How to help a friend after a bad breakup

by Brittany Kirby on February 1, 2012

I adore the blog, A Cup of Jo. In a recent post, Joanna shares four things you can do for a friend after a bad breakup. I really love the first tip – saying “what else” to your friend when she is sharing with you. I am someone who always feels like I am burdening or boring people with my “stuff” and I would love it if someone would say that or something similar to me when I was opening up.

A Cup of Jo: Four things to say to a friend after a bad breakup

1. Say two little words. When your heartbroken friend is talking about her worries, she’s probably also wondering if she’s annoying you. The best thing you can say to someone who’s spilling her woes? “What else?” You’ll show her that you support her and want her to share all her thoughts–as long as it takes. My friend Colby used to say this when I was upset (“Mmmhmm, I know…what else?”), and I CANNOT tell you how amazing it was. Just those two little words.

2. “You will be happy again.” My mom said this to me in the car years ago, when I was crying after breaking up with my college boyfriend. It was incredibly comforting to hear. When you’re heartbroken, it’s hard to imagine ever feeling differently, and her words made me feel hopeful: I could give myself time to mourn the end of the relationship, but then it would pass.

3. Boost her up. Tell her how smart/funny/beautiful she is! Getting dumped can be a blow to a person’s self-esteem, and she might be thinking that she’s not pretty enough, not fun enough, not love-able enough. So tell her exactly why you adore her and how wonderful she is. Make a list if you want!

4. Get her a massage. My friend Erin recently told me that she gave her best friend a gift certificate for a professional massage, when she was going through a breakup. Isn’t that a brilliant idea? I once read that when you break up with a romantic partner, you often miss the touch as much as the actual person. Your body can physically miss them. A massage would help her feel touched, relaxed and pampered–and help release endorphins to make her feel happier. What an awesome idea.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

virginia February 1, 2012 at 5:59 pm

“How to help a friend…” is full of wisdom which is not limited to breaking up situations. The underlying concept of being sensitive to the other person’s needs…the wonderful gift of “what else” can make all the difference in evolving pain into comfort. I really hadn’t thought about the importance of the physical contact; you can miss it without realizing that you do; it’s comfort, a form of affirmation. A massage is great but so are hugs and they’re instantly available and require double contact and they don’t have to stop till you want them to. Beautiful photo.

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Brittany Kirby February 4, 2012 at 12:12 pm

Thank you so much for your comment. I completely agree that this post is not limited to break-up situations, but any form of loss, really. And, I love your suggestion of a hug to fulfill the need for physical contact. The power of a simple hug is often underestimated!

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Kelly M February 2, 2012 at 9:54 pm

I love Cup of Jo, her blog is on point, as proven by this post. Nice pick B.

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Brittany Kirby February 4, 2012 at 12:13 pm

Thanks, Kel! Miss you and your darling baby. Come back soon! xo

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