How can you help a friend whose heart is broken? Pitfalls to avoid.
When a friend has a broken heart, it’s not always easy to find the right words. Here are some mistakes you should avoid.
- Giving your friend the impression that his/her pain isn’t important, that there’s no reason to feel that bad: You weren’t going out for that long! Respect his/her pain and say instead that you understand, that you feel bad for him/her. Sometimes, we can feel real pain for a reason that seems trivial to someone else.
- Giving your friend false hope: I’m sure you’ll get back together! To be able to heal, the person needs to accept that it’s over and move on.
- Badmouthing your friend’s ex and saying I told you so: I told you he/she wasn’t reliable! Don’t come whining to me! Your friend is likely to feel attacked or judged and may withdraw inside himself/herself.
- Going too fast: My cousin’s single! I’ll introduce you! Your friend needs time to heal. Respect his/her pace and wait until he/she’s ready to meet someone new.
- Making your friend feel guilty or denying his/her emotions: Get over it: you’re depressing! Crying won’t do any good! Your friend needs to express what he/she’s going through and might find it hard to smile for a few days or weeks. Even if you’re eager for him/her to get back to normal, give your friend time.
- Gossiping and talking about your friend’s ex: I saw your ex yesterday; he/she was with Tony and… Your friend really needs to take his/her mind off things and focus on his/her own life. Encourage your friend to go out and do things he/she enjoys.
Don’t forget: if you think your friend has negative thoughts, the situation isn’t improving, or it’s too hard for you to help him/her alone, don’t hesitate to consult a trusted adult or Tel-jeunes!