Heartbreak is an unavoidable part of life – you risk it whenever you start a relationship. If you’ve been through it, you know how strong those feelings are and how disappointment can affect a person. But what if it’s not you who’s suffering – how to help someone get over a breakup and be the support your friend requires during this difficult time? What are you going to do?
In the perfect world, recovering from failed relationships just takes time and nothing else – still, the reality is a bit more complicated than that. It can be tough to figure out what to say to someone in such a dark place. You have to be careful not to say something wrong and make things worse – but there is a problem. You’re not a therapist, so how to determine what is appropriate to say? Worry not – there are tips that you can use as guidelines.
Tips on How to Help Someone Get Over a Breakup – What Should You Do to Support a Friend?
Figuring out how to help a friend get over a breakup is a complex issue, especially if you’ve never had to deal with such a situation before. It might be hard on you to see your loved one like this, but remember that the situation is definitely worse for them, so you have to be a rock in your friendship – even if you’re not a relationship expert. Your bestie might not see your effort now, but when they get better, they will be eternally grateful for your support.
Mental Health, Heartbreak, and Self-Care – Do You Know How to Help a Friend in Need?
Walking away from a relationship is never easy. People feel pain differently, and they deal with it in many different ways. The key to being the perfect emotional support for your friends is knowing what they need and how to get them there. So, going in with your experiences and assuming everyone processes the failed relationship similarly is a mistake. Make sure you know what your friends want and how they approach self-care. What can you do to give them what they need?
How Long Does It Usually Take Someone to Get Over a Breakup?
Naturally, the recovery time depends on many factors, such as the seriousness and length of a relationship, how good it was, whether there was infidelity on someone’s part, and who broke up with whom. No matter how much stress a person deals with, research says that one should feel (at least a little bit) better in about 2-3 months. That doesn’t mean your bestie will be perfectly fine after that time, but they should start to cope better with the situation by then. Getting over someone completely can take months or even years in cases of divorce or long-term relationships.
#1 Don’t Try to Distract Them – They Have to Process the Heartbreak
This is one of the most common mistakes people make when trying to comfort a loved one, no matter the circumstances – avoiding the issue altogether. Although this tactic can be beneficial short-term, it can do more damage than good in the long run. Basically, it’s just sweeping things under the rug – they can’t stay there forever, and your bestie will eventually be forced to deal with the feelings.
Going through it consciously and resolving it is the only way forward to new experiences and relationships. So, while your first instinct might be to take your BFF out for a long night of partying in some new, fancy club, that probably won’t solve any emotional issues (it will only be useful for blowing off some steam). This way, you will encourage ignoring the issue – heartbreak won’t go away until it’s appropriately addressed.
#2 Let Your Friend Talk to You About the Ex, Relationship, and How Things Ended
Some people don’t like talking about their problems, and others talk too much about their pain. If you’re one of those who keep feelings to themselves, you might not understand why your bestie talks about the ex and breaking up so much – and vice versa. However, what’s important is that you try to see where your loved one is coming from.
If you want to be the best emotional support ever, you are going to need to listen to the story over and over again, even if it’s pointless to you. Talking about what happened can be healing and sometimes even clear up the emotional mess that’s left behind relationships.
#3 If You Can’t Relate to the Situation, Focus on Listening Instead of Talking Just for the Sake of Talking
What to say to someone who is going through a breakup? Even if you have known that person for years and have gone through similar situations in your life, it can be difficult to come up with the right words at the moment. You wouldn’t want to say something that will make your bestie hurt even worse – unfortunately, it’s so easy to say the wrong thing because they aren’t controlling the emotions like they would when they feel well, and they are vulnerable.
And on top of that, imagine a situation that you can’t relate to – how to support them through a life circumstance you can’t understand? In these situations, people just need to be heard and see that you want to be there for them. There is no reason to feel obligated to come up with some new idea on dealing with breakups – just be sure you listen well and give your friend all the time in the world. It’s one of the best things you can do for someone going through heartbreak and disappointment.
#4 Ask What You Can Do to Take Care of Someone, Instead of Assuming
Never assume that you understand what another person needs, even if you’ve known them for years – heartbreak is not a normal state of things, and your loved one might react differently than they usually would. So, instead of making things worse by assuming, adapt to this new situation – ask your friend what would be helpful to them right now.
Assist a Friend With Everyday Tasks Until They Feel Better
When you ask a loved one how you can be of use to them during this difficult period, be sure to mention that you can do more than be a shoulder to cry on. Those who suffer a heartbreak might experience a wide range of emotions or even anxiety symptoms – everyday functioning can be very hard until they start feeling better. That’s where you can step in – offer to assist with household chores or bring dinner. It may not look like much to you, but it will be quite helpful in this period of your bestie’s life.
#5 Don’t Talk Badly About an Ex – At Least, Not Until Your Friend Recovers
Naturally, you will have a strong urge to talk badly about your friend’s ex – it isn’t anything uncommon. Still, whether you used to like that person or not, badmouthing an ex won’t be beneficial for your bestie. The chances are that they still have strong feelings for the ex, no matter how the situation ended, and you will make them feel worse.
They still aren’t in the place to see that person without rose-colored glasses and will be hurt by your remarks. Only when they heal from the heartbreak will they be able to really hear what you’re saying and adopt a new perspective.
#6 If They Are Really Struggling, Recommend They See a Therapist – That Can Speed Up the Recovering Process
Some people deal with emotional issues quickly, while others take their sweet time. The important thing is that they’re working towards feeling better. Still, suppose you notice that your friend isn’t improving or is improving slowly. In that case, you can bring up the idea of therapy sessions – a good therapist can be beneficial in dealing with heartbreak and will do more than friends and family. Maybe the first therapy appointment is exactly what your loved one needs right now.