Susan Winter | Breakup Triage (Episode 571)

Susan Winter | Breakup Triage (Episode 571)

Susan Winter | Breakup Triage (Episode 571)

Susan Winter (@susan_e_winter) is an Oprah-featured relationship expert and author who rejoins AoC to show us how to handle a breakup in minutes instead of months with tips from her recent book Breakup Triage: The Cure for Heartache.

The Cheat Sheet:

  • Love is an extreme sport: we all need to know how to recover after a crash.
  • Why do breakups seem to happen more often around the holidays?
  • Learn how to dismantle your ex’s power to affect you and move on.
  • Understand and dispel a number of relationship fallacies — namely the Perfect Partner Myth, the Bad Partner Myth, and the One and Only Partner Myth.
  • Regain mental clarity, emotional serenity, self-esteem, confidence, and wholeness with the help of Susan’s Breakup Triage steps.
  • And so much more…


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When you’re suffering over the loss of a relationship (especially during the holidays), you need help and healing immediately. You need an infusion of hope, with a step-by-step process that’s guaranteed to restore your serenity and self-confidence — sooner rather than later.

In this episode of The Art of Charm, relationship expert and author Susan Winter shares a seven-step formula to shift your mental and emotional perspective within a matter of minutes — it’s just part of her recent book Breakup Triage: The Cure for Heartache. We hope you don’t need this information anytime soon, but it’s here if you ever do!

More About This Show

If you break your leg in the wilderness, you’re probably going to need some quick first aid in order to make it back to civilization and recover. If you’re in a relationship that suffers a breakup, it may take you months to truly get over it — but your heartbreak doesn’t have to be all-consuming in the meantime if you apply Susan Winter’s Breakup Triage: The Cure for Heartache to the wound.

Part of the reason a breakup can be so hard is that we get into relationships without having an exit strategy in mind. Coincidentally, starting a business without having an exit strategy is something The E-Myth author Michael E. Gerber warned us against when we talked to him earlier this week.

Susan agrees with the correlation between a new relationship and new business. “It is like a startup,” she says. “There’s going to be a lot of fumbling and learning curve and failures. I can’t believe that anybody would start something when they don’t know how to effectively exit. Think about it: when you learn to drive a car, they do teach you where the brake is. When you start to learn how to ski, they teach you how to fall on the bunny slope so you don’t break your neck!”

But love, which is a sport possibly more extreme than any other, is something in which everyone wants to participate, but nobody wants to get hurt — yet training to survive its ups and downs is a secondary concern. Susan says being ready to roll with a protocol if things go south is akin to having a first aid kit on hand in case of emergency.

“I cut my finger,” says Susan. “Okay. I can let it go or I can clean it out, put on peroxide, put on some ointment, put a Band-Aid on…there’s protocol! There’s also an established protocol that you can use for breakups…I’ve got seven little steps.

“When we have a solution, it doesn’t seem like a problem. Being informed helps you. You’re still going to feel pain, but you’ll know some things to do.”

The first step in Susan’s Breakup Triage is stabilization. Understand why the breakup happened. Susan says: “Even if your partner didn’t give you a reason — if they ghosted you — you need to come up with one or two sentence answers. It’s just temporary. You can review this three months from now when you’ve got some emotional distance, but come up with a reason. ‘It was the wrong timing.’ ‘They drink too much.’ ‘They can’t commit.’ ‘They can’t be faithful.’ ‘It was a mismatch.’

“You need to have some kind of reason because humans are categorical machines. We use language and labels to give us context.”

We may not be exiting a relationship with someone who wants to (or even can) be honest about the why behind the breakup, but we shouldn’t allow their inaction to disempower us.

The next step is to not go into the loop — “the loop is what I call ‘picking at the wound,'” says Susan. “Don’t keep talking about them. Don’t keep digging around on Facebook…checking out their Instagram…that’s putting salt in the wound. You’re trying to heal. It’s very tempting to know all the reasons why — you’ve given yourself a reason why, but you’re like, ‘I know there’s more to it!’ So you start digging. You start digging your way through the loop, and that’s what we don’t want to do. We want to close that off because it keeps them actively in our minds and it keeps us obsessed…”

The loop is circular — it does not move forward! It keeps you in the hole. You want to get out of that hole and get back into life.”

Listen to this episode of The Art of Charm to learn more about the further steps of the Breakup Triage, why it’s not uncommon to experience a breakup around the holidays, why human beings hate the “I don’t know” answer (especially in relationships), how the Perfect Partner Myth extends your infatuation, why the Bad Partner Myth turns you into a powerless victim, ways the One and Only Partner Myth keeps you from looking for love elsewhere, how we treat idealized partners as co-stars in the movie of our life when they’re really only minor walk-ons (Susan provides an exercise to help us understand the difference), and lots more.


If you enjoyed this session with Susan Winter, let her know by clicking on the link below and sending her a quick shout out at Twitter:

Click here to thank Susan Winter at Twitter!

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