How to Support a Friend Through a Breakup?
While you deeply care about your close friend, it can be a tough task to support him/her through a breakup. There can be several conflicts and no-win situations while trying to support them in their difficult times. However, you might have greater clarity on what should be done by them and yet whatever you say may fall on deaf ears. It is not easy to handle a breakup for anyone who is involved. Here are some suggestions that can support your friend after they had a breakup:
Make Your Friend Participate in an Activity he/she is fond of
Is your friend fond of soccer? Then take them to watch a local game so that they can cheer for their favorite soccer team. If your friend has a sweet tooth, treat him/her to an ice-cream. You must remind a friend of what they are passionate about during their breakup so that they can start feeling glad once again. Do not try to give surprises to your friend at this stage. Rather ask him/her first about if they wish to indulge in a specific activity.
Know Your Limits
As your friend might be going through trying time, they may not see things clearly at this phase. So, they might not be a good friend to you at this particular juncture. That does not mean that they will be always like this. However, for the time being, even your well-meaning remarks can be interpreted and twisted differently. You might feel that their entire anger is directed at you. However, that is not the case. Also, you need to remember that you should be there beside them and help your friend to calm down and not just listen to him/her.
Acknowledge their pain
To get over the breakup, your friend needs to acknowledge their pain first. If you tell them to "get over it", it will not work one bit. So, you need to acknowledge your friend's pain when you first hear about the breakup. Once you do so, you should also avoid talking about the 'silver lining" that your friend will eventually get to. After a breakup, emotions are raw, and logic goes out the window. So, telling your friend that everything is going to be alright right after the breakup will not have the effect you are hoping for.
Instead, you should offer emotional support, listen to your friend, and offer optimism when necessary. Do not keep telling them there is a light at the end of the tunnel because it will get annoying. Just tell them they will be alright and that you are there for them during their heart-break.
Respect the Process of Your Friend
In case your friend has recently gone through a breakup; their pain can ease only temporarily when they are distracted. You might wish to forcefully take them out clubbing or dining out. After all, you miss the way they used to be prior to their breakup. However, irrespective of how strong your urge is to drag your friend out of his emotion and try to transform them to be a fun person they used to be, it cannot speed up the recovery process. Rather, trying to hasten up the process might just distract them from their agony momentarily.
Encourage them to be Active
It is usual for your friend to stay indoors after a breakup and binge watch TV channels. Although it can be a terrible process for your friends and they might not feel going out of their homes, you must encourage them to start going out and enjoy some fresh air.
For example, you can suggest them to take a short walk in the morning. If they start walking for even half an hour in the neighborhood, it can do wonders for their mental, as well as, physical health. If your friend agrees, go out for a short trip with him/her as a change of scene will do well. You can both head to a nearby beach or a state park, spend the day together. It can help them to clear their minds.
Attend to Their Needs
A great way to help your grieving friend is to ensure that certain things in his/her life are dealt with. For instance, you can help your friend by bringing food over. It can be some pasta or even homemade soup because good food can help in soothing a broken heart. You can also take their pet out for a walk so that they can relax and feel relieved.