On this episode of On Purpose, Jay Shetty welcomed relationship expert Stephan Labossiere.
They explored the intricate maze of love, relationships, and breakups. They unveiled truths about emotional recovery, understanding the essence of separation, and uncovering the healing process.
The discussion moves beyond the surface-level narrative of breakups, unraveling the intricacies of human emotions. It challenges the conventional understanding of pain and heartbreak, replacing it with a perspective of growth and evolution. This episode is about finding the strength to learn, heal, and move forward after a separation. It is an invitation to view breakups not as devastating endings but as opportunities for personal growth.
Understanding the Impact of Breakups on Our Brains
Jay Shetty delves into the neurological repercussions of breakups. This perspective emphasizes that breakups are not just about heartache; they involve an intense physiological response that affects our brains in ways comparable to detoxing from potent substances like cocaine.
As Jay Shetty reveals, the areas of the brain engaged during the aftermath of a breakup are the same ones activated when undergoing withdrawal from addictive substances. It illustrates the emotional turbulence and mental distress individuals experience during a separation. The ‘craving’ is a neurological response to a lost attachment. As an addict might yearn for a destructive drug, a person post-breakup may long for a relationship that, in reality, wasn’t helping their well-being.
Moreover, this also explains why emotional heartbreak often manifests itself in physical terms. The regions of the brain stimulated during physical pain are also those that light up during the emotional tumult of a breakup.1 This realization is a powerful reminder of the complex link between our emotional health and physical wellness. It clarifies why a heartbreak often feels like a punch in the gut or a physical wound – our brains process emotional pain similarly to physical distress.
This exploration of breakups from a neurological perspective validates the emotions individuals encounter after the end of a relationship. It helps us understand why letting go and moving on is challenging and why we often incessantly check on ex-partners on social media. It’s not a sign of weakness or an inability to let go; it’s our brain responding to an abrupt disruption in our emotional stability.
This understanding should be a stepping stone toward healing. By understanding the brain’s response to breakups, we can also comprehend our emotions better and figure out healthier coping mechanisms. It gives us a scientific basis to navigate the emotional turmoil of separation. It helps us understand that it’s not a mere emotional struggle but a biological one intertwined with our mental and physical health.
Reflections and Questions Post-Breakup
Jay Shetty and Labossiere addressed the introspective process after a breakup. They mentioned that feeling lost and confused post-breakup is expected, as if caught in a whirlwind of emotions. As Stephan Labossiere suggests, we must push through this emotional fog and ask ourselves challenging questions: “Why were we in the relationship? What were we seeking from our partner, and why do we still hold on to them despite the separation?”
Jay Shetty emphasizes the importance of recognizing that our brain often tricks us into romanticizing the past and glossing over the flaws that led to the breakup. It’s crucial to confront these distortions and recall why the relationship didn’t work out. By doing this, we not only gain a clearer understanding of the past but also arm ourselves with the knowledge to make healthier relationship decisions in the future.
One common pitfall that Labossiere highlights is our reaction to being the one let go of in a relationship. He shows a scenario where a person planning to break up suddenly becomes broken up with. Instead of relief, they feel a strong urge to fight for the relationship. This behavior underscores how our egos cloud judgment and distort our feelings.
Jay Shetty encourages the listeners to be aware of these psychological traps. Step back and objectively analyze your feelings rather than letting these distortions control your actions. Ask yourself: are you genuinely in love with the person, or is the fear of rejection propelling you to chase after them?
Jay Shetty emphasizes that the post-breakup phase is a period for introspection and personal growth. It’s a time to reassess our emotions, reevaluate our past decisions, and reset our expectations for the future. It’s not an easy process, but deliberate effort and introspection can lead to self-discovery and emotional maturity.
Can Breakups Be Blessings?
Stephan Labossiere asserts that breakups often serve as necessary interruptions, forcing people to halt and reevaluate. Even when caught off guard by a sudden end to a seemingly perfect relationship, you must recognize that there could be underlying issues you’re unaware of. For instance, the partner might be battling unresolved traumas, and the breakup becomes necessary for them to address those issues independently.
Moreover, Jay Shetty notes that breakups can serve as catalysts for much-needed change. Instead of viewing them as painful endings, you could see them as opportunities for self-discovery and growth. By forcing you to confront your fears, insecurities, and past traumas, breakups could be the stepping stones toward personal evolution and healthier relationships in the future.
