Why do we hate to say goodbye?

June 23, 2013

Everybody manages departures differently. Some linger and say goodbye a few times before leaving, while others are abrupt and prefer to leave without saying goodbye.

These are our default tendencies, which we use to avoid dealing with saying goodbye. This action is so difficult because separation reminds us that we really need each other.

We are not above anything social and we cannot endure in this world on our own. We need the others to exist. We depend on each other. Without contact we disappear, and some of us need it more than others.

Every goodbye is a taste of this need, of this fear. But every ending is also an opportunity to learn about our path and ourselves.

So learning to say goodbye will facilitate our life and help us not act by default but with consciousness. So from small to big goodbyes, from breaking up a relationship to saying goodbye on a phone conversation, learning to say goodbye is difficult, but liberating.

Here are some tips on how to get better at it: Review: How do you deal with goodbyes?

Do you linger or run? Ask yourself what do you need to feel the closure. Is there a ritual, a handshake, a word that might help you close? Acknowledge your feelings: It is difficult to say goodbye.

Validate these feelings and know that having mixed feelings is normal. It is okay to feel relief alongside with sadness. Take some time to express your feelings and share them with someone. Recognise what has been gained and accomplished: When something ends it’s a good time to look back and observe what you learnt from the experience or the relationship.

Try to identify what should be honoured and what should be changed.

Develop rituals: Rituals help us close and provide relief from anxiety. Thankfully, some rituals are provided by our culture like marriage, graduation, New Year celebrations etc.

When you have a difficult closing ahead try to create a ritual that would allow you to let go. Create a celebration, or a ceremony, that will help you feel the closure.

As the summer approaches we know it is time to say goodbye, to some people for a while and to others for a long time. Summer beckons changes: graduations, going away for college, moving to a new destination etc. So take time to say goodbye and acknowledge the feelings of loss before you move on.