Breakups will always suck. It doesn’t matter if the relationship ended with an intense fight or a loving settlement, it is always hard for a thinking feeling person, especially with a bad breakup. There are just a few people who have managed not to experience a breakup, but we all can have at least one friend who is going through a bad breakup at some point in life. It’s just part of growing up.
It’s often painful and daunting to adjust to life as a single person, it can be drawn out and unexplainably long but everyone gets with a little help from their friends.
Most of the time, we run out of ideas to cheer them up. It’s normal to feel powerless when your friend goes through a tough breakup, but one of the most important things you need to know is that there is no quick fix to the situation.
People deal with breakups differently. No two people grieve the same way. Most guys tend to appear all strong and masculine, it is hard to know when they are hurting, to even understand their hurts. It’s easier for guys to conceal their feelings, in a bid not to appear weak, but the truth is that nobody is above getting hurt, especially while going through a bad breakup. Deep down, everybody must have a help system around them.
Seeing someone you care about go through a really hard breakup is difficult. Breakup daunts, as we all know, so when it’s someone that you love and care about, you want to do everything you can to make them feel better. You want to be that strong pillar they can lean on as they deal with this feeling.
Are you wondering how to help a friend, colleague or brother through a breakup? You feel powerless because you are not sure of the right tactics to use, you don’t want to do anything that will affect your friendship with him. One of the most important things you’ll need to do is to realize that you cannot simply change or fix the situation.
Let Them Know You Want Them To Talk To You When They Are Ready
Breakups are never fun, but it’s particularly tough if the breakup was a surprise to them, if it was a total betrayal. It hurt less when they are the instigator of the breakup if the relationship was toxic in any way.
In as much as you mean well for them, it pains you to see them in such a bad state, and you also want to hear every detail of the juice, let them talk when they are ready to talk. Encourage them to talk, but only when they want to.
If you have gone through a breakup yourself, I mean a really bad breakup, you will understand to an extent why guys appear all superb. While dealing with the feeling of a breakup, it often feels isolating, as if everyone is judging you for how long you are grieving, how quick you moved on, even those wondering why such an amazing person like you, could fall in with such a loser and every other detail that come with ending a relationship. People, unfortunately, are judgmental and this is why many of the guys clam up during a breakup.
This is why it is priceless to have a friend who will not only accept you but will also not be in haste to conclude when you are not ready to talk. A friend who will encourage you to talk, laugh, cry or express yourself to them in any way that is most appropriate to you. It will make the person realize that they actually are not alone and that just because their relationship ended doesn’t mean you don’t still care about them.
When you have made this clear to them and it appears that they are not prepared to talk yet, respect their space for that as well, that shows you are genuinely interested in how they feel.
Be Ready To Listen
When they are ready to talk, be ready to listen. This is the time to be that shoulder they can lean on. This is one unavoidable thing everyone going through breakup needs, someone who can just listen without being in a hurry to speak. Listen regardless of whether the relationship was 5 months or 5 years. Give them an ear, listen to them as they let it all out. Genuinely listening is one of the first and most meaningful steps you can take to show you care. Allow them to talk about it, to talk to you. Speaking heals.
Importantly, Be There
After every breakup, there is always a big hole in your life. This explains the feeling of loneliness, loss, and insecurity that come with a breakup.
If you intend to help your friend deal with a bad breakup, you will need to try to make sure you ease some of that loneliness. To be there is to keep them company so they don’t spend too long alone with their thoughts, endlessly obsessing over what went wrong, trying to blame themselves for not being too good or making some unhealthy choices, such as; drinking too much, taking substance or dialing the object of their grief (their ex).
Just Be Patient
Staying with a friend going through a breakup can feel frustrating and straining sometimes. Being good friends through good times is never the same as when someone is grieving and hurting. Your friend grieving is in a state of confusion and doesn’t know exactly what is right at the moment. they may be pushing you away when you are what they need at the moment. Just be patient with them.
Constantly remind yourself that it’s your job as a friend to be understanding, compassionate and involved even if it means listening to the same questions or stories repeatedly as your friend processes the new source of grief. Having patience through the process begins immediately and lasts the entire time.
Help him feel understood, make sure you engage with the stories and questions raised to help make the person feel understood. Your response each time he recounts the stories or questions, should be things that both reassure your friend and acknowledge that his feelings are valid.
