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The Not 100% Complete FAQs for the Pretty Fucked Up Person in a Pretty Fucked Up World
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All right, let's get down to the nitty-gritty and tackle this important topic.
First, the reason they are crying is because when you told them you were dumping them, a million different parts of their Social Brain exploded all at once, more or less like a gigantic and very impressive series of nuclear explosions. The tears are simply the fallout. When you have that much detonation going on, inevitably pieces of something are going to rain down from the sky. In this case, what's raining is tears. The tears are simply the result of the chemical processing their brains have done as a result of your news. The brain processes chemical by-products of its activity, carefully wraps them up in tears in order to safely slide them outside of the body and dumps them out through the convenient opening afforded by the eyeballs. It's nuclear clean-up. It's the same thing as sweating. She cries, you sweat. You don't cry as much or as often as she does because your brain doesn't work as hard. You sweat under stress (and may be sweating even now as she is sobbing) because you process information with your muscles. She processes it with her brain. You sweat, she cries. No big whoop.
In other words, she's not crying because she loves you. She's not crying because she's devastated beyond all repair. She's not crying because she can't live without you. Any of those things may be true. But they certainly don't have to be for her to burst into tears. In fact, she may be hating herself at this very moment because she thinks her tears are giving you the impression she really cares about you when in fact that is the last thing she wants you think. The real reason she is crying is because she is thinking a lot of things all at once. Too many things, and too many complicated things for them to all fit inside her head at this moment. So many things, she may not know what a quarter of them are. She may be as relieved as all fucking hell to get rid of you but there is still a lot of activity in her brain. And it's leaking out her eyes. If she was prepared for this, she would have done a lot of the processing beforehand and she wouldn't be crying now. In fact, sometimes they don't because they already saw the handwriting on the fucking wall.
Now doesn't it make you feel better to know she's not crying because she really cares? Of course it does. But only a little bit. Because crying is a universal distress signal as well as a means of getting rid of nuclear fall-out and your evolutionary crying-receptors are going to get all alarmed when they see her crying. Your evolutionary crying-receptors are trained by history to believe that when crying occurs you may very well be called upon to perform some manly and dangerous duty to ward off the danger that is causing the distress. They instinctively believe the crying may be caused by Foreign Invaders. Or Attack by Dangerous Interlopers. Or Serious Injury. Or Severe and Immediate Threat by Unknown Forces. Or a Natural Disaster.
There you are, sitting in a cheesy cafe, telling some 21-year-old that you don't want to go out with her anymore, and your crying-receptors are as alarmed as if an air-raid siren went off announcing that you had to take up arms and fight a sudden invasion of Martian supermen. The crying-receptors get even more rattled when they quickly figure out that the cause of the distress is You! Suddenly you are your own enemy. Your crying receptor cells want you to thwart and annihilate the cause of the distress - but it turns out that fucking cause is you! Now what the fuck are you supposed to do? Annihilate yourself?
Well, that's exactly what you will be tempted to do. If your crying-receptor cells have their way, they will immediately start screaming 'Must.stop.crying! Annihilate self!' This is why you will be tempted to apologize, back off, do any fucking thing to stop the crying.
Forget about it. You can't. You're just going to have to get tough. Her brain is processing, it's not going to stop just because you want it to, the toxic nuclear-waste chemicals are going to leak and there you have it. So let's consider your options. We might as well do it now, so you don't get caught off guard and fall over when the rainstorm happens.
Option #1: Start crying too! This is an incredibly handy way to handle the whole thing. Just start crying too. You don't have to be loud about it. You can snuffle if you want. You don't have to talk about it or explain or do any fucking thing. Just cry. The advantages of this are a) you don't have to talk. This is great, because if you cry without explanation, it just lowers your chances that much more dramatically that you are going to say something really stupid that is going to rebound against you later in the conversation. b) it is eye-catching. She has crying-receptors too and if they notice you crying, they are going to tell her crying to ssshhh! so they make sure they're seeing what they're seeing. Then they will ask themselves 'why the fuck is he crying?' They don't really want to know, but considering the possibilities will divert them so much, they'll frequently shove all other processing to the side and she'll calm down. Crying yourself is frequently one of the best ways to get her to stop crying. Her crying receptors are going to want to make you feel better and frequently they will tell her to stop crying in an effort to do just that. Plus, it makes her think - god, you really care. And that will tamp down a lot of the really nasty unpleasant tear-inducing processing that is going on in her head. If you can swing it, this is the easiest, lowest-cost option for handling dumping crying. Give it some thought.
