less loss of self,
less negative emotions, less loneliness, things like that, also an increase of positive emotions,
the same ones you saw before, and also increased overall well-being,
purpose in life and self-acceptance. They were doing much, much better simply because of the types of activities
that they chose to do over two weeks. Refocusing on yourself and rediscovering
who you are accelerates coping, right? So, that’s very helpful. This is all part of a broader message: Relationships are important. Time is short. Mistakes are costly. Relationships should be
the best part of your life. Hopefully, you have found one
that builds you and sustains you. Hopefully, you have that, but if you don’t,
you have to ask yourself, What is one hour, one day,
one week, one month, one lifetime of your happiness worth? Because great relationships seldom fail. Bad ones do, as they should, and when they do,
when those relationships fail, they end because
the relationships are broken, but it doesn’t mean
you have to be broken forever. In fact, the Japanese have a word,
have an art form, Kintsugi, which is this art form where you take
broken pottery and repair it, using precious metals like gold,
platinum and silver. And you use that to make
the pot more beautiful. And it’s beautiful; it’s stunning, really. It’s not just an art form,
it’s also a philosophy which treats damage
and its repair as an opportunity, something to take advantage of,
not to conceal, right? This is exactly what can happen
in your relationship. Sure, your relationship
might leave you with a few cracks, but those cracks and those imperfections,
those are sources of strength and beauty because break-ups
don’t have to leave you broken because you’re stronger than you know. Thank you. (Applause)

100 thoughts on “Break-Ups Don’t Have to Leave You Broken | Gary Lewandowski | TEDxNavesink

  1. I think most people end up here are heartbroken. But hey, what happened already happened, and one thing we know for sure is that overthink won’t do any good. I know is hard, is hard for everybody. But life goes on, this is not the end of the world. I hope you all feel better. Love yourself.

  2. I never really believed in love spells but I was losing my girlfriend cos we argued a lot, i needed help and somewhere to turn badly. I then witnessed a breathtaking spell work on my fiancee that brought her back into my arms via this email address:- DRPHILIPSPELLTEMPLE @YAHOO. COM we were apart 11 weeks though lol It worked like magic so I just thought i should share.

  3. When you realize that you’re the person holding back the other one in the past relationship<

    This may have had a negative impact on me…

  4. When going through depression due to relationship break up, it seems your happiness have been quenched. i have also lost my boyfriend to another girl but he came back begging. i search for help online when i found a spell caster that cast a reuniting love spell to reunite us together. lovespellsolutiontemple.wordpress. c o m
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  5. It's all fun and games but break ups just leads you to be more careful next time, specially hard break ups.. Doesn't matter what the experts say. Feelings don't measure. Every person is 100% of the experience. You can't put everyone in the same bag like we are the same as everyone.

  6. He broke up with me two days ago. And I wonder why it had to happen. The problem was, he boosted my confidence. He said that I was beautiful just the way I was. I thought he saved me from drowning into an endless pool of self doubt and insecurity. He was my first boyfriend. And I found a love like that after waiting for 22 years.
    The six months of being a part of the most beautiful phase of my life till now ended when he told me he was still in love with his ex. And because it was an LDR, which initially strengthened our love, given how many sacrifices we made for each other, turned for him a weakness. An excuse that added to his other main reason.
    For the first time in my life, I was not single. For the first time in my life, I believed that I could be loved like this too.
    It was in 2 days that he decided to break what we had.

  7. I understand that I get tunnel vision and only focus on the negative side of my life when my heart is broken , yet I still suffer anyways and think that death is the only way out

  8. This is the most ridiculous talk I've ever wasted my time listening to. Breakups are life changing, dreadful and you lose part of yourself.

  9. Having experienced heartbreak at a very severe level, I can relate to anyone who is also experiencing the same. Recently created a 3 minute video sharing the mental shift that has brought me clarity and peace. @PTIk

  10. If you're missing someone, would love for you guys to check out my latest song 'One More Night' – hope it helps x

  11. It took me a little longer to learn and love that about myself. "Michelle Rodriguez on Fast and the Furious" The words "She's so hot, I love her." Everybody was like umm What..? Lol. I even lost people because of their ignorance, but I stayed true to me and it's worth it. Thank You for helping a lot of us with this. You're amazing Love ♥️Tauney

  12. March 2 2019. On our 6 months. we broke up. It’s been so hard since then. I’ve been drinking. Getting into fights. Verges of suicide running in my mind. She’s having the time of her life.. She doesn’t care for me anymore. “Well for One, her heart, belongs to another. And no other heart will do” – Mac DeMarco.

