If you are struggling with how to help your friend through a breakup, we are here to help! Breakups are tough both mentally and physically. Whether you are a relationship expert or a single pringle, chances are that you will have to help a friend through a breakup at least once. This list will give you nine tips on how to encourage and support your friend as they walk through heartbreak.
Offer a listening ear to your friend. Whether they want to rant about their ex, dream about what could have been, or cry their heart out, they will appreciate your presence. Try to listen more than you talk. If you want to share some advice, ask your friend if they are willing to receive it. Sometimes it is better to ask for permission before sharing advice on this sensitive topic. If your friend knows you are trying to sympathize with them, they are more likely to receive your input.
2. Provide Comforting Words
Your friend will definitely be sad after their breakup. Once they give you permission to talk, share some comforting words with them. It could be as simple as “Hey, it’s gonna be okay”. Remind them that the pain will not last forever. When the breakup feelings are raw, it is easy to believe the lie that you will always be sad. Encourage them to verbalize their thoughts or at least write them on paper. They may not receive that encouragement, but they will not start to heal if they keep their thoughts to themselves.
3. Bring Gifts
Your friend will most likely feel lonely and forgotten after their breakup. Cheer them up by bringing their favorite food, drinks, or flowers! Those gifts will make them feel loved and special. Do this when your friend least expects a gift. Drop some breakfast by their house and eat it with them. Or, bring them an afternoon coffee with their favorite flowers. These gifts may seem small, but the gesture will go a long way.
4. Check On Your Friend
Your friend may feel like a burden if they are constantly telling you how they feel. You can let them know that they are free to call you anytime, but follow up that offer with an action! Call your friend periodically to check in on them. If they don’t answer the phone, leave a message and follow up later. If you don’t hear from them for a while, stop by their house to check on them. Or, drop a card in the mail to let them know you are thinking about them. Showering your friend with gifts will remind them that they are not walking through this breakup alone.
5. Affirm Their Decision
If your friend initiated the breakup, encourage them by affirming that they made the right decision. If their ex broke up with them, remind them of their freedom in singleness. They will meet so many other people in their lifetime. Remind them that they will have plenty more opportunities to find love. If one relationship does not work out, it is an opportunity for them to grow and learn. Encourage them to distance themselves from their ex through social media. Introduce them to new people and encourage them to pursue another relationship when the time is right.
6. Remind Them Of Their Decision
Your friend may strongly desire to rekindle their relationship after some time has elapsed. If this happens, encourage them to consider their actions. If the relationship was toxic, remind them of the unhealthy tendencies they experienced. The saying that “love is blind” proves to be true in relationships and breakups. Your friend may be blinded by love the next time they see their ex. Your job is to remind them of the decision that was made and encourage them to consider the consequences of rekindling the romance.
7. Invite Them To Events
Your friend will probably try to isolate themself after their breakup. Make sure that they are not alone by inviting them to hang out! You can invite them to events or encourage them to make new plans. If they are considering canceling plans that they have had on the calendar for months, try to talk them out of canceling! Encourage them to maintain their social life as they grieve their loss. You may need to cancel plans for them if those plans involve their ex. Volunteer to help them make hard calls or hold them accountable for following through on commitments.
8. Encourage Them To Embrace The Emotions
After a breakup, it is tempting to ignore or suppress your emotions. If your friend is noticeably irritable, encourage them to process their emotions out loud. If they are stuck in their head, they will have a hard time seeing past the hopelessness. Give them extra hugs as they walk through this time. Show them that you are a safe space for them to process their emotions. If they are not comfortable with verbalizing their feelings, encourage them to journal or type their thoughts. They may not appreciate your accountability at the time, but this step is vital to their healing.
9. Help With Chores
After a breakup, your friend might not be motivated to do house chores. That is completely normal! Offer to help them cook meals or clean the house. A clean house and a homecooked meal will greatly benefit their mental and physical health. If you do not have enough time to help with chores, drop a meal by their house. You may want to stick around for a bit to make sure that they eat.
If your friend is keeping up with their chores, invite them to the gym! It is important to maintain mental and physical health after a breakup. You can get a gym membership together, or take daily walks at a local park. Helping them to balance their meals and encouraging them to exercise are some of the best things you can do for them.