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Getting dumped usually begins after one utters "it's not you, it's me" or "i have too many other obligations" or "i slept with your best friend, and he/she's better than you"...this part varies and depends on the situation and the person dumping you. And we all know that this part is a horrible and cruel event that initiates the changing of some of the best people in the world into annoying, irrational monsters. And the only people that hurt more than this "dump-ee" are the loyal friends that must listen to this person sulk, whine, and eventual drown in their own sorrow. I am the first to admit that sometimes I am a horrible friend...so it's no surprise that the last time I was forced to help a friend after she was dumped, I kept myself amused by ignoring the continous crying and, instead, analyzing the different processes she went through to cope with her situation. From this, I couldn't help but notice that the stages of my friend's break up had an uncanny resemblance to The 5 Stages of Death.

Let me explain...using my (unnamed) friend as an example:
The 5 Stages of Death as taught in school are...

1) DENIAL
2) ANGER
3) BARGAINING
4) DEPRESSION
5) ACCEPTANCE

The 5 stages of Getting Dumped doesn't necessarily follow the same sequence as The 5 Stages of Death, but for the sake of simplicity, I will explain them in this order anyway.

1) DENIAL

Things that the dumpee might say while in this stage:
"Nah, he/she was just having a bad day and didn't mean it, he/she will call me later to apologize"
"You don't know him/her like I do, there must be a reason for this"

Description:
This stage usually follows right after one has been dumped, and is so shocked by this event that they go into a state of complete delusion. It is also the time when one tragically turns into a "dumpee". At this stage, a person will justify why his/her partner just dumped them, usually coming up with the conclusion that their partner was deranged or "out of sync" on this particular day, and didn't mean a word he/she said. Usually the truth is that the "dumper" had wanted to dump them all along, but never could find the courage or the right time to do so. Still, the dumpee will battle against all logic and rationality, and come up with the idea that he/she knows the dumper more than the dumper knows him/herself, and conclude that the dumper will later realize what a big mistake he/she has made and thus ask...nay, BEG, for the dumpee back.

Best Friend's Solution:
Inform the dumpee that they must still assess the situation logically. The dumper most likely dumped the dumpee for a reason that they are fully aware about. Denying the current situation in support of the dumpee will only make the next stage much more intense than it has to be.

2) ANGER

Things that the dumpee might say while in this stage:
"I can't believe I ever loved that bitch/bastard!"
"I hope he/she dies in a car crash"
"I'm going to pop his/her car tires"
"He/She's not going to away with this..."
"Where can I get some dynamite?"

Description:
This is the stage where the dumpee finally begins to feel some self-worth, and thus displaces his/her emotions against her ex through the form of unstoppable anger. Sometimes the anger is irrational, sometimes it is psychotic, and many times it is dangerous for anyone in visible sight. However, this stage can vary from anger expressed through words (which is the safest) or it can lead to hexes and/or *gasp* serious violence. Beware of the dumpee in the Anger stage, he/she will say things or do things they don't mean, and if you have the guts to stand up to an Anger-level dumpee, may God be with you.

Best Friend's Solution:
Sacrifice. Stick it through and let your dumpee friend possibly tear you to shreds, because you know they don't mean. Tag along with their "revenge expeditions" but prevent them from doing anything that's considered over-the-line (your discretion, but you should probably stop them before they burn the ex's apartment down). Lastly, be prepared to feel angry too while dealing with a friend in this stage...because their anger may be very contagious...or because they may be purposely jabbing you with verbal low-blows...they enjoy it when someone feels just as shitty as they do.

3) BARGAINING

Things that the dumpee might say while in this stage:
"Maybe he/she will take me back if I just give him/her what he/she wants"
(to the dumper) "I'll do anything, just give me a another chance!"
(to the dumper) "You don't understand, I've changed!"

Description:
I like to also call this the Pathetic Stage. This stage, to me, is the worst because witnessing people so clouded by their own desperation is repulsive and depressing. The Denial Stage is one thing, but at least the dumpee's in that stage don't feign an epiphany in order to get their ex's back. This stage is all about believing you can morph into an exact replica of what your ex wants - which is not possible. You are who you are, and any change you make to suit your partner will be forced, and like a stretched elastic, you will only be most comfortable when you're not being pulled to be different. I admit people can change, but it won't happen while they're in this desperate stage. The irrational logic people possess at this stage compare to that of a baby's, and what's worse is that it usually includes lots of pathetic begging.

