Last week, I wrote about the insights that a grief educator, Val Walker, had into the process of helping a friend through a breakup (opens in new tab). 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."
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