Breaking up is hard to do and when you see someone you care about go through it, it sucks. You feel angry, upset and sad at the same time, knowing that you're powerless.
However, your presence in your friend’s life is invaluable to them, they need you now more than ever and it's time to step up in your 'frienderial' duties.
If you're awkward in dealing with certain hopeless situations, don't worry, here are ten ways to comfort a friend during a break-up:
1. Be there
It may sound obvious, but let your friend know that you'll always be there for him/her. They're going to feel lonely and unwanted, you needn't be there 24/7, but just check in on them now and then, is all you need to do to show them how much you care.
2. Listen and be patient
After a breakup there is usually confusion, disdain, doubts and just a lot of anxiety on their part, you need to be there.
You’d be surprised how helpful even just nodding can be, and whether or not he or she may repeat the same sentiment over again, just be patient. We all go through tough situations, but now it's your turn to push your differences aside and be the shoulder to cry on.
3. Mourn with them
If you have to belt out to ‘Unbreak My Heart’ from Toni Braxton or ‘Someone Like You’ from Adele, then so be it. Let them know that it’s okay to mourn, be it crying, or just shouting into a pillow. We all have different ways of dealing with a breakup, such as binge-series watching, dancing all night or sleeping all day - whatever your friend wants to do go along with it unless it’s something you think is bad for them or you.
4. Be cautious about sharing your opinion and insight
Provide encouraging words, tell your friend how you feel about the situation, but be careful not to offend them. They’re very sensitive at the moment so try and say certain comments, such as “I’m so sorry this had to happen to you” or “This might take some time, but I believe in you”. And never hate on their ex-partner, you never know if they would get back together again in the future.
5. Distract your friend
Distraction is key. Take them out, or talk to them about trivial topics and just have fun. It works and it can help them realise that life moves on after this.
6. Try to make them smile
Even though they have to force it on their face. Once they smile they will know that there is light at the end of the tunnel. It’s neurobiological feedback and it works. You do not have to be funny, just do something sweet and if all else fails, watch Youtube blooper reels, it always helps.
7. Compliment them
Getting dumped or getting through a breakup shatters all your self-esteem and it’s a friend’s job to make they feel good about themselves. Flatter them by mentioning how much you adore and appreciate the friendship you have with them. I mean you wouldn’t be friends if you didn’t love them, so tell them why.
8. Know that your needs will be on the backburner for a while
They’re not going to be their good old self, so don’t let their attitude affect your friendship and more importantly don’t treat them differently.
9. Let them be
Let them decide what they want to do and don’t force them to do anything they are uncomfortable with. If your friend wants to bail on a get-together this weekend, leave them alone until he/she is ready to rejoin the world.
10. Reassure them
They will overcome this and the more you say it, the more they will look forward to the future and realise that there’s more to appreciate and experience in life. The one statement you can guarantee and promise is to say that they will be happy again.