Are you about to break up with someone? Or worried you’ll be on the receiving end? Modern philosopher Alain de Botton’s Youtube channel, The School of Life, has gone through some of the typical relationship death throes before settling on one major tip that benefits those who mightn’t have seen it coming: Be a dick.
There’s usually something positive about our significant other that makes us want to spend time with them. This means we don’t want them out of our lives entirely, and burning bridges is almost always a bad idea. But according to The School of Life, the best gift you can give is allowing your new ex to hate you. That likely means some of their friends hating you, some mutual friends picking sides, and everything else that goes along with it. It’s a tough ask. But, bite the bullet on this one — they’re probably hurting more.
That’s not to say brutal honesty is called for. There’s always a place for tact, especially if you have a more cozy Venn diagram of social circles, or worse, do business together. It’s worth giving some thought to how to best get across the real reason for the breakup, in the interest of closure and self-improvement. If you’re at a loss, try framing it as a fault of your own. “I want to go out & holiday with my partner a lot, and you never have the time because you work so hard.”
For more tips on breakups in the digital age, see our guide on surviving the modern day breakup.