Option #2: Frequently, you will not in any way be able to cry yourself because a) you're not good at it; and b) you're too uptight right now. So you may want to try Option 2 - stoic silence. Don't say a word. Stare uncomfortably down at something in front of you. Sigh occasionally. Repeat not saying anything. Swallow uncomfortably. Look up at the girl. Note that she is still crying, so look down again. Repeat whole process. Continue for a long, long time. This will not in any way halt the flow of tears. It may prolong them. But at least you aren't doing anything! That's something of an advantage. If you don't know how to handle something, not doing anything is a mighty good option sometimes. Don't try to leave the dumping situation at this point. You're not up to a complicated maneuver like that. Just sit there, not doing anything. If you are asked to say something, say 'I'm sorry.' If forced to say more, listlessly repeat your dumping phrase. But stick to very short I'm sorry's as much as possible. Wait until the tears have mostly stopped. Repeat nicest variation of dumping phrase and polite 'you're a great person' closure phrases. Leave. Feel like shit. Shake it off. Go somewhere. Sigh a lot. Feel very persecuted. Be glad it's over. Don't think too much when recovering from an unpleasant She Really Cried a Lot Dumping Disaster. This is a physiological thing, you're supposed to process it with your body, not your brain. It doesn't matter how much you are glad to get rid of this person, your body doesn't like to see people sob helplessly. It carries this tension physically, in your muscles, your ribs, your chest, your shoulders and so on. So sigh like a motherfucker. Bad She Really Cried Chemicals out, Good fresh oxygen chemicals in. You may want to have a beer. This will not help anything but it may relax you and besides, you don't actually really care whether it helps anything or not. Stare into space, not thinking about anything. Try not to arrange to be somewhere where you have to talk or explain things - like to your mother or a roommate. If you live at home, stomp directly to your bedroom as if you don't want to talk about it. Because you don't. Staring and sighing. Your keys to recovery. You may want to lie down as well so you can be more comfortable while staring, sighing, and not thinking. Try not to think for 12 to 14 hours after a She Really Cried a Lot Dumping Disaster. You may not want to sleep either, but staring numbly at the ceiling is a perfectly good substitute if it happens to be the middle of the night. Or even the middle of the day. You can resume lightweight thinking such as is involved in driving your car, hitting a golf ball, securing eggs and hash browns for breakfast, or going to work, after 12 to 14 hours. You can resume modest amounts of thinking about your life, and the dumping situation after 24 to 36 hours. Anything sooner and you will undoubtedly be extremely tempted to get back together! Don't do it! Do not think about what just happened for at least a day to a day and a half. Believe me, your fucking chemicals will lie to you at this point if you listen to them. They will whine and piss and moan and complain they miss this person and pout because they think oh they'll have never sex again, they will get all emotional, they will feel bad, they will reminisce, they will analyze, they will accuse you of things, they will change their mind, they will dither around being indecisive, and so on - all because they have been disarranged by the exposure to crying. Stare - don't think- and you'll do fine. Think of a it like a hangover - you don't fucking think your way out of a hangover, you fucking live through it until the alchohol is finally gone from your body. Same thing with a relationship.
Okay, these are your 2 best options, but occasionally, you may not be able to pull them off. So we'll delve into Option 3.
Option #3: Panic and Flail Helplessly. Get rattled, get caught off guard, panic and flail. This is a very common option. You dither around frantically trying to think of things to say or do to make the crying stop, fail completely, and dig yourself into a deeper and deeper linguistic hole as your explanations and attempts to forestall the tears become more and more full of pathetic lies and incredibly incriminating revelations about yourself. You actually think this is why they cry. To throw you into a panic, so you will fuck yourself up, and they will have you where they want you. Some women do this, but actually most don't because they could actually give a fuck about manipulating you, they are too busy being incredibly miserable. If you are going to exercise this option, your best bet is to flail helplessly and without any coherent thought until you suddenly bolt from the situation like a cowardly toad. This doesn't make you look very good, but I suppose you could look worse. The important thing here is to eventually bolt. The worst case scenario for you is if in your attempts to make the crying stop, you suddenly renege on the breakup. This is perfectly appropriate for a standard middle of the relationship vicious fight, in fact, it's SOP. But obviously, if you are legitimately trying to dump someone it's a complete disaster. Which is why in good conscience I never recommend Option 3 to my male friends. Instead, if you are not a stoic type, and you are greatly prone to the panic and flail side of things, and you just can't fucking cry, I'm going to recommend Option #4.
Option #4: Soothe and Lie. Your crying receptor cells want you to soothe crying when you encounter it. So go ahead and indulge them but counter-act the negative effects by putting up a barrier of polite lies between yourself and your chemicals. Pat your now ex-girlfriend on the head if it doesn't seem too patronizing. Put your arm around her shoulder. Let her lay her head on your chest. Repeat soothing lies, like 'it's okay.' Do not get into 'I'm sorry's', just dwell on 'It's okay.' Vary by phrasing as a question 'You okay now?' Don't get into discussing the breakup. Crying in this situation is not an invitation to discuss anything by the way. It's chemical process. Heroically and falsely stand by her while she processes, protect her from prying waiters, nosy roommates, and harsh lights, just as if you were a really great guy, and leave it the fuck at that. For some of you, this is really the best option. You're good at it, you can do it without getting emotionally involved, and it really wraps up the dumping process in a nice tidy little chemical package that gets her halfway to processing the whole thing and doesn't cost you anything besides. You can do this if you don't have a lot of insecure shit going on inside you at the time of the actual dumping. If you are really pretty resolved, you can be soothing without being wimpy and you have the benefit of really tamping down a number of her revenge chemicals that were just getting ready to get all excited. They may pop out later, but hopefully not while you are around in striking distance. This option also acknowledges, if you do it right, that she is not crying because she can't fucking live without you. The less said the better during this option. Don't say anything that will betray your secret belief that she is crying because she thinks you're hot shit. Keep a lid on that! That will really rebound against you. Instead, just a little arm-stroking, very very very little talking. You are lying with your actions not your mouth, you are acting like a better person than you are (unless accidentally, you just really are this good), and sometimes there's no fucking harm in that. Remember our dumping motto: "We don't talk a lot when we dump someone, because when we do, boy do we fuck things up!" You'll do fine.
All right, congratulations, you have survived the firestorm of tears.
But are you really ready to dump your beloved? No, of course not. You haven't chosen where and when yet. You dork, you need to do that.
Now! As a special bonus prettyfedup.com is proud to offer the companion FAQ to the very popular Dumping Series: Should I, in fact, dump my girlfriend at all?
Dumping Table of Contents
Disadvantages of Option #1:Horrible Alien Freak Cycle
Option #2: Dumping by Talking
More FAQs For No Apparent Reason: