Are you trying to help someone who is really hurting after a break up?
Is someone you care about in the worst place possible – struggling with a broken heart?
I know that watching someone you love struggle with a break up can be heartbreaking but I also know that you want to help them get through it and out the other side.
So, how can you help someone who is really hurting after a break up in a way that you know will help them, that won’t hold them back from healing, that will help them find the love that they seek?
Let me share…
#1 – Let them know that you are there for them.
I know that you are probably thinking that your person knows that you are there for them.
I am guessing that a big part of your life right now is spent processing the break up. Late night talks, lots of wine and ice cream, binge watching trash TV, harshing on the new ex.
And those things are great but make sure that your person knows that they can count on you, 100%.
Heartbreak often lasts longer than a friend’s attention span. Of course, we are sad for our person and we know that their heartbreak is real but sometimes the recovery can go on and on and on.
And our lives must go on.
And that is when it’s important that someone who is hurting after a break up knows that you are there. You might not still be regularly processing what happened but make sure that you let them know that you see their pain and that you love them unconditionally and, even if you aren’t able to process it 24/7, that you understand that they must grieve a bit longer.
And that you see them and you support them.
So, make sure that your person knows that you are there for them, right now during the processing phase, and down the road, if need be.
#2 – Don’t try to fix them.
I know that the inclination to fix your friend is huge. I mean, you want to do whatever you can to ease their pain.
Unfortunately, trying to fix someone who isn’t ready to be fixed will only be counterproductive. Not only will they not be fixed but they might even get worse!
What do I mean by fix them?
By telling them that they need to snap out of it. By setting them up with other people. By not supporting them in the ups and downs about the feelings of their ex and their relationship.
By telling them how you would be thinking about this break up or what you would be doing differently or how you are frustrated that they aren’t listening to your advice.
No one wants to be ‘fixed.’ For many of us, feeling like we need to be fixed only makes the way that we are feeling worse.
What we need, instead of fixing, is to be seen and heard. To know that our person is there for them, that they truly understand that they are struggling and why. That their person will listen and empathize and occasionally rant with us.
Not that our person thinks that we should be doing things a certain way on a certain timeline.
So, even though you can see clearly your loves one’s pathway back to happiness, know that it is their journey and that you are just along for the ride.
#3 – Get them out of the house.
A key way to help someone who is hurting after a break up is by getting them out of the house.
When we have a broken heart, we want to isolate. We want to curl up in a ball on our couch, cry, eat ice cream and listen to sad songs.
What we don’t want to do is anything that involves taking a shower and putting on shoes.
While I don’t want you to fix your friend, I do want you to encourage them to get up off the couch and get outside.
To go for a walk or to the movies or to eat ice cream in the park instead of on the couch.
To breath fresh air and to experience nature and to recognize that there is a big wide world out there, one that will be there as we go on this journey.
To remember that there is life outside of our four walls, life that just might bring us happiness down the road.
Are you perhaps trying to do this but failing? If yes, I would encourage you to make it like this is something that YOU need. That you need a walk or ice cream or a rom-com and that you really want them to share it with you.
Hopefully, your loved one will want to do something for you, especially if you have been supporting them as they go through this.
Remember – fresh air + sunshine + ice cream = hope!
#4 – Don’t invite them to ‘couple’ things.
I know that I previously told you that it’s important that you get your loved one out of the house but I would enourage you NOT to get them out of the house by inviting them to couples things.
I would not encourage you to invite them for dinner with your partner. Or to a dinner party where they will be the only single person. Or to a night out with people who are in all in solid relationships.
I know – you are hoping that by seeing happy couples you might inspire your friend to get past the break up but, for now, they don’t need to see other people happy.
They don’t need to be reminded of what being in a couple looks like.
They don’t need to miss the relationship that they had with their ex.
They don’t need to see couples who seem like they are made for each other and have no issues.
They don’t need to despair that they will never love or be loved again.
For now, I would encourage you to track down all of your single friends and head out for a night on the town, or whatever.
There is nothing like shared experience to help people heal. To spend time with others who are single, who are still seeking love and who have healed from broken hearts themselves, is the best medicine for someone with a broken heart.
#5 – Hold them accountable for stalking.
This is a tough one because it is much like fixing but this is an important part of supporting someone who is really hurting after a break up.
The instinct to stalk an ex is a big one. I am not saying that we want to track them down and boil their bunny but what we do want to do is to keep tabs on them, to see what their lives are like, to see if they are happy.
Unfortunately, there are so many ways to do that these days. There is, of course, social media which, I believe, is the worst thing in existence for someone who is struggling with a broken heart.
In the old days, we used to have to get off the couch to see what our exes were up to but now we can just pick up our phones and see what they are doing.
Are they happy? Having new adventures? Missing you? Have they found someone new? Have they forgotten you completely?
And, usually no matter what we see, we feel bad after looking.
So, if there one thing that I would encourage you to do is to encourage your friend to not stalk their ex.
Don’t drive them past their exes house. Unfriend and unfollow them yourself. Don’t ask mutual friends for information to share with your loved one.
Do whatever you can do to keep your loved one away from any sort of information about their ex.
By doing so you will help them get past their ex quicker. Why? Because every time they have contact with their ex, even if it’s just a picture, they are back to square one with their healing.
All that processing that you have already done will be for naught.
So, do what you can to encourage your loved one from stalking their ex. If you do, you just might find that the heartbreak passes quicker and you will have more time on your hands to have fun!
Knowing how to help someone who is really hurting after a break up is not always an easy thing.
The mental anguish that comes from heartbreak can be devastating to watch and it can leave us feeling overwhelmed about what to do.
But you can do this – you can help your friend get through this. A broken heart is never fatal and we have all survived them.
Your friend will too – with you there supporting them but not trying to fix them, by getting them out of the couch, by not forcing them to spend time with couples and by keeping them away from their ex at all costs.
They, and you, will get through this and you will be able to return to the life and laughter you had before.