Stephan Labossiere notes that people’s struggle in moving past the breakup is often rooted in unhealed past traumas. Rather than focusing solely on healing from the separation, he suggests using this period to address those unresolved issues.
Both Labossiere and Jay Shetty concur that walking around unhealed is like wearing broken glasses – it distorts our vision, making it difficult to see the reality of our situations. However, embracing the healing process gives us a clearer perspective, enabling us to acknowledge the lessons embedded in the breakup and move forward.
The Journey of Healing Post-Breakup
Healing after a breakup is a significant step, as identified by Jay Shetty and Stephan Labossiere. Therefore, Labossiere advises listeners to focus on healing from all past traumas, not just the recent breakup. He describes how an individual’s past experiences and unhealed traumas can significantly impact their relationship choices. He suggests that a lack of healing from these past hurts can contribute to the struggle of moving on after a breakup and increase the likelihood of choosing an unsuitable partner.
Jay Shetty emphasized that dealing with past pain can lead to future joy. Understanding that a painful experience now can save years of a potentially unfulfilling life is a crucial mindset shift that can help individuals move forward from breakups. As Stephan Labossiere puts it, finding peace in believing that every outcome has a purpose, even if it’s not immediately apparent, is an essential part of the healing journey.
The Importance of Accountability Partners in Healing
According to Stephan Labossiere, having someone who keeps us in check during our healing process post-breakup can be highly beneficial. This accountability partner acts as a guardrail, helping us stay on the path of healing and avoid falling back into harmful patterns.
The healing journey after a breakup is rarely a linear one. There are moments of setbacks, longing, and sometimes even self-deception where we convince ourselves that returning to the old relationship might be the best course of action. An accountability partner can provide much-needed clarity and perspective in these moments.
Accountability partners are not just friends who agree with everything we say; instead, they challenge us, questioning our decisions and making us reevaluate our thoughts and actions. They force us to confront the harsh truths that we might otherwise overlook. They help us focus on healing, even when the journey becomes challenging.
As Stephan Labossiere told Jay Shetty, “An accountability partner is someone who won’t allow you to drown in your own emotional pool.” They will challenge you when you’re wrong and support you when you’re right. By holding you accountable, they help you grow, heal, and move forward healthier and more wholesomely.
Current Pain Is Future Joy
Jay Shetty and Stephan Labossiere share a fresh perspective on breakups: viewing current pain as future joy. This view is not about downplaying the pain one experiences during a breakup. Instead, it is about understanding that the pain is part of the healing process and can lead to future joy and fulfillment.
Jay Shetty explained, “We need to understand that the pain we’re experiencing now is saving us from potential years of unfulfillment.” This is not to suggest that the journey will be devoid of pain or discomfort, but rather that this pain is an investment in our future happiness.
The concept is comparable to the pain experienced during a strenuous workout. The physical discomfort results from our muscles being pushed beyond their current capabilities, leading to growth and improvement. Similarly, the emotional pain of a breakup can lead to personal growth and self-improvement.
Yet Stephan Labossiere shares an optimistic view, “There is a purpose behind every outcome.” Although the purpose or the silver lining may not be immediately visible amidst the pain of a breakup, it will eventually become evident.
The pain experienced during a breakup is real and can be profoundly overwhelming. But it can also be viewed as an opportunity for personal growth. Embracing this perspective can help individuals navigate their healing journey with resilience and hope, paving the way for future joy and fulfillment.
Jay Shetty and Stephan Labossiere emphasize the significance of patience and faith in life’s journey. Labossiere reassures, “If this isn’t working out, God has something better for me.” This dialogue ultimately encourages everyone to view breakups not as the end but as a potential starting point for self-improvement and personal growth.
More From Jay Shetty
Listen to the entire On Purpose with Jay Shetty podcast episode on “Stephan Labossiere ON: Signs You Are Wasting Your Time In Relationships & How to Be Vulnerable to Attract Real Love” now in the iTunes store or on Spotify. For more inspirational stories and messages like this, check out Jay’s website at jayshetty.me.
1Kross, E., Berman, M. G., Mischel, W., Smith, E. E., & Wager, T. D. (2011). Social rejection shares somatosensory representations with physical pain. In Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (Vol. 108, Issue 15, pp. 6270–6275). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1102693108