Getting a Closure Without a Closure

Getting a Closure Without a Closure

Perhaps you want an apology, or an explanation that satisfies you enough for you to move on. You feel frustrated, angry and confused among many other emotions as you replay past events in your mind and attempt to rationalise or troubleshoot what could have gone wrong; and if you were the one, or mostly, at fault. You may even feel that if you and the other person can simply “sit down and talk”, the relationship could be repaired and both of you could return to happier times.

Except, the other person does not want to have anything to do with you anymore. They may sound like they could have a friendship with you but you are not quite feeling the friendly vibes from them. In fact, the last time you checked with mutual friends or their social media, the other person seemed to have moved on with their life and they have been spending time with everyone but you (they tell you they are quite busy and they will let you know when they can meet you).

People seek closure for all kinds of life events and relationships. In a nutshell, seeking a closure essentially means individuals getting their questions answered as there is an aversion to uncertainties (Rubin et al., 2011). Some people also seek closure as they are decisive, structured and close-minded (Kruglanski, 2004).

So what can you do if you feel unsettled and feel that you need a closure to move on? Psychiatrist Abigail Brenner suggests the following tips:

  • Take full responsibility for yourself through self-reflection
  • Make time to grieve
  • Remind yourself of your strengths
  • Make a short-term plan that you can implement soon
  • Perform a ritual such as putting away things that may trigger you

For more on the above tips, do read Abigail’s article on,order%20to%20find%20different%20possibilities.

Take some time to check in with yourself or others and assess your readiness in seeking closure. If you are not ready or have reservations, it is totally okay to take a breather and get into your safe place and ways to make you feel comfortable. If you feel ready, you can explore more on finding closure as part of your preparation towards an action plan that you could carry out with.



  1. Rubin, M., Paolini, S., & Crisp, R. J. (2011). The relationship between the need for closure and deviant bias: An investigation of generality and process. International Journal of Psychology, 46, 206-213. doi: 10.1080/00207594.2010.537660
  2. Kruglanski, A. W. (2004). The psychology of closed mindedness. New York: Psychology Press.
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