How To Help A Friend Through A Breakup

Written by Harini Natarajan , Certified Emotional Intelligence Practitioner

Breakups are hard. It doesn’t matter if you are the one who just went through a breakup or your friend who is reeling from one – breakups are guaranteed to cause misery in your life. It is believed that breakups have effects similar to any other kind of loss. There is a period of grieving, followed by a period of anger, and finally acceptance. It is important for your friend to feel and go through all those stages. While your friend may understand this on a theoretical level, it could be difficult for them to stay rational when their heart is broken. What they need from you at this time is just your help and support. How can you help a friend through a breakup? Read on to find out!

How To Help A Friend Through A Breakup?

We know the urge to cuss out or punch the person causing distress to your friend is high, but calm down, take a deep breath, and focus on your friend. Punching the perpetrator is not going to make your friend feel better. What will make them feel better though is helping them through this awful period in their life. Check out all the ways you can help your friend through a breakup in the next section.

10 Ways To Help A Friend Through A Breakup

1. Keep Your Door Open

What your friend may need the most at this time is you being there for them, and maybe a change of scenery. So, let them know that you are always there for them and allow them to find you whenever they want to. Keep your door open to them, and maybe even let them crash at your place for a few days. Have a friends’ night in, set up a home spa, and relax. This will help them

2. Be Patient, Listen, And Respond

In the aftermath of the breakup, there may be a lot of hysterics and tears, or the exact opposite, like self-isolation and lamenting. Be patient with your friend’s emotional outbursts or lack of them. Allow them to open up on their accord and in their own time. Bashing their ex may not be productive – it will just serve as a reminder of the breakup. So try not to bring them up too often. Instead, be mindful and empathetic while responding to their rants or outbursts.

3. Keep An Eye On Them

Keep checking in on them and make sure they are alright. But at the same time, do not mother them too much! Remember, you are trying to help and not annoy them with the constant hovering. You may be really worried for them and want to make sure that they don’t end up doing something stupid or harmful, but give them time. If you keep hovering over them too much, they may just go into a shell instead of opening up to you. A broken heart takes time to heal, and over time, your friend will be back to normal. So stay calm and let the pain run its course.

4. Let Them Know That They Are Better Off Without Their Ex

Sometimes, what really helps a person feel better is hearing about their strengths. So, listen to your friend rant, then let them know that they are better off without the person who broke their heart. Let them know that they are an amazing person and friend, and the fact that you are there for them shows how much they mean to you. A good pep talk can build their confidence and show them their own worth.

5. Be Their Beacon Of Logical Reasoning

After a breakup, your friend is bound to be an emotional mess, and they have every right to! Their heart was just broken, but this does not mean they get to do whatever they want. Be their voice of reason. Stop them from doing anything that is illegal or that can seriously harm them or their ex. This included things like getting blackout drunk and going over to their ex’s place to wreak havoc.

6. Be Mindful Of Their Feelings

Sometimes, it’s easy to misinterpret when someone is leaning on you for help. It is imperative that you understand that no one is forcing you to help them. If you do feel compelled to help them, that’s on you. It is important that you do not get frustrated or start to order them around in the guise of helping them. Be mindful of their feelings and be empathetic. As frustrating as it may seem, keep calm. Maintain a cool state of mind when you deal with them. When someone’s filled up to the brim with emotions, it takes time to let it all out and let go of all the feelings they had invested in the relationship.

7. Understand That What You’re Doing Is Not A Job

As a friend, you’ll always want to help them out and make sure they get back on track. But it is important to understand that getting their life in order is their job, not yours. You can be there for them, support them, cry with them – but you cannot fix them. Only your friend can do that.

8. Let Them Know About Your Emotional Energy And Time

It’s fine to admit when you are not at your emotional best to give them your all when it comes to listening to them. If you have an appointment or an urgent meeting, you cannot delay that for your friend. And if you’re completely drained after a hard day’s work, you cannot give your 100% to your friend. So while you may feel a bit guilty, it is important that you tell them when you do not have the time or energy to listen to them. This does not mean you snub them, of course. Let them know in a gentle manner if you have a prior engagement. If you are not at your emotional best, tell them that you are tired and you can have a chilled relaxation time with them instead. You don’t have to listen to them, but instead, you can put on some music, make some drinks, put on your favorite show, and distract yourself from life’s troubles together.

9. It Is Alright To Feel What They Feel

Many times, when a person goes through a breakup, they try to hide their pain and steel themselves against the world. Help them understand that it is completely fine to feel whatever they are feeling, be it sadness, anger, frustration, or plain emptiness. There is nothing shameful or weak about one’s feelings. So, allow them to feel whatever they are feeling. Let them know that it’s fine and that you’re there to wipe their tears, or buy them huge pints of ice cream, or just slouch on the couch watching sad movies. Remind them that only after they let themselves feel their feelings and let them all out can their heart and mind begin to heal.

10. Remind Them This Too Shall Pass

Remind your friend that all this pain will fade away with time and that this too shall pass. At this point of time, they may be feeling miserable and lonely and scared that they will never again find someone like their ex or feel love like that again. But, as a friend, let them know that this grief and loneliness will pass, and they will come out of it a better and stronger person. Encourage them to take steps toward betterment and going back to normalcy. Help them not lose hope and continue pushing through. It may be hard, but know that they can get out of this. Voice out your belief in them to them. Sometimes, having a person who trusts you can be what motivates you to do better and move forward.

The Bottom Line

These are just a few of the ways to help a friend get over a breakup. It is important to understand that not everyone experiences the pain and heartache of a breakup the same way. While some of these tips may be useful for some friends, others may not be close to what your friend wants or needs. Sometimes, all the heart needs is quality time with a friend, but other times, it may need 6 long months of self-love. So remember, the best way to help a friend through a breakup is to just be there for them.

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