  13. It really broke my heart when my ex boyfriend dumped me, nonetheless i got results in 2weeks & was able to get back together after i ordered a love spell. In case anyone is wondering here is the email address that i had reach.. "[email protected] COM" it started with phone calls then he came home like nothing happened.

  14. This talk only applies to those who were unhappy in a relationship and ended them. It doesn't apply to those who loved the other person and was dumped.

  15. Well, how many of those 41% who considered it positive who thrive on breakups were narcissists NPD or BPD's? Also as a previous poster said this talk apples to those who were unhappy in a relationship and ended them, as well. The person who gets dumped does not feel that way for sure.. So the data is not fully explained and is terribly misleading.

  16. Gary was my moms best friend in highschool and college. They always liked each other at different times so it never worked out. So proud of him for a million views.

  17. I meant a friend who directed me to spell caster called Dr Ben online who help people to solve their relationship and marriage problems. I was really skeptical before i wrote to him and he told me not to worry about anything, that i should give him a day for him to cast a spell for me and after 2 days i was really surprised my ex called me and started begging for me to take her back . That is how my ex came back to me and she no longer think of other people, but me and me alone and am happy my money was not wasted.
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  18. I’m sorry I am broken I feel worthless my friendship ended to my best friend of. 13 years she was also the little sister I never had we where neighbors we went to church together we were both from New York we lived in sc we had soo much in common neither of us had any relatives in sc all our people lived in New York we did everything together shopping we went to the gym trips sang in the choir together I’m not gonna forget I’m not going to get better my heart is broke in a million pieces I’m depressed even suicidal going to counseling but it does not help it doesn’t erase memories that I remember everywhere I go when my best friends dog died he was16years old I went over her house held her and cried with her and then took her shopping that’s what friends do
    I work 3rd shift her car broke I stayed up every morning and took her to work and picked her up I never asked for anything in return no money because that’s what real friends do I can’t believe she’s gone from me it’s a complicated situation she just didn’t want to be bothered with me after she met a guy on Facebook so I just walked away I had to quit our church to painful to be there knowing she did not act the same I did not change I was still the same person I would take her back in a minute I miss her every day I’m soo sad depressed tired hopeless I feel empty lost suicidal I don’t really want to go on some days I’ve come close the best part of me is gone I don’t know how to live I’m just faking a smile everyday while inside I’m dying I can’t believe she abandoned me like I didn’t even matter I have not heard from her in ❤️7months dont know what to do my whole world has been pulled out from under my feet my husband is older and he has had cancer and he is a severe diabetic so I keep everything inside I can’t make him worry but I really don’t know how much longer I can go in like this dinged greuvung

  19. Great talk…but I do agree with you when you say "maybe I'm weird"…you know why? Your stick figures have three legs!! lol 🙂

  20. The key to never being heart broken is to not get into relationships. They dont last and aren't permanent. When they end everyone has to "rediscover" them selves and be happy alone. Then that happens and the cycle repeats. Get into a relationship, it fails and you're back to square one. The secret- stay single! Relationships are a waste of time and energy.

  21. How do you let go of the best you had because you were so damaged from life even before you met them. When you realize there pain it’s to late because they’re done no matter what you do. How do i stop the incessant pain , regrets and thoughts of all of it that haunt me 24-7

  22. How he wants to be friends but you can’t emotionally do it, NOT even able to have him involved to raise my daughter who he raised as his own, cuz the pain of even hearing his name is soul crushing. I know it’s selfish but I’m NOT strong enough.

  23. I'd say the 41% who thought it was positive were the ones initiating the breakup. Losing your relationship of 16 years, job, adopted country and life of 25 years is just f*cked up, however you look at it. Sure starting from nothing is an opportunity but one I would gladly leave to someone else given the choice – which, of course, I was not.

