Why You Can’t “Just Get Over It” and What You Need to Do Instead 

Welp, there they are again, those four frustrating words that typically come at the most frustrating time: “Just get over it”. 

While presumably well-intentioned advice, it can do more harm than good. 

Because if we could “just get over it,” we would. 

So what can we do instead?

Walk through it of course!

Here we will talk about why you can’t “just get over “it” and 7 ways to walk through it so you can finally overcome powerful feelings from tough situations. 

Why You Can’t “Just Get Over It”

Getting over something means we stop thinking about or having powerful feelings towards a certain situation, for example, a break up or someone wronging us. 

But if “just getting over it” is our goal, we are likely to get stuck. 

Because “getting over it” usually looks like escaping with alcohol, drugs, video games, porn or some other bad coping mechanism, like the dumbass advice to “get under someone to get over someone else.”

Or it could go the opposite route of over obsessing and getting stuck in a loop of negative, ruminating thoughts. Or trying to push it away so forcefully you end up thinking about it more. 

Why You Need to Walk Through It

Consider “getting over it” to be an immature want for a quick fix. No-judgment, when you feel like shit you understandably want to feel better.

But if you want to move past difficult situations in a mentally healthy and mature way (and so they don’t negatively effect your for years to come), you need to walk through them. So instead of trying to push the feelings away, you accept the feelings and question why they are there. 

1. Take an inventory of feelings

Tough situations have tough feelings that can feel intense. But when we name our feelings and face them they lose their impact. Accept that the situation sucks and that you are feeling disappointed, offended, etc. 

2. Take an inventory of the situation

If this has happened to you before the impact can be compounded. If it hasn’t, then it might be shocking. Take an inventory of the situation with an objective view. Has this happened before? Was there any warning? Anything you could have done differently? 

3. Acknowledge it sucks

Just simply acknowledging you feel shitty and the situation sucks can help. Ideally you would not feel upset and things would have happened differently, but sometimes the toughest situations teach us the greatest lessons and push us towards something greater. And sometimes they just suck. 

4. Allow yourself to feel

You are allowed to feel your emotions. The key is to make sure you aren’t reacting strongly to something that doesn’t warrant a strong response. Allow yourself to feel without judgment and reflect to make sure you respond in accordance with your goals. 

5. Forgive yourself

Sometimes we can blame ourselves for things that are out of our control. Even if you are some part to blame, it doesn’t mean you need to punish yourself. Find where you can learn and focus on what you can do better next time. Or, acknowledge you are not at fault and that shitty things happen sometimes. 

6. Ditch unhealthy coping mechanisms

After a tough situation you are in a vulnerable place. Avoid unhealthy coping mechanisms like bad-mouthing other people, thinking in extremes, getting blackout drunk or shutting down. Limit thinking about the situation to stop ruminating thoughts and put down the damn phone!


7. Find healthy coping mechanisms

Or at least make sure you are keeping up with your healthy routines. Try not to skip too many workouts. Confide in friends, go for a walk, look for new hobbies and focus on what you want. And make sure to remind yourself of other times that you were in a tough spot and worked through it. This situation is temporary.

Image by S. Hermann & F. Richter