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4 Women Share The 4 Best And 4 Worst Responses To A Friend Going Through A Breakup

Remind them it gets better without falling into a verbal booby trap...

Remind them it gets better without falling into a verbal booby trap.


By Zahra Barnes, Self

[post_ads]Breakups! Why not throw your heart into a blender, right? When you get dumped, the devastation can convince you that you'll never know happiness or be loved again. (False on both counts.) Even if you're the one deciding to make the split, it's often not much easier than being on the receiving end of a breakup. But what about when a friend's the one dealing with heartache? No matter how much love-life experience you have, it can be hard to know what to say. Here, real women share eight of the best and worst things to tell a friend going through a breakup.
               
THE BEST

1. 
"You're allowed to be sad."

Sometimes people feel ashamed by the depth of their sadness post-breakup, especially if it was a short, intense fling or someone they know they're better off without. Validating their feelings gives them permission to work through them and get closer to moving on. After you tell them it's completely fine to be upset, explain that you're always available to listen. "The best thing is just having someone listen to you as you talk your way through the sadness," says Marie L., 26.
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2. 
"I promise, you're so much better off."

The trick to making them believe this one is coming prepared with proof, otherwise it can seem generic. "List concrete reasons they're better off without the ex, like now they can move to the new city they've always wanted to try," says Alana R., 26. It doesn't even have to be something that monumental—anything that helps them realize there's exciting potential in being single will do.

3. 
"One day you'll wake up and be OK."

"It's helpful when a friend puts it in perspective. Heartbreak doesn't last forever. You feel it, accept it, and eventually meet someone better," says Cindy H., 25. Just be sure to say this one in an I'm-cheering-you-on way, because with the wrong tone, it can accidentally seem like you're minimizing their feelings.

4. 
"Today sucks, but tomorrow will be better."

For people who are truly in the throes of despair, feeling good on some nebulous day in the future might seem too far away. "For me, having a declared one-day 'grieving' process is just what I need. I get it out of my system knowing that tomorrow, it'll be much better," says Genevieve S., 24. Of course, most breakups require more than one day of mourning, but you can say this on the days she feels like she was moving forward but is now sinking in heartbreak quicksand.
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THE WORST

1. 
"There are plenty of fish in the sea"

Genevieve S. nominated this response because it's "just plain terrible." "In that moment, it trivializes the relationship that ended," she says. "It makes it seem like you can move on quickly because it was nothing, and that's not fair."

2. 
"You'll find someone else."

[post_ads]Very similar to the above, but it's worth noting that two women think this type of response is the absolute worst. Marie L.'s reason for hating this one: "Ugh. It's so unhelpful. It's the last thing I want to hear when I'm still in the stages of mourning the person I lost." According to her, it's basically the same as saying "Oh, sure, you can't have the person you want, but you can have someone else." Also, your distraught friend might look at you with tears in her eyes and be like, "But how do you know?" Then you'll be heartbroken right along with her.

3. 
"He was a dick anyway."

Sure, it may be true, but your opinion might come as a surprise to your friend. "It's like, 'Wow, how long have you thought I was stupid for liking him?" says Alana R. Instead, try reflecting some of her complaints about her ex back to her in a constructive way (and only on the days she actually wants advice, not when she just wants to cry/eat her feelings/generally indulge her sadness). Something like, "You'd always mentioned how mean he could be during fights. I know it hurts now, but you won't ever have to deal with that again, and that's beautiful."
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4. 
"You're so much cuter than her."

Doesn't matter, because the heart and vagina want what they want. "Superficial things like who's hotter or who's dating more attractive people after don't matter," says Cindy H. "All that matters is that I was attracted to my ex, which is why I dated them in the first place." Rather than focusing on how your friend stacks up to her ex, explain how amazing she is all on her own. Tell her that even though you know she's strong enough to get through this, you'll be there for the totally normal moments when she doesn't believe that herself.

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Lifestyle Magazine: 4 Women Share The 4 Best And 4 Worst Responses To A Friend Going Through A Breakup
4 Women Share The 4 Best And 4 Worst Responses To A Friend Going Through A Breakup
Remind them it gets better without falling into a verbal booby trap...
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