Imagine your partner unexpectedly changes their Facebook status from “in a relationship” to “single” and then refuses to communicate with you. This sounds awfully cruel, completely robbing you of your right to find out why you have been dumped so that you can get some closure and move on. But it is actually becoming so common that Facebook has created new tools to help people manage their Facebook profiles after a breakup and interact with former partners.
The need for closure doesn’t just apply to relationships. The death of a loved one, the loss of a job, status or a way of life are other examples of painful endings. Letting go of something that was once important can be difficult, and many people seek closure in doing so. But does it actually help? And can you really expect other people to give you closure? Let’s take a look at the evidence.
The social psychologist Arie Kruglanski coined the phrase “need for closure” in the 1990s, referring to a framework for decision making that aims to find an answer on a given topic that will alleviate confusion and ambiguity.
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