14 May 2015

Ten ways to make goodbyes easier

I have written three blogs on saying goodbye. In these blogs I divided up the ten tips with more information, (links below) but here they are in pure point form for those of you who enjoy summaries.

  1. Decide on what is best for you and the people you are leaving. Long goodbyes aren't necessarily
    easier. Overseas Emigration blog says,
    "A friend gave me great advice about leaving and going to the airport. They suggested I say goodbye to my family at home and then ask a best friend to take me to the airport; to say your goodbyes to close family members at the security gate is just too emotionally charged."  
  2. Having been through many airport goodbyes, I now tend to limit the time at the airport to a cup of coffee, I have not been in the frame of mind to shop or browse with the people I am about to leave. 
  3. If the goodbye has felt rushed and chaotic, if you are the one leaving, you have the privacy of a long plane journey to feel sad.
  4. Be honest with your goodbyes. Say what you feel and when it comes to the final parting, don't draw it out. You have to part sometime. In Wikihow method two, long term goodbyes suggest being brief and sincere. 
  5. Offer a memento, a photo, a card, a souvenir of your time together. It may be worth giving the gift before the airport. A metre tall cuddly toy may not be welcome at the last moment. Great for cuddling but it may not fit in the baggage plans of the person leaving. Smaller items need thought through too. I once had to turn down a goodbye gift because it didn't meet airline safety specifications.
  6. If you are visiting your homeland or your loved ones are visiting you, toast the goodbye in a place that you enjoy being in, one that you can have good memories of. A last meal, a pleasant walk. Talk over some of the good times you have had.
  7. Realise that in the build up to saying goodbye, there maybe anxieties or unusual behaviour. Either party is upset at the prospect of loss and this may be shown in being easily irritated or angry. Be aware that the anger is not directed at you but at the situation. Perhaps suggest that it is a tense time for you both. Be gentle with each other. Read more from Swedish Psychologist Dr Julie S. Lungdren and the first half of the  article "How to keep the 'good' in goodbye in the Wall Street Journal
  8. Make a tentative arrangement for when you will see each other or contact each other again, even if it is not certain, it gives you a connection to hold onto.
  9. Be aware of PLT - Pre leaving tension. Not just the behaviour as in tip 7 but the tensions and tears beforehand. Read more here, part of Chapter 7 of The Emotional Challenges of Immigration
  10. Goodbyes are part of life's progression. You have to say goodbye to stages of your life to make space for new experiences, new people. Embrace the change.

More information in these blogs Goodbyes, Part 1Part 2Part 3

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