Do's and Don'ts for Comforting a Friend Post-Breakup

Here's what to say when a pal is dealing with a painful split.

Woman Comforting Her Friend
(Image credit: Jupiterimages)

Last week, I wrote about the insights that a grief educator, Val Walker, had into the process of helping a friend through a breakup. Today, I'll give you Val's specific examples of what to say and what not to say.

Instead Of: "You'll be just fine — there are more fish in the sea."

Try: "It sounds like you will really miss him."

Instead Of: "It could be worse — at least he didn't dump you the way Bob did to me."

Try: "I am so sorry this happened."

Instead Of: "Be positive — you have a bright future ahead of you."

Try: "It's amazing to see you smile today after all this."

Instead Of: "It's time to get over it."

Try: "This might take time."

Instead Of: "Be strong — God doesn't give you more than you can handle."

Try: "I believe in you."

Instead Of: "You should be getting out more."

Try: "What helps you feel better these days?"

Instead Of: "You shouldn't be so angry — so negative."

Try: "It's just not fair. You had enough on your plate before all this."

Instead Of: "Shit happens. That's just the way life is."

Try: "This really, really sucks, and I'm sorry."

Instead Of: "I understand exactly what you are going through."

Try: "I can only imagine what you are going through."