The iconic playwright Tennessee Williams once said, "A high station in life is earned by the gallantry with which appalling experiences are survived with grace." By this standard, you should soon find yourself running for president -- if you manage to get through the experience of being dumped without completely losing your cool, that is. Plan your actions in advance and you'll be less likely to react impulsively and emotionally to very trying circumstances.
Listen to your boyfriend as he tells you why he's breaking up with you. Don't argue with him about the unfairness of it all or attempt to defend yourself in any way. After he has finished explaining his actions, wish him well and leave.
Avoid calling your ex when you're lying in bed at 2:00 a.m. wondering why he suddenly decided that he needed some space. Delete his number from your contact list so you won't be tempted to text, either. Keep your fingers from clicking on his social profile pages as well. A "no contact" policy is best, according to psychologist and "breakup coach" Sasha Carr. Keeping your distance from your ex for at least 60 days can help you to avoid the emotional upset that turns you from a graceful minx into a sobbing mess.
Grieve the loss of your relationship in the privacy of your home. If you want to handle getting dumped gracefully, it's a good idea to stay away from romantic movies at the theater, lest you wind up red-eyed and sniffling by the end of the show. Allow yourself to cry, though, as the loss of a relationship is always painful.
Keep up appearances. While it will be tempting to skip your next hair appointment and hang around the house in your favorite T-shirt and jeans, force yourself to look your best. The saying, "If you don't look good, you don't feel good" has had long-lived popularity for a reason. Go get a manicure, apply your makeup and wear your favorite clothes. You're worth it, man or no man.
Engage in activities that you know will be good for you, advises psychotherapist Barton Goldsmith. Exercise, read, engage in positive prayer, meditate -- Goldsmith recommends all of these activities to set yourself on the path to emotional healing after a breakup. You'll feel better able to approach life with grace and calmness after you've spent 20 minutes mediating than you will if you've spent the time on the computer researching how to win your ex back.
Wish your ex well whenever you find yourself thinking of him. Whether you envision sending light his way or pray for his continued happiness, doing so will help you to change your thoughts so that you envision him as a full human being rather than your new arch-enemy. When you inevitably run into him, you'll then be able to handle the situation gracefully and with aplomb.
Elise Wile has been a writer since 2003. Holding a master's degree in curriculum and Instruction, she has written training materials for three school districts. Her expertise includes mentoring, serving at-risk students and corporate training.