How should I help support my friend through a breakup?



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Meow Wow

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So recently my best friends girlfriend broke up with her.

I wanna be there for my friend in case she needs anything but I don't exactly know what to do or say if the topic about them comes up again. I already said some things that I shouldn't and I don't want to make the same mistake again.

To clarify, this is the first time I have been in this situation and I don't date myself so I'm really in a blank space here, that's why I said certain things that shouldn't be said when somebody gets broken up with.

So all I ask is for advice on how to treat the situation. If anyone can speak from their own experience that would be great.

Thanks
 

KingdomKey

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I haven't been in this situation before. I believe all you can really do is let your friend sort things out for herself. Offering her morale support if she needs it. Or hang out with her to distract her from thinking about her ex. Keep your friend busy if you can. Encourage her to do something new to boost her self esteem? Maybe do something nice and unexpected for her? And yeah, definitely don't say negative things about her ex because, obviously she still has feelings for her ex. Or don't talk about her ex in general. Even if it comes up, it's probably going to be rhetorical. Change the subject if you can. And if she blows up at you, it's not your fault, and she needs something to take her feelings out on because, she's going to be feeling a whole lot of hurt. It'll take time for her to get past this. Sometimes eating sweets and junk food can help fill in the void of going through something awful as a breakup. But I know that's really cliche.

Give it time, give her some space, and be there for her if she needs you is what's most important. There isn't really a right or wrong thing to say or do. Sometimes simply listening to her vent about her ex can help. And if it's too much drama, it's alright to take a step back for a bit. Breakups aren't pretty and it's a lot of emotional baggage to deal with. Oh! Humor can also go a long way in making a person feel better when they're feeling down or rotten too.

I don't know if any of this will help you, but I hope it does. Take it with a grain of salt.
 

Dari

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When you're on the receiving end, honestly, thats the harder bit of it. Be mindful and know your experience is important, you can't help someone with a situation you haven't dealt with as effectively as you would like, and there is no shame in this. As a friend, you're really only equipped to be just that "a friend", the same friend thats supported her since you've known each other. Offer some laughs, try to take her attention off the other person, and remain active and engaged with something, just things you know you can do. These are supportive things you can do that don't require you to compromise too much.

When this becomes a topic or is dropped into conversation, listen first and reserve your emotional reaction/response. Pay attention to if you are directly asked what to do in a certain instance or a situation, if you are not asked any form of question, do not give an answer telling your friend what to do, do not give advice especially when you weren't asked to provide it. This is incredibly disrespectful a lot of the time, because when dealing with a partner separation, the persons involved usually take time to ground themselves, linger thinking about the last person they dated, and the onus is on them to make the choice to move on after they've grieved. If you have to answer, be sincere and answer honestly, if you really don't know what to say, then you don't know what to say. There is no shame in letting your friend know you simply are not equipped to give them some form of instruction on what they can do regarding the other person.

Things not to do.
As I said before, don't give advice that wasn't asked for.
Don't speak about the person when it isn't the topic.
Do not be silent, it makes it awkward for everybody.

Bottom line.
You can be supportive really just by being there when you're needed. Do not feel you necessarily have to physically be around your friend several times more, but answer phone calls, texts, or even doing either of those preemptively to make plans or keep your friend engaged and around other people, is sometimes one of the best things you can do without being asked to.
 

Meow Wow

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Alrighty.
Thank you both for the advice. I will do my best with this in the future.

I honestly don't know what to say beyond that.

Yeah I got her plenty of chocolate, the softest stuffed animal I have ever seen, and other gifts from vacation to hopefully make her feel a little better. After all, comfort food plus petting something soft usually works. I also told her that if she needs anything she can come to me, while we were in that initial conversation.
And thankfully their friendship hasn't been destroyed due to the breakup, so they're still friends.
 
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