If you have a close friend who recently went through a big breakup, or if you’ve experienced this type of situation in the past and you were unsure of what to do about it, you must carefully read this post.
It is hard to see a close friend go through a breakup, You feel bad seeing them in such a sad state, but you don’t know how to help them get through it.
If you are a fan of tv shows, you know how they glorify our ability to provide expert relationship advice to our closest friends.
Ex-bashing over drinks and a few jokes is all they need to put the old relationship to rest, and the best part is it’s all solved before the 30-minute episode ends.
There is nothing good about a breakup; it is especially challenging when you were taken by surprise, or when your partner betrayed you, or if you felt terrible being part of that relationship.
When your friend is going through a breakup, it is tough for them; at this time, they need you more than ever. You also naturally want to help when you see them in such an emotionally vulnerable state.
Everyone reacts to a breakup in their own way and requires different forms of help and support from people close to them. You don’t have to go overboard when helping your friend get through their relationship; your role depends on what your best friend actually needs.
When helping someone get over their breakup, it is essential to acknowledge the fact that the process of going through a breakup is similar to any other type of loss. In a way, your friend is going through a stage of grief right now,
Helping a close friend get over the grieving process is complex and quite contrary to what you would expect. Sometimes, when you try different things to make them feel better, you get surprised, seeing that it makes things worse for them. Not everyone feels better with shopping, spa, or red-lipstick treatment. Sometimes, when they get space or huge quantities of their favorite pizza and ice cream, it is the most helpful way to help them move forward.
Below are some ways to help you be a considerate friend and help them go through a breakup
1. Encourage Them To Act Sensibly.
While it will help your friend when you encourage them to express themselves freely, you must also try to be their voice of reason when they need it the most.
For instance, if you see your friend getting too excited to try some not so good things like-
– Destroying/burning things belonging to their ex.
– Stalking them on social media.
– Driving to their house to leave a note.
You must not allow them to do it. When your friend goes through so much stress and trauma, they are likely to make bad decisions. They will struggle to think straight and won’t be able to stop them from doing something stupid. As a good friend, you must encourage them to act sensibly.
Your friend must know that you are there for them, but at the same time, they should also realize that you won’t permit them to act recklessly and do something stupid that they’ll regret later.
2. Don’t Let Them Feel Like They Have Failed.
When trying to get over a breakup, the biggest challenge is to deal with the heartache. But at the same time, we must also overcome our inner tendency to feel humiliated about ourselves. After a breakup, many of us develop this habit to keep reminding ourselves that we have failed.
When your friend goes through a bad breakup, they may develop symptoms of depression. They may start feeling that by breaking up with their partner, not only have they failed, but they have let people close to them down. To help them get through this phase, you must make them understand that just because the relationship didn’t work out, it doesn’t mean they have failed.
By splitting from their partner, your friend is not only worried about not being there with their ex. They are also grieving about the loss of –
– identity and shared dreams they had as a couple,
– the future plans,
– the support system they had.
As a friend, you must help them get over this feeling. Tell them that they haven’t failed because –
– Relationships are tough, sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t, and that’s okay.
– Life is too short to be sad. We all deserve to live a fulfilling and joyful life in and out of a relationship; the love you give to yourself is the best love you could ever receive.
– To make a relationship successful, both of you need to put in the hard work. If you have done everything you could have done, and still relationship failed, then getting out of it is not a failure; it’s a success.
– You are even closer to happiness. Failed relationships are a great learning experience. When you get out of a bad relationship, you are now one step closer to the right one.
3. Be Mindful Of What You Speak.
It is not easy to help your friend get through with a breakup without tripping with your words. When growing up, many of us didn’t have to go through a lot of negative emotions. As we grow up, we feel uncomfortable seeing people close to us going through miserable times.
You want to help your friend get rid of their sadness but are unsure how to do it. Feeling helpless, you anxiously try to fix the situation by consoling them with comforting words, distracting them, and shifting their focus to something else.
This strategy might work sometimes, but most of the time, it backfires. Because when your friend is feeling terrible about the breakup, telling them that “everything will be fine and someday you will meet your special someone” is probably not going to work.
It is normal to have negative emotions immediately after the breakup. You shouldn’t worry too much about them because most people overcome these emotions by themselves with time.
The right thing to do is be empathetic and show compassion. Give them space; things will probably get better on their own in the future. You could say something like – “I feel bad for what you are going through. But I truly believe that something exciting is waiting for you on the other side.”
If you cannot find the right words to say at the moment, not saying something will work too.
4. Give Them Space.
After a breakup, many people will not prefer to hang out with their friends; instead, they want to spend time alone. You can try to be more available to them when they are over with the period of initial hurt. Because after they have spent some quality time alone, they will be more willing to open up with their close friends and be ready to take the next steps. Therefore, immediately after the breakup, you should encourage your friend to spend some quality time alone with themselves.
Spending some time alone after a breakup will empower you to feel physically and emotionally better. It also helps to dissipate depressing feelings about your past.
When you encourage your friend to have more alone time, they can use it as their healing time while recovering from the breakup.
5. Avoid Comparisons.
During these times, you may often feel tempted about making comparisons. It’s more common than you think; people often go like, “When I had a breakup….”
It would help if you controlled this urge. Because every situation is different and every breakup is different, you don’t know under what circumstances they broke up, so you should refrain from comparisons; it might irk your friend.
When you bring up stories regarding your life experiences, your friend might view them differently. They may think that you are more interested in talking about yourself rather than helping them get through the breakup.
6. Know Your Limitations.
Doesn’t matter how hard you try to be a good friend during their breakup; you may realize that they need more help and support than you are willing to offer. It will not be possible for you to be available with them all the time.
It would help if you kept in mind that you have your own life and responsibilities too. You can’t be away from work to be with your grieving friend all the time. Many of us will have this urge to be available to them 24/7 during this period, but the hard truth is that they will have to take care of themselves at some point.
If the healing process takes too long, you can encourage your friend to take some professional help to bring back their emotional balance.
Because you care so much about your friend, you may get involved in his breakup more than you should. If you find yourself in this position, you should not hesitate to set some boundaries and take a step back.