  24. My gf just broke up with me. We were together since freshman year of highschool. 6 years together. I’m not sure what to do anymore. I just try to keep my head up and look for the future. I know I can move on but this is hard. Hardest thing I have ever done in my life.

  25. Thank you for putting my head back on straight. It ended because it was toxic. I am free now to return to life. Anyone in Austin Texas want to go to a museum with me?

  26. I loved this girl every single day for almost 3 years. I dare say the love I feel for her now is the same as the love that sparked in me nearly 3 years ago. Sadly 4 days ago she left me. Said she's just not good enough and doesn't have commitment thus she didn't want to hurt me. That was the second BU btw. I felt devastated when she told me the message while I was at work. I was sad, and I still am. However I refuse to dwell in the dark and the sadness… I will get up and work harder so I can be better. A lot of people depend on me and because someone who supported me isn't beside me anymore, I just gotta work twice as hard.

    I'll update in 1 year from now. Wish y'all the best!

  27. My girl left me… and I turned into a complete and utter monster. That relationship ending ruined my life. And the funny thing is, she has absolutely no idea what happened to me, nor does she care. Talk about power 😞

  28. I hope my gf gets dumped for no reason out of no where like she did to me . She's almost in her 30s and I hope that she gets dumped and has to settle for someone like all social climbing/money grubbing whores do .

  29. The way you love someone does not determine the way that person is going to love you back. Which sucks a lot and I’m learning that the hard way watching break up ted talks crying.

  30. Ya right, ‘I just broke up after 10 years & I feel GREAT! …now I can work out & do things I like to do..’. Is this guy for real? The only thing I’VE seen in the people I’VE known, & agree with is the sitting alone, feeling horrible & eating the ice cream!! NOBODY (at least no WOMAN) leaves a relationship feeling like a weight is lifted & now they can become who they really are. What you are talking about is the MALE perspective…. 🙄

  31. I recently won $10,000 on a scratch off ticket in the NC. Powerball Lottery. My last spell results predicted that I would have a substantial windfall unexpected that would help me with my finances. On July 9, 2018, that is what happened. I am a big fan of your Love solution spell temple and have ordered many over the years. I will be ordering another spell soon! Thanks sango priestess of Love solution spell temple IS THE GREATEST. for your help visit ( also ([email protected])

  32. My ex and I enjoyed almost all the same interests and hobbies….so there're no "rediscovery of self" going on here in my post breakup life.

  33. Are relationship was good she just was too depressed to stay in it hopefully one day we reconnect I would love to experience life with her

  34. My boyfriend who has been wanting to date me for a while just broke up with me for absolutely no reason I need some support cause I did like him,, I think he found another girl at the skate park yesterday night

  35. Total nonsense ….. don't try to build those relationships back ….. don't try to fix broke pots…… re-build them with totally new material

  36. Its 3/9/2019 , me and my long distance boyfriend broke up , its my first night post break up , and i feel very numb , I’ll come back here when i am making progress, pray for me

  37. Dosen't exit a true Love/ like Romeo and Juliet we are made to procreate and die .I believe in Friendship ( there is Quality)

  38. It's been a month of my very first break up….everyday seems worse..the pain deepens and I feel like I'm going crazy….I wish I had someone to talk to about it…I hate this feeling 😭😭

  39. I try going out to get my mind off of it but afterwards i feel so lonely or i end up getting emotional in public so i stay alone

  40. I'm here and yet I havent been broken up with…yet
    Although I know the next time I see him he's going to dump me as soon as possible… what a damn story this whole thing is

  41. i think it matters who is doing the breaking up…. and why it happened.

    everyones experience is different and lets not just limit it to romantic relationships. when other relationships fail, friendships, family… can be just as hard or worse. A friend and i recently had a falling out…he doesnt want to be friends anymore, all my attempts to reconcile have gone ignored. he simply wants nothing to do with me anymore. no i didnt sleep with his girl or steal from him…it was more about what he could and could not handle. Im an anxious person…and i have trouble believing people or i doubt them….i doubted him one too many times….doubts that were unfounded and based on irrationality….doubts that led me to make mountains out of mole-hills, as the saying goes. it just happened one too many times for him and he let me go. that was a month ago, and it still feels like it happened yesterday. i cant properly move on from it because i see him every day at work…how do you move on from someone you have to see? my whole persona has changed, i no longer joke around with people, i barely speak at work (only when necessary). When i see him i feel like i want to pull him aside and get my friend back….but it wont happen that way, and i know, deep down…we wont be friends again, no matter how many times i apologize, and it hurts….all i wanna do at work is work and get out….as soon as i see him i get sad at how things ended, its a constant reminder.

    break ups dont just happen between boyfriends and girlfriends….they can happen between friends too and all other relationships too, and sometimes….they are worse than the romantic ones.

  42. Me: Just broke up with my girlfriend of 1.5 years, feeling really sad and down. How to help myself feel better?

    Watches TED Talks

  43. I feel stuck. It's almost been 5 months since my split. Its crazy how one person can make you feel so screwed over. I learned some things, but in the end, I am a lot worse than I thought I would be. I want to be better. I cut all of my hair off because I needed some way to deal with the pain and I feel like I was completely ripped of my femininity. I liked my hair before. I felt like I was stripping away my personality and trying to become this new person, someone they wouldn't like but also catch the attention of. Why aren't they as miserable as I am? Did they really not care about me as much as I thought?. I can see that in hindsight, this won't matter–that I won't have to deal with this. But right now, it's pretty life consuming.

  44. And what if the only value you put into yourself was into that person who in the end didn’t even care and just used you as a stepping stool? As a tool to use until something better came along? It’s not as simple as just saying “It’ll make me a better person.”

  45. Well thankgod that there are 1.4 million others going through this thing…Lets do this …Move on ,re make your selves

  46. I am a Bangladeshi and she is a kashmiri, we started our relationship 5 years ago when she came to my country for her studies. And in the beginning we knew its gonna be very hard for her parents to agree to our marriage, but as time passed by we both agreed to the fact that we would fight till the last moment and she would convince her parents cause at the end of the day , they are parents and they love her. But last week , after 5 years , now she told me she thinks her parents will go mad if she tells them about our relationship, so she won't even talk to her parents and wont even let me talk to her parents ! She is telling me she still loves me but this is the end ! I was dumbfounded cause from the beginning we knew it would be a hard fight but whats tearing me apart is that after 5 years of togetherness she wasn't even ready to talk to her parents for me ! And its not like we had an average relationship ! we had like the dreamy fairy tale kinda relationship where everything went smooth for the whole time , till the day she told me we are done ! So idk how do you feel positive about yourself after this when she doesnt even wanna talk to her parents after 5 years !!!

  47. Got separated 6 months ago. It's been so horrible that I'm a few days from homelessness after 5 consecutive years of marriage where I earned a six figure income. I've lost everything including myself. If you're in love with a partner that leaves you and makes it clear they have not loved you for a long time, I do not know how one could recover from it. I won't.

  48. My ex and I recently had a break up 2 nights ago. It was a long distance relationship. Been together for 8 months. But im still so much in love with her. I know both of us woke up the morning when the break up took place not expecting a break up to happen. And just through stress that has been going on for both of us as of late. Especially me, the emotions got the better of me and I was the the fault of my own downfall and the relationship. I right away after realized the wrong I did and recognize I was in the wrong, and I regret it so much. I was obliviously hurting the one of love with words that I did not mean to say. I did not mean to hurt her. and in turn, i ended up having her run from the relationship. I really want her back, thats what is cemented in my head atm. But i dont know if she will we give the chance to prove to her that i can change, and that im already actively working on bettering my self to fix the problems I struggles with. Mostly insecurities and Jelousy, and being to clingy and ending up not giving her enough space. I know forgiveness is hard to be given, but i want to prove through action that I learned from this, and hopefuly When we talk things through later after we let ourselves heal. That my ex will understand, and give me the shot to try again. and If not i will respect her decision, with an understanding of why. And will haft to finally let go. I dont know if anyone will read this, but if u have. any advice or words of comfort would really help. thank you

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