Our imaginations and mentality have a lot to answer for. When we consider a hypothetical situation and lack confidence in our ability to deal with it and we imagine the worst, we set ourselves up to fail before we’ve even started. Where I see many people shoot themselves in the foot is when they imagine coming face to face with their ex. They say stuff like, “I hope that if I see them again that I can be strong”. Or “I hope I’ll be able to resist them”. Or “I know that if they say XYZ or do ABC, I’m going to give it another shot/wind up with my underwear swinging from the chandeliers”.

What you don’t realise when you picture yourself being weak or ‘effing up’ before you’ve even effed up is that you’ve already given up, accepted defeat, and resigned yourself to the inevitable.

The funny thing is, with all the ruminating and mixing up your overactive imagination with horniness and then potentially throwing inverted ego issues into the mix, you’re not using any of that energy to come up with a plan A, B, or C. It’s as if only the worst or whatever you envision can happen, nothing else.

Much like when you blame yourself, getting hijacked by your imagination and removing your power means you’re being a perfectionist. Instead of “It’s all my fault or not at all”, you’re “It’s going to be how I imagine or no other possibility”.

There’s a lot to be said for imagining yourself as cool, calm, and confident when you contemplate the possibility of being in a particular situation.

If, in your imagination, you see yourself bumping into your ex and being scared shitless or being in bed ten minutes later or their character assassinating you, well, of course, you’re going to have a shaky mentality! They’re already overpowering you in your imagination so it’s only a hop, skip, and jump to do it in reality.

Instead of thinking the worst of yourself and ‘hoping’ you can survive the situation, imagine yourself cool, calm, and confident. Think about what you will do and say.

People who imagine themselves as hopeless end up powerless.

Thinking about what you will do is the beginning of being conscious and having self-control.

Don’t say, “I hope I’ll be strong”. Say, “I will be strong”.

What will you do when you’re in a particular situation? It’s time to start planning ahead positively.

If you know that you already don’t want to do or be something and that it would be a bad idea, or have even been down this road before with them, you know you’ll say no. This means you need to work out what you’ll say and do. People who imagine themselves as having their own power end up using it and planning ahead.

I can tell you right now that you’re not going to call Ghostbusters! You’re going to have to call on yourself.

You and only you can handle your situations. If you’re relying on the other party to Do The Right Thing, especially when that’s not exactly their forte, you’re handing over your power. You’re leaving your progress up to fate.

I made plans on days when my ex was most likely to make a move. I was also already keeping busy, not only to keep myself out of trouble but to help redefine my life on my terms. There was no way I was going to be someone who keeps sacking off their friends to accommodate the whims of some guy. This meant that I really meant it when I said I was busy…even if I’d made an agreement with myself that I was home alone having some downtime.

I find the ‘And…move…’ trick very useful.

If you see your ex at a social occasion or bump into them, respond politely (or even a little warmly( to their hello. Say ‘I’m great” when they ask how you are, and then say “I have to go / Have a nice evening (or whatever)”. Then move away before you can be drawn into a conversation. Treat it like being professional with a colleague…which they might even be. The key is to avoid looking like a wounded animal by practising smiling in front of the mirror. This way, you look composed instead of like The Joker in Batman!

Here’s what you don’t do: launch into the Big Discussion about why you broke up, or why you’re still hurt. Don’t tell your ex what you think they should have done to change.

I’d also avoid asking them if they’re single, etc. That just says I care WAAAAY too much about you.

Don’t start flirting or trying to act like you’re friends!

It’s amazing the sheer number of people that don’t recognise that you can be ‘friendly’ without having to be in a [pseudo] friendship.

If and when your ex calls, especially if you’ve gone No Contact and they do the sneaky sneaky and call from a blocked number, quickly regain your composure once you realise it’s them. Say “I can’t talk right now” or “I’m actually on the way out so let me give you a call another time…OK take care byeee” even though another time might be in 2047.

PLAN A – Polite, friendly, firm and off the phone within 0-5 minutes. Or if you don’t like them, go straight to PLAN C.

PLAN B – If they’re being rude or trying to draw you into something, polite, extra firm, and exit within 1 minute. Remember, it’s not important to have the last word or to find out what the hell they want.

PLAN C – If they’re not taking the hint or you just don’t like them, “Please stop calling me”…and hang up.

And let’s just cut right through the bullshit: I’m all for having a chat with a friend. Still, if they’re trying to get into your pants or busted your boundaries, or you still have feelings for them, then you’re not friends. This means you can be ‘friendly’ but you don’t need to hang around/stay on the phone for a great deal of time. It’s also okay to be unfriendly.

It’s also not a bad idea to practice saying the word NO out loud.

Most people imagine saying NO and then quake at the thought of the sky falling in but don’t actually say it out loud, even to themselves. You’ll notice when you do say it that the room doesn’t start shaking like there’s an earthquake!

Believe that you can handle a situation because when you think you can’t, you won’t handle it. And when you think you can and aren’t allowing anyone to steal your wind, never mind your power, you consider other options instead of thinking the inevitable is your only option.

Don’t talk yourself out of succeeding before you’ve made a truly concerted effort to get on the path of change.

Note: this does involve getting out of your uncomfortable comfort zone.

Yeah, it would be rather handy to experience these situations we fear and have the perfect foil for our ex. Maybe we zap our ex with our forcefields of power. Perhaps we have the Most Perfect Person in the Universe draped on our arms to scare them off. Or maybe, a 3rd party ‘thing’ occurs that helps us avoid conflict without us getting uncomfortable. Often, we’re privately hoping our ex will change so that if we don’t exercise any self-control, we’ll somehow be quids up without having to get uncomfortable. Not.Gonna.Happen.

Be cool, be calm, be confident and plan ahead, especially if you’ve been in this situation before. You have a good idea of what to expect, so have a plan of action instead of looking to be the exception. Make sure you’re not self-sabotaging. If you’re going to predict a situation for yourself where you have control over what you do, forecast success.

Your thoughts?

The new edition of Mr Unavailable & The Fallback Girl is now available to buy both in print and in digital formats plus check out my ebooks the No Contact Rule and and more in my bookshop.

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