Don’t rush to advising him, unless he asked for it.
It is very easy to think highly of yourself when it comes to your choices in choosing a relationship than your friend. It easy is to judge your friend for going into such a relationship, when it seems that the end is obvious, with all the signs that were so glaring, however, it is not the best at that time.
As a good friend, it is not your place to judge, belittle or criticize your friend for signs you think they should have seen. It is also important to avoid using judgmental language that makes them feel victimized in the whole situation.
Your goal is to make them feel better and not worse. Get to it.
Don’t Compare Yourself
Like avoiding to victimize your friend, also resist the urge to compare yourself to them. No two people are the same, no two breakups are the same and we also grieve in no single way. So, there is absolutely no point comparing or contrasting.
Comparing can also mean that you are not interested in helping your friend heal, like you are more interested in talking about yourself, in boasting about yourself. If that is what you want, why not write a book with your experiences.
Instead of finding yourself in their stories/experience, just let them know that you are there for them and that you are on their side. Give your friend time to make it about him.
Be The Voice Of Reason
While you must encourage your friend to express themselves to you when and however they want, you should also remember to be the voice of a reason, because it is likely the next thing they need, even though they may or may not know or acknowledge it at the moment.
If your friend starts talking about stalking their ex on every social media, putting up shows in a bid to prove a point to their ex or going over to every place their ex is likely to be, please don’t let them! Right now, when your friend is feeling all of the bad feelings, they won’t be able to stop themselves from doing something stupid, so you, as a good friend, should know when to step in to stop them from making a fool of themselves and regretting it after.
Being supportive, being physically present and giving all the attention and care can you give to your friend, also means making sure that they know you won’t let them do anything dramatic that they will regret later.
A breakup awakens an irrational part of all of us. Stopping your friend from doing any of these wild irrational things, like contacting the ex is like a parent forbidding a teenager from doing something. Your friend may do it just to spite the voice of reason, don’t get frustrated, either way, still let them know that you still love them.
Engage Them In Activities They Like
Focus on what helps your friend feel better. Before you take him out anywhere, be careful not to do or go to a place that will bring memories of the broken relationship back. You aim is to channel negative emotions into positive activities, find out the activities that friend can use to sublime the hurtful feelings and encourage them to do them.
Surprise them with what cheers them up, surprises works magic to everyone. Whatever treat you know they can’t say no to, offer it to them now. It is important to mention that this is not a way of encouraging unhealthy habits, remember you are their voice of reason at the moment.
Have fun together. Being single again can feel a bit staggering and confusing, especially in the case of long-term relationships or cohabitation, because they will be feeling like they have lost a part of themselves or identity. Engage them in activities they enjoy.
These fun activities can help to re-establish a sense of normalcy that helps the friend move on. Give your friend all the positive reinforcement for the productive ways in which he has tried in managing the process.
Understand Your Boundary
Although you want to be there, to help your friend during this whole period and you have tried hard to be a good friend during this breakup, and you feel the situation is becoming more demanding than you can offer. First off, chill, you have tried, you are not a failure. You are just in a situation where your friend needs more help than you can offer. This is putting your friend’s sanity over yours. This is you being the voice of reason needed.
One of the safest ways to be there for your friend after a breakup is to always remind yourself that you are human and not a machine, and you have limits.
You can suggest that your friend might benefit from outside help, like a therapist or counselor. He can even hire domestic help just for the interim.
Either way, when it gets to this point, you will need to back up a little bit and set some boundaries to maintain your mental health.
Let Them Find Their Process
We have all been through breakups before and if you have not been, lucky you. But some of us have and we have even managed to compile the list of self-care methods from our many experiences, and you might be tempted to want to dictate it all to your friend.
Even though you mean well, you must remember that they are not you and you are not them. Everyone is uniquely different. Everyone grieves in a completely different manner and over a unique period. Don’t try to dictate how long the grieving period should take based on the length of the relationship or anything else like that.
After you have done your best to be there for your friend; talked, laughed, cried and listened, the best thing you can do is let them find their process. Let him find his day to day details. Allow him to find his way through the breakup. Leave them to find their path. They are going to have to take their own time to heal and work through things, and they’re going to have to do it in their way.