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Do You Still Need Closure?

Do you still need closure? Is there a relationship you still think about sometimes (/all the time)? That you just can’t seem to shake what happened. Even those relationships that felt like they ended with good reason can still leave you struggling to let go. In my Instagram polls this week, around 75% of you said that closure was important to you. But why? The phrase “need for closure” was created in the 1990s by Arie Kruglanksi. It referred to a framework for decision making that seeks answers on a given topic in order to alleviate confusion and ambiguity. Two things we as humans generally seek to avoid as they make us fairly uncomfortable. We’re looking for answers. We want to understand what happens. From a biological level it makes sense - we want to avoid those painful feelings being triggered again. When we are under stress, our need for closure increases. So when a break-up is feeling particularly raw, or we find ourselves in a sudden reminder or flashback, that need is going to increase. Your need for closure also depends on your personality type. One study found that those who prefer order and predictability struggle when they can’t find the answers they need. Their tolerance for ambiguity is low, so clarity and answers become even more important to them. I find that the hardest thing about my hardest break-up was letting go of the story I’d created around the relationship. I was convinced he was the one. I’d written it in my diary after we first kissed. We had been through a lot together, we had been best friends for years. It was that story that I had created that was the hardest thing to let go. I had to rewrite my story. Once I did, once I let go of that old story, I realised I had let go of him long before. On a call once, I pointed out that the wonderful woman who had just been dumped never once referred to missing the guy that had done the dumping. Instead she referred constantly to being single again and not knowing where her future lay. Again, another story to be rewritten. The thing about closure is that we think we need answers from the other person to move on. In fact, only we can create the answers that we need. By rewriting your own story about what happened and what your future holds, you will take yourself to the place you define as having had ‘closure’. Closure is different to everyone. So I ask you to define what does closure actually mean to you? How would you feel if you had closure? What would it enable you to move on and do? Then work backwards from there. Rewrite your story, and you future rewrites itself. If you do still feel the need to have a conversation with the other, get clear on the specific questions you want answers to. I encourage my clients to write them down and take them with you! Closure will nearly always come with time, but I encourage you not to waste your precious time and energy being consumed by it. I’m here to accelerate your timelines. Everywhere I take you, you might be able to end up yourself. But it will definitely take you a good while longer. Kat



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