A few weeks ago, a close friend of mine told me that she had ended things with her boyfriend of over two years. I felt so sorry for her, and after giving her a hug, I searched for the right words to say… and I searched… and nothing right came out. I was so embarrassed and immediately felt like the worst friend ever. Here she was, confining in me, and here I was, fumbling around with cliche phrases like “you deserve better” and “maybe it’s for the best,” knowing that nothing I was saying could possibly be making her feel better.
It’s hard to help a friend get through a breakup, even if your full-time job is giving advice to girls on how to deal with breakups (cough me cough). When your normally happy best friend is sitting in front of you, heartbroken, it can be really difficult to come up with the right thing to say, or even the right thing to do. I get it. So, I did a little research to help myself, and anyone else dealing with this issue. Here are 10 tips on how to help a friend through a breakup, thus becoming the best friend a girl could ask for.
Let Her Know You're There For Her, Then Actually Be There For HerA few years ago, when my boyfriend and I broke up for a bit, the best thing I could hear from anyone was a few simple words: "I'm here for you." Don't bombard your friend right away - just say, "I just want you to know I'm here for you, whatever you need." But if you're going to say that, make sure you follow through. Don't be like, "I'm here for you," but then when she calls at an inconvenient time, you're not willing to be there. Make a few sacrifices when you can to show her that you really want to help her. It will make her feel good and remind her that she does have people who care about her. Source: ShutterStock
Don't Immediately Blurt Out That You Always Hated Him AnywayEven if you've thought this guy was a loser since she first met him, now is not the time to tell her that. If she doesn't know you feel that way, and you break the news to her now, what happens if they end up getting back together? That would be really awkward. And if she already knows you hate him, reminding her of this will just sound like, "I told you so," which is not what anyone wants to hear during a breakup. You can tell her one day if you really want to, but I would wait a while until she's over him. Source: ShutterStock
Try To Avoid Cliche PhrasesWhen someone tells you they've just dumped, it's way too easy to spit out something everyone has heard a million times before: "You deserve better." "There are other fish in the sea." "Whatever's mean to be will be." Stuff like that. And while it may be true, it's probably not exactly what your friend wants to hear right now. Instead, stick with the simple truth. Say, "I'm sorry, this sucks. I know you're so sad and I'll be here for you for whatever you need."
Just ListenAnd sometimes, you shouldn't even say anything at all. When I was dealing with that breakup a few years ago, there were times when I just wanted a friend to vent to so I could feel like I had someone there. I didn't want their advice or their input. Luckily, I had friends who were willing to just listen without judgment, and it was really helpful. There will be times when your friend asks for your advice, but if she doesn't, just bite your tongue and listen. This is so much more helpful than you might think. Source: ShutterStock
Don't Just Tell Her What She Wants To HearWhen your friend IS open to advice, be careful with what you say. She might say things like, "Maybe he'll change his mind," or "He hasn't called because he's too heartbroken, right?" Don't yes your friend just because it's what she wants to hear, even if she is upset. Don't sit there and say things like, "Maybe you guys will get back together. Maybe if you talk again." You're supposed to help her move on, not keep her stuck. Source: ShutterStock
Help Distract Her and Give Her Something To Look Forward ToSometimes your friend will need a push to go out and do things so she can distract herself. In fact, I've found that a lot of my heartbroken friends need that. Their instinct is to stay in bed, but at a certain point, you need to be a good friend and be like, "Get up, and come out with me." Don't force her to do this constantly, but do it when it feels right. Also, try planning things so she has something to look forward to, whether it's buying tickets to a concert or booking a mini vacay. Source: ShutterStock
Don't Push Her To Date Until She's ReadyWhen my boyfriend and I broke up for a little bit, I had one friend who immediately tried to get me out on the dating scene. Two days after the breakup, she was trying to hook me up with other guys, and she was really pushy about it. It was annoying and made me upset - I felt like she thought I had nothing real to get over. Give your friend time, and don't force her to do things she's not ready for. I know your intentions are good, and you just want her to move on, but that's not always the right way to do it. Source: ShutterStock
Help Her Avoid HimThe best thing anyone can do when going through a breakup is avoid their ex as much as possible, especially in the beginning. Unfortunately, that's also the thing that almost no one wants to do. Help your friend do this by discouraging her from calling or texting him. Don't give her your social media passwords so she can stalk him. Tell her to delete his number, but offer to keep it in case she really needs it... and only give it to her if she really does need it. And don't bring her to places where you know he is. Source: ShutterStock
Help Her Make The Right Decision, But Don't Judge Her When She Doesn'tPush your friend in the right direction, but know that she will probably make some mistakes along the way. That's okay! Don't judge her for that or make her feel bad. Part of being her friend is being there for her when she does the wrong thing. If she hooks up with him against your better judgement, don't get mad at her for that. Just help her through it. Source: ShutterStock
Know That Sometimes There's Nothing You Can DoSometimes, no matter how many encouraging words you have or no matter how many fun activities you plan, nothing will make your friend feel better. Sometimes they just need to work through it on their own. That doesn't mean you can't show your support and be there - it just means that you shouldn't take it as a personal failure if you aren't getting your friend to move on right away. Breakups are really hard, and when they're bad, there are no right words or phrases. There is nothing you can do to magically take away the pain. Source: ShutterStock
Have you ever had to help a friend through a breakup? How did you do it? What did I forget? Tell me in the comments.