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For writing nerds… Couldn’t resist sharing.
It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it. Watch your tone.
Same words. Big difference.
Dear Rules & Modern Geisha Fans,
I love my job. I am happy and grateful for all my clients and their quiet, private thank you letters they continue to write and all the positive results they are getting! But every now and then, I get a request to help a client write a “Dear John Letter,” which is commonly known as breakup letter from a woman to a man in the most compassionate way.
Relationships are hard and don’t always turn out as we hoped. Sometimes you’re not right for each other and it’s no one’s fault. Sometimes it’s just a misunderstanding or miscommunication. Or it turns out the guy isn’t exactly husband material. There are times when the relationship has run its course and it’s simply time to move on and do what Rules girls know to do… NEXT!!!
I know. It’s easier said than done. Breakups are not easy and not nice no matter how you slice it. From a philosophical standpoint, I am not the type of coach who would write a Dear John Letter to end a relationship. I think breakups should happen in person, face-to-face, with compassion, sincerity, gratitude, warmth and peace.
I recommend you give this person the courtesy of a warm, heartfelt good-bye, thanking them for all the time they spent with you, for the good times and the bad, and for everything you learned from relationship–be it positive or negative. Always look for the good things in people. After all, you did choose to be with this person.
Today, with the convenience of modern technology, people are resorting to emails, texts and Facebook to breakup. Believe me, I’m into the latest and greatest technology, but I’m old-fashioned when it comes to breakups and goodbye’s. I get back down to the basics when it comes to personal human interaction. My preference will always be face-to-face. Remember, this is someone you once loved and cared for, not a stranger.
However, it does not mean I would not help someone write a letter if that’s what they want. People have a right to make their own decisions on how they handle their situation. Everyone is different.
I think some people do need to write Dear John Letters even if the other person never sees it. In fact, I highly encourage my clients to engage in the practice of journaling or writing letters as a simple and highly effective exercise. It’s cheaper than therapy, it makes them organize their thoughts, self-reflect, and it’s a safe way to emotionally purge.
It also helps them get a sense of closure and finality. Believe me, it will actually make you feel better to write the letter. It’s quite therapeutic and healing, even if you’re not currently in throes of a breakup. If anything, it is an emotional release that leaves you with a calm sense of serenity.
Here is a recent testimonial from my client:
I appreciate your revision of my letter.
I feel different reading your version… Feels calmer and presents better…
So I did throw mine out and used yours instead… LOL!
Yes, I agreed on how once this letter is sent out, I can never take it back… So that’s why I needed you to review them.
When writing an emotionally charged letter, I aim for clarity, calmness, control and elegance. A Rules-y Modern Geisha can say how she feels with with dignity, grace and self-respect while also respecting the other person’s dignity as well. You can express anger, hurt, disappointment and disapproval in a calm, clear and level-headed way. Meaning you are in control of your mood, not being controlled by it. Your writing and your words betray your emotions. Once sent, it can never be taken back.
In all honesty, I think the best Dear John Letters are ones that are written and never sent. Go ahead and write it, edit it, revise it a dozen times and seal it in an envelope. You can even go as far as taking it to the post office.
My hope is that by then, you will have calmed yourself. Take the letter and just hold on to it. Pick up the phone and arrange to meet and give them a proper closure in-person with a warm good-bye hug, wish each other well, and leave each other in peace.
“Better than a thousand days of diligent study is one day with a great teacher.” ~Japanese proverb
Kim, The Modern Geisha
“The Modern Geisha is always moving in a good mood… She is always calm, beautiful, happy, serene, grateful and unperturbed.”
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Note: This message is intended for a general audience only. There are rules and exceptions to the rules. I give advice on a case-by-case basis only and not cookie-cutter advice. If you have questions regarding this matter, please email email@example.com for a private consultation.