Everyone deals with breakups in their own way. Some may go crazy by distracting themselves with parties and engaging in workout activities, some may shut themselves up for days and drown themselves in self-pity. Doesn’t matter if you were not that into someone or you expected the break up to happen a long time ago, it is human nature to get upset and feel deeply affected by a breakup. If you’ve ever gone through one, then you probably know that people around you can often offer unsolicited advice and say mean things. Even if your own last breakup is years behind you and you are in a committed relationship, you are bound to have specific memories associated with your past relationship that still sting. So if a close friend of yours is going through or has gone through a painful breakup, here are nine things that you should avoid telling them:
1. “Get Over It”
Who gives you the right to tell someone when they should get over a breakup? While their split might seem like no big deal to you, the relationship clearly meant something to them. As a friend, you need to give your friend some space and time to grieve the demise of their relationship. Breaking up with someone you love/like is never easy, and it’s perfectly alright to let your friend take their time to mourn. No one is asking you to give life-changing advice, just go about your normal behavior with your friend and read the room. If you think they need comfort, offer some and if they want to be left alone, be understanding of that wish.
2. “You’ll Find Someone New In No Time”
Have you ever considered this wild idea that they may not be interested in finding someone new? Moreso, How would you know if they will find someone new in “no time”? By saying this, you are just pushing your friend to get back in the game and giving them false expectations. If they want to sit and mope around about their breakup, let them. They will get back in the dating pool when they feel ready to.
3. “That’s Too Bad, I Liked Your Ex”
Yes, and clearly, they did too. But sometimes things don’t work out, and it’s unfair to tell your friend that you liked the company of their ex when they’re doing everything they can to get over them. Even if you did like spending time with their ex, you need to consider that your friends’ feelings are hurt, and bringing up their ex at a time like this is a stupid idea and downright insensitive. Whatever the reason behind their split, it will seem bad on your part to say things like this, because it takes seconds to bring back all the painful memories that your friend is trying to put behind herself.
4. “Do You Think You’ll Get Back Together?”
Even if they are considering getting back together with their ex, it’s none of your business. Of course, we’ve all considered the possibility of getting back together with our exes, but the relationship clearly didn’t work out for a reason. So it’s best not to bring this up. If you think about it, the question just sounds dumb. They have parted ways and are trying to get over it, so there is no reason for them to get back together. Even if there is such a scope in the future, don’t burden someone who is fresh out of a breakup. Everything needs time.
5. “Distract Yourself With Work”
Work is probably the last thing on their mind right now. Telling them to distract themselves by working is like telling them to douse the fire in their house with love and laughter. Of course, if they ignore their work and only focus on the breakup, you can tell them that it’s not a good idea. However, asking them to distract themselves with work is not the best thing to say to them. No one wants to turn into a workaholic who neglects their own physical and mental health. So be careful about what you say.
6. “Take Some Time To Be Single”
This is a given. It’s not right for you to tell your friend that they should take time out to be single. You have no idea what their relationship was really like. Maybe they stopped loving the person a long time ago and were afraid to take steps to end the relationship? Or perhaps they want to go on dating apps and have random hookups to make themselves feel better. Either way, as a friend, you should save the judgment for court and not your friend’s personal life.
7. “Man, I Wish I Was Single”
Do you really, though? Being single isn’t a cakewalk, and telling someone who just got out of a relationship that you wish you were single would be like rubbing salt into their wounds. They are probably on the other side, wishing they could have what you have. If your friend got out of a serious relationship that lasted years, then you need to understand that they are probably scared and deeply upset about being alone. Offer them words of support instead of telling them that you wish you were in their place.
8. “I Know What You’re Going Through”
Sure, you might genuinely believe that you know precisely what they are going through, but nobody would truly understand unless they were in their shoes. If you want to avoid getting yelled at and told, “No, you have no idea what I’m going through”, avoid saying this to your friend. It is good to know that you relate, but in the heat of the moment, the other person would feel like it’s a negative remark, since their mind is filled with resentment at the moment.
9. “Just Eat Some Ice Cream”
Look, everyone has different ways of coping with a breakup. Some hit the gym, others prefer to binge eat, while some might simply push themselves to work harder. There is no one-size-fits-all way to deal with a breakup, and advising them to binge on some ice cream isn’t a bright idea. Please don’t suggest your tried and tested ways because it’s up to them how they handle themselves and restore their sanity.
Whether you are 16, 26, or 36 years of age, breakups never get easier. So skip the lectures and stupid advice and stick to offering support and comfort to your friend. The best way for you to help your friend is to offer kind words and tell them that you’re there for them. Be more observant, sensitive, and empathetic when your friend is confiding in you. Sometimes, all they need is a patient listener who listens quietly. That kind of support is enough! Do let us know all of your thoughts in the comment section below.
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