Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Things Not to Say to Friends Who Just Broke Up

I have a couple of friends who recently went through a break-up. In talking to them, they have given me some helpful advice on what NOT to say to someone who just broke up.  I thought this list would be helpful for people (including myself.)

Top Five Things Not to Say:

5. "There is someone better out there for you."  This is probably true, but usually when someone breaks up with someone, they are mourning for the person they were with, not someone else. There is not much comfort in the thought of being with some stranger who is not the one you are crying over.

4. "God has better plans in store for you."  This again is likely true, but it IS NOT what that person wants to hear. This person likely just wants to be together with their most recent ex-boyfriend. It might also make this person angry at God if they blame him for the break-up.

3. "You deserve better." But I want that one. When we have a person in our mind, it's almost impossible to get that guy out of there without having someone else to replace thoughts of that guy.

2. "What a jerk!" Even after your friend goes through a breaks up, she is likely emphasizing with him. This guy has been her closest friend until now. It is a similar concept as being able to talk bad about your family but getting offended when someone else does. Your friend will likely defend her ex if you put him down.

1. "I didn't like that guy anyways." Alright, hold the phone dishonest friend. If you were truly thinking this, the caring thing of you to do would have been to tell your friend your concerns about this guy earlier. Furthermore, friends could have their own reasons for not liking the guy especially if they are feeling neglected or like they have been replaced with your most recent (ex) boyfriend.

Some possible things you could say:

1. "Has he been taking crazy pills?" While I do not think it is good to straight up dis the guy who has just broken up with your friend, you could build your friend up by questioning the guys'  sanity for breaking up with your beautiful, talented friend.

2. "Let's have a girls' week-end."  Distraction, distraction, distraction. I am a firm believer in divine distractions. Get that girl out and away from her thoughts for a bit.

3. "Now you have more time to chase dream XYZ." Although your friend may not want to think about another guy right away, she is likely able to (and needs to) think about some new way to fill her time. Endings bring new beginnings. It's a good time to remind your friend of that.

These are just my thoughts (with the help of a friend or two.)  You might have some different ideas; I'd love to hear them. What are your experiences of encouraging friends who have gone through a break-up?


Genevieve Greathouse said...

pretty great. :) good post!

Anonymous said...

You have some great ideas. I'm pretty sure I have said the "wrong" things at times.


Anonymous said...

So good to see you writing again.