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How to cheer up a friend after a breakup: Ways to support and help him or her move on

Updated on September 10, 2013

How to cheer up a friend after a breakup? How to support your best friend who was dumped by her boyfriend? How to help your friend get over the heartbreak of being cheated on by his ex-girlfriend? Immature advice, rebound relationships and parties are not the answer. Rather, use your friendship to help your friend move on from a place where love has failed. Find out how you can listen to, motivate, sympathize, protect and inspire your friend to leave the past behind.

A broken heart needs to vent. Be a good friend, sit calmly and just listen as your heartbroken friend spills out her sorrows.
A broken heart needs to vent. Be a good friend, sit calmly and just listen as your heartbroken friend spills out her sorrows. | Source

1) Just sit and listen as your friend vents about the breakup

Patience will be your biggest asset as you try to cheer up your friend after a breakup. This is because your friend will want to vent out frustration, anger and heartbreak to you. Be patient and calmly hear your friend out every time he or she has a mood driven rant.

You are supposed to just listen to these rants. Don't be judgmental, don't try to give too much advice and most important of all, don't stop your friend in the middle and ask him or her to simply 'get over it'

2) Subtly point out relationship mistakes, but don't blame your friend for the breakup

Real friends point out each other's flaws and mistakes but this may not be the best time to rip apart your friend's error in judgment. If you must, subtly point out the mistakes that caused bumps in your friend's relationship.

Discuss these mistakes casually but don't say anything that puts blame on your friend for the breakup. Putting blame will shatter whatever sense of sanity your friend has left.

3) Make it very clear that you are on your friend's side

There can be no better way to support your friend after a breakup than to make it very clear that you are on his or her side. This is a must because it will give your friend a sense of reassurance and solid emotional support.

Breakups get really complicated when there are mutual friends involved. If this is the case with your friend's breakup, sitting on the fence while trying to be good friends with both the guy and the girl may not be the right strategy. Pick a side and stay true to your friendship.

4) Take your friend out for a coffee to a quaint cafe or a quiet dinner to a nice restaurant

Trashy magazines columns that talk about relationship problems are often seen giving out advice that friends should take their heartbroken buddies out for big night outs and wild parties. Don't believe this because the last thing your friend wants right now is chaos and commotion. Noise, wild night outs and senseless celebrations are not going to heal a broken heart.

Instead, take your friend out for a coffee to a quaint cafe. You can even pick a nice restaurant where you both can go out for dinner. Your friend's fragile heartbroken state may not make him or her feel like going out, but such quiet outings with just one close pal will feel very soothing – just like what a bowl of hot chicken soup does to a cold.

5) Sleepover at your friend's place and watch a movie on the laptop

Having long conversations on the phone is one way of supporting your friend after a breakup. But you should also hang out with your friend to give him or her a sense of comfort on a much deeper level.

Do this by sleeping over at your friend's place and watching a movie on the laptop. Traditional breakup advice suggests that you should watch your favorite movies, but this is exactly what you should not do. Pick a new movie because moving on after breakup is all about giving your friend something new to think about.

Why a sleepover? A sleepover in particular will allow your friend to soak in the comfortable vibes of friendship. Watching a movie on the laptop in particular will give your friend a sense of physical proximity to someone who really cares.

6) Don't try to set your friend up with someone else immediately after the breakup

Setting your friend up with someone immediately after a breakup is actually the worst thing you can do. A meaningless rebound relationship is not the right way to help your friend heal. So don't get carried away about going on double dates with your newly single friend.

Don't encourage such behavior either. Remind your friend that getting into a rebound relationship is not a good way to make an ex jealous after a breakup.

Guilt can cause a lot of stress and depression. Reassure your friend so that a sense of calm can prevail in a mind which is already in a fragile state.
Guilt can cause a lot of stress and depression. Reassure your friend so that a sense of calm can prevail in a mind which is already in a fragile state.

7) Stop your friend from feeling guilty about the breakup

Guilt about a breakup is a common feeling that most people go through. Some people manage to crawl their way out of this horrendous feeling while others succumb to it and get weaker.

Stop your friend from jumping into a pool of guilt by giving verbal reassurance about the whole situation. Here are some ideas.

  • The outcome of any relationship is decided by two people. It's not your fault mate.
  • You broke up with your boyfriend for a reason. After all, he was unwilling to change his deceiving ways.
  • Just like how you can't clap with one hand, you are not the only one responsible for you breakup.
  • If your ex can move on, there is no reason for you to feel guilty about your breakup

8) Keep your friend away from people who are negative influences

There are many types of people who can be negative influences on your friend's life. From the ones with bad habits to the ones with crazy ways, your friend can easily succumb to manipulative behavior at a time when there is a lack of direction in his or her life.

As a friend, think of it as your job to hold your best friend back from mingling with people who can be a bad influence. You risk sounding like a dotting mommy but that is a chance you must take for the sake of friendship.

9) Encourage your friend to join a gym to deal with post breakup blues

Joining a gym and helping your friend move on after breakup are two things that can actually complement each other on a deep passive level.

Working out at the gym will give your friend an hour of alone time to focus on something other than heartbreak. Workouts are awesome stress busters and every gym session will help your friend tire out for a good night's rest.

Here are some ideas you can use to convince your heartbroken friend to join a gym. Tell your friend

10) Start making plans for a short holiday or a trip you can take together

You don't necessarily need to pack your bags and head off on a short trip with your friend immediately. But you should start planning for one. Just the talk about a fun trip will give your friend something to look forward to.

Traveling has many benefits, one of which is that it will help take your friend's mind away from the breakup and show that there is much more to life than being stuck in heartbreak.

11) Give your friend examples of how other guys and girls have moved on after a breakup

The pain of breakup can be really intense when there was true love in a relationship. The nasty feeling can make a person think that there is no future and life has no meaning. It is really difficult to support someone at such a moment because no matter what you say, their broken hearts will be unable to accept any advice that you give.

The easiest way to motivate your friend to spot the silver lining is to show real examples of how guys and girls have moved on after breakup. Remind your friend how time has healed the wounds of the most heartbroken guys and girls you both have known in your friend circle.

Thinking about how other people who have been in conditions way worse than themselves, will help your friend realize that a breakup is not the end of the world.

Never make fun of, or laugh at your heartbroken friend.
Never make fun of, or laugh at your heartbroken friend.

12) Sympathize and empathