Last year, I lamented — as those who are in the midst of unrequited love are wont to do — to some friends in a group chat.
It was one of those situations where I was sick of hearing myself (or reading myself, as it were) talking about this unrequited love, so I knew my friends had to be sick of me talking about it as well. It was to the point where I even curtailed myself talking about this person with my therapist for fear that she was sick of the subject even though I pay her to listen to my problems.
“Sorry to bring this up again, but…” became a running refrain over iMessage and in real life.
My friends, being the angels that they are, did not complain about my “circling back” to this issue or trying to suss out reasons why this relationship imploded. At the same time, they did not really know how to help me.
Until one day, a then-coworker of mine made a suggestion I would never forget.
“Dude,” she said over text, “Just write out a list of all the ways they suck. It really helps.”
It was so simple, and yet it had never crossed my mind before. I propose this as something to add to your “toolbelt of getting over someone who doesn’t deserve your grief,” along with blocking on social media and distracting yourself with movies or TV.
Writing down a list of someone’s flaws may sound . And that’s because it is — but when heartbroken, a simple exercise that enables one’s pettiness without actually reaching out to the person who deserves said pettiness is a win. When I want to text someone about how much they suck, about how they hurt me — me! A wonderfully unique, hot, gainfully employed person — do I actually text them?
Writing down a list of your ex’s flaws is another iteration of that. You are releasing your rage into a flurry of bullet points, all about how actually this person’s breath smells and they don’t change their sheets often enough and they have terrible taste in music. By writing it down you are not bottling up your emotions, but at the same time you’re not involving the other person. You still care about this person, but the key is you’re not letting them know.
There’s evidence that . Just the act of getting your feelings out of your head helps — it’s one reason why talk therapy is so helpful for many. They become tangible, more real. Furthermore, commits what you’re writing to memory more so than typing. While the Notes app is my go-to for lists — to-do lists, grocery lists — a “flaws list” is fun to actually write in a journal. Or both! Go nuts!
What’s more, there’s nothing wrong with performing . It’s petty. It’s silly, and probably won’t “cure” you of your affliction overnight. But if nothing else, it’s a step in the right direction: of realizing this person is not deserving of your love. So get your favorite pen and your Muji notebook and get writing.