Best Friend's Solution:
Instill similar logic to that of what was explained for the Denial Stage. The dumpee is still in a state of denial, only it's worse because they will be actively pursuing a confrontation with the ex and their plan is to mirror that love story movie they watched last week. This is a confrontation you must stop. How? well, first you ask the dumpee whether or not they mean what they're going to say to their ex...like, will they really change? Will they do all the things they promise? Inform them that they must be honest with themselves in order to ensure they're not just being driven by desperate emotions. Secondly, ask them whether or not they even really want to change. Like, say they actually believe that they have the ability to change, do they even want to? Maybe there's someone out there that likes them for who they are already, and changing really isn't necessary. Lastly, remind them how difficult it was to be in the relationship, with all the unrealistic expectations. Do they really want to change just to be in all that again?

4) DEPRESSION

Things that the dumpee might say while in this stage:
"Well, that's it. That was the one and I messed it up."
"I can't sleep, I can't do work, I can't enjoy life. What am I supposed to do now?"
"If only I was just better with _________"
"I miss the way he/she smells"
"I'm lonely"
*Sigh*
*Sob*

Description:
Much like the Anger Stage, the dumpee's depression in this stage is contagious. Be wary of the self-accusations the dumpee utters, you may see some of the faults in yourself. A good chunk of this stage is spent sitting in a couch or lying in bed with unshaved faces (guys) or unshaved legs (girls) and dozens of take-out food containers scattered throughout the room. Girls enjoy engrossing themselves in romantic comedy movies and tubs of Haagen Daz ice cream in this stage, while guys like to play video games until their eyes bleed, while eating a whole lot of pizza and beer. Either way, it's not a pretty sight. However, of course, there are exceptions. Some guys and girls deal with a dumping as healthily as they can. They get up depressed, but they prop up quickly with a purpose, and they hide the fact that they're upset and go about their daily lives as if it's any other day. But no matter how much they feign their happiness, there is always that one moment when everything around them seems to stop, and a jolt of depression hits them like a shot to the heart, and the rest of the day is ruined. It's important for dumpees in this stage to keep active and stay away from routines that will keep them prisoner for extensive periods of time.

Best Friend's Solution:
Be around the dumpee as much as possible. Be light-hearted, but not too light-hearted as to piss them off with your happiness and jokes. Ensure they do not fall into couch-mode. Ensure that they are active. Always listen to their depressing phone calls and be there for them. Always remind them that it will get better with time, no matter how much they respond "I know, I know". Make them laugh. Give them your point of view on the matter while being honest and caring. This is a sensitive stage because they are vulnerable and much more open to your opinions than the previous stages. Push too hard and you may push them to another stage - possibly Anger or Bargaining, where it is much tougher for you to get through to them.

5) ACCEPTANCE

Things that the dumpee might say while in this stage:
"I'm feeling better now. I'm doing okay"
"I'm actually glad that he/she is out of my life"
"Whatever, forget him/her."

Description:
This is the final stage of a dumpee's tenure. The stage in which the dumpee graduates from dumpee college and transforms back into a regular being in society. No more "what if's", no more "I hate's", and no more creating ass grooves on the couch. All that's left is the awful, painful, and liberating truth. The dumpee has accepted what has happened, and is finally able to move on...however, he/she is not yet necessarily ready for another relationship, but he/she is well on his/her way. A lot of thanking of friends occurs in this stage, as well as a minor epiphany in which they look back and shake their head at how silly their actions were in the previous four stages. If there was another relationship started from before this stage, (most likely a "rebound guy/girl" that derived from the Anger Stage) the relationship with this rebound guy/girl ends at this stage when it is realized that the feelings for this person were not really true feelings (this part depends on the individual though, of course). All is lost and all is gained in this stage, as the graduated dumpee finally can start with a new slate.

Best Friend's Solution:
No solution needed. Just congratulate your friend on getting through it. Maybe throw in a few "I told you so's" for good measure.

Originally from my blog
Comments

Alamir

Alamir

2008-10-20 13:04:20

M y friend liked your article so much she made it her Facebook status.
REPLIES: Mtsang

Mtsang

Mtsang

2008-10-20 23:04:18

Replying to Alamir:
Haha, I'm honoured.



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