18 Things To Say To A Friend Going Through A Breakup To Help Them Heal
Knowing what to say to a friend going through a breakup can be very difficult sometimes.
Why? Because we want to support our friend and help them heal but we also want to let them know they got off easy. That, if their ex didn’t want them, good riddance.
We also might mistakenly assume that our friend wants what we would want and so we sometimes give them that and it all backfires.
There is a fine balancing act to getting what to say straight and good for you for trying to figure out how to do so so that you don’t make their pain worse.
Here are 18 things to say to a friend going through a break up.
#1 – This is not your fault.
If someone is willing to bear the responsibility of something that goes wrong, the person who has done the wrong will be willing to put it on them, thereby becoming the victim.
Remind your friend that this isn’t on them – that their ex created this situation – and that they don’t need to apologize to anyone.
#2 – You have every right to feel the way you feel.
In much of our society, emotions are taboo. We are encouraged to ‘tough it out’ or ‘suck it up.’
We definitely shouldn’t do that after a break up. Letting out emotions, whether it is anger, grief, sadness or disbelief, is the first step to healing.
#3 – It’s ok to cry.
Crying is often looked at as a sign of weakness. How many times have you apologized to someone for crying?
Well, tell your friend to cry away. It will help them get their emotions out and will also signal to others that they are sad so they will be treated accordingly!
#4 – I am here for you.
Many people who have just been broken up with are feeling very alone. Their person is gone. Knowing that you are there for them might be exactly what they need.
#5 – Do you need me to leave?
Conversely, sometimes people just want to mourn alone, at least at the beginning. Ask your friend if they want you to stay or to go.
#6 – Just take it one day at a time.
One of things that we do that sabotages healing is to look too far into the future.
To think that we will always be this miserable, this alone. This hopeless.
One thing to say to a friend who is going through a breakup is to look just as far as tomorrow, instead of months down the road. Doing so makes it much easier to manage fears about what the future looks like.
#7 – Let’s eat ice cream and watch Netflix.
When my daughter was 15, she came downstairs and told me that her friend had had her heart broken. She asked me what to do. I told her to tell her friend to have some ice cream.
My daughter, who had never herself had a heartbreak, said that she had already done that.
Ice cream – the ultimate comfort food. Pair it with Netflix and it will be just what the doctor ordered.
#8 – What do you need from me?
As I said above, we often want to give people what we know that we would want in this situation. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always work because we are all different people.
Ask your friend what you can do for them. They might not know in the moment but knowing that you are there and that you are offering to help will give them space to let you know when they do.
#9 – You are not un-loveable.
When we are broken up with, let go by someone who says they loved us, it only leads to us believing that we are un-loveable. That we will never love or be loved again because of something that is wrong with us.
Remind them that this just isn’t true. And that their ex just couldn’t see how loveable they are.
#10 – You are a rock star.
At the same time that you are reminding them that they aren’t un-loveable, remind them about how awesome they are. That they were awesome before the relationship and that they are still awesome now that it is over.
#11 – Let’s take a day off from social media.
Chances are good that if your friend is going through a break-up, they are spending a ton of time on social media, stalking their ex.
And this is the number one worse thing that they should do.
Suggest a mini vacation from social media. Give that itch that they want to scratch a chance to fade.
#12 – Let it all out.
Many of us just want to hold it all in. To not let those emotions that we are feeling out into the world. And that just doesn’t help with healing.
Encourage your person to laugh or scream or cry or punch a pillow. Whatever they need to do to let their feelings out, to prevent them from getting trapped in their body where those emotions will only fester and cause more damage.
#13- The pain will get pass.
This can be very hard for someone who is in so much pain to believe – that there will be a time that they will no longer feel it.
I would encourage you to remind your person that that day will come, and that it will come quicker than it would have if they had stayed in the relationship, feeling pain every day.
#14 – You deserve better.
This is something that I would encourage you to say to a friend going through a breakup a bit down the road in their healing – that they deserve better than their loser ex.
The reason that you say it down the road, and not right after the break-up, is because if you say it at the beginning of the healing process, they won’t believe you, and that might make them mad and maybe even push you away.
#15 – Let’s do something new.
In relationships, we tend to get stuck in patterns, doing “couple things.”
When we are broken up with, those patterns get broken. We are left sad on Sunday with no brunch or dinners on Friday or Christmases skiing.
One thing that I would encourage you to say to a friend going through a breakup is to try something new. On Sunday mornings – perhaps a morning hike or an early girlfriend breakfast. On Friday nights, pizza and a movie – something that will fill the empty space.
#16 – Is it time for a rebound?
This is definitely not something that you say right away because, once again, doing so might backfire.
But, when the time is right, encourage your person to get back out there. They don’t need to find a relationship but a little rebound sex might be just the ticket.
#17 – Have hope.
When we are in the middle of a crisis, one born of a breakup especially, it’s really hard to have hope for the future. From where we sit, we can only see misery and loneliness.
But you know the truth. You know that your friend is going to be okay and that they will find love again, so tell them.
I always tell my friends that I am ‘holding space’ for them. That they might not believe but that I do!
#18 – You have survived a break up before, you will again!
I am guessing that your friend has been through heartache before, heartache that they didn’t believe, at the time, they would ever recover from. But they did and they will again. Remind them!
So, there you go, 18 things to say to a friend going through a breakup.
I would encourage you to start at the beginning of my list and work your way down. Saying some things too early could very well be counterproductive.
And remember, even if you sometimes feel like your friend doesn’t appreciate you or your efforts, know that they do, they just might not be able to say it right now.
So, go forth and support your friend. You will be glad you did!