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Best Advice for When Your Friend Gets Dumped

Most of us have faced that awkward situation when a friend gets dumped and turns to you for support and compassion.  Of course all good friends are happy to help, but sometimes it is can be difficult to sympathize with someone who just wants to be depressed.  This is where it is important to know what to say to them.  You want to be supportive, but you also need to give them direction.  Here are some things to consider when playing the role of both friend and therapist.

Listen First
No matter how much you want to share your opinion on your friend’s relationship, it is best to start by just listening.  They will undoubtedly ask you questions like ‘why did this happen?’ and ‘what should I do?’ but these are just rhetorical questions that they are thinking aloud.  Give them a chance to sort things out on their own before trying to lead them down a specific path.  The hardest period is the first week after a break up, and during this time it is important to be more supportive than aggressive.

Break Up Advice from FriendsGet Them Out
Sometimes it is not always about the advice you give as much as how you can help them forget their ex.  Helping your friend realize that there are other options besides sitting at home will help them overcome their loss.  The goal here is to help them the forget their problems, if only for one night.  Of course you can expect their ex to come up in the conversation, and it is how you handle this topic that will determine the success of your night out.  Be gentle with subject.  Show them you care, but keep things moving in a positive direction.  A fast-paced evening with lots of activities is the best way to prevent sulking.

Be Honest
Eventually you will reach a point where their emotions will have simmered enough for you to give some good advice.  Once you know that your friend is truly ready to listen, let them know how you would handle the situation.  Never try to cheer them up by trash-talking their ex.  You will gain more credibility by showing you understand their loss.  If you think they should move on then tell them, but do it in a way that shows promise for the future.  Give them a reason to get past their troubles.  This may take some creativity, but a good friend knows the potential we don’t always see in ourselves.

Avoid Resistance
One of the reasons that the “tough love” approach to advice doesn’t work is the fact that human psychology has a determination to prove people wrong.  For this reason you don’t want to degrade your friend in their time of trouble.  If they can’t seem to forget about their ex, then help them to satisfy their curiosity.  Give them some ideas for getting their ex back.  Remember, it is not important how you feel about their partner.  You want them to be happy and this means helping them find a solution to their problems.

We’ve all played the support role for friends in need, and many times this comes after they have been dumped or suffered through a break up.  While it is not always easy to understand why they can’t get over this person, it is essential to be thoughtful and sensitive during this time.  Think about how you would feel in their situation.  Feel free to offer advice, but keep in mind that everyone handles adversity in different ways.  Use your knowledge of your friend’s strengths and weaknesses to give them the help they need to climb out of their sadness.



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