Do all that you can to provide little glimpses of light in their days.
They’re going to have some dark times over the coming weeks (and maybe months).
Breakups are rough — there’s no denying it.
When it happens, it can feel like the end of the world as you knew it. Beyond going through one yourself, it can be terribly upsetting to watch a friend have their heart broken.
If you are looking for ways to provide your support to a friend who has just gone through a rough breakup, consider these suggestions to make sure he or she feels supported during this emotionally trying time:
1. Healthy Ways to Express Anger
Your friend may have a lot of anger or resentment during this difficult time, and all of us cope in different ways. If you notice your friend is bottling up a lot of rage, help them find healthy ways to express and expel the angry energy that can circle around emotionally-charged situations.
Maybe it’s a boxing class where you two can sweat (and cry) it out or a weekly running get-together where you can pound the pavement and have some good thinking time.
Studies have confirmed that exercise can reduce anger and help people think more clearly, and sometimes all we need in the face of a sad situation is some improved perspective.
2. Offer a Shoulder to Cry On
Their brain is likely swirling with thoughts and questions, and they need an outlet through which to express these things and keep their sanity.
The best thing you can do is offer a shoulder to cry on and an ear to listen. Maybe you hated their boyfriend or girlfriend and know they’ll be better off without them — but now’s not the time to express that. Make it your job to listen without lecturing them on the times you told them he was bad news or she was playing with his mind.
Be wary of voicing angry opinions for the sole reason that this breakup might not be permanent. If they do get back together in a few weeks’ time, you’re going to have a lot of awkwardness to deal with after you’ve put them on blast.
3. Try Something New
If you need to help your friend get out of a rut, one of the best things you can do is have him or her try something new — this will keep their mind occupied and help them see the prospects of a bright future.
Some people react to breakups with the urge to try anything and everything, so you can get pretty adventurous with your plans. Maybe it’s a mountain-climbing trip or a skydiving adventure. If they’re not ready for the route of daredevil stunts, consider a day spent at the hot springs or hitting up a showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
Think of something in their ballpark and propose the idea — they’re likely going to be willing to check it out and (hopefully) will spend at least a few hours forgetting all about their ex.
4. Fun Surprises
They’re going to have some dark times over the coming weeks (and maybe months), so do all that you can to provide little glimpses of light in their days.
Have cookies delivered to their office, show up to take them to lunch on a random day, or show up at their house with a bottle of wine or their drink of choice. You’d be surprised at how much your little effort can change around their entire day or week, so think about what would cheer you up, and do so for your friend.
5. A Night of Friendship
Alone time is not conducive to healing, but it will let your friend wallow in their tears for an unmentionable amount of time. Have all your friends get together for some group hangouts and make sure your friend shows up.
Keep the talk away from said ex unless your friend brings it up, queue up some non-romantic movies, and keep the snacks and wine or beer flowing.
If you have a close friend who is struggling to cope with a tough breakup, keep these suggestions in your arsenal and help them through this difficult time. With a bit of positivity, empathy, and the art of distraction, you can make sure they get over that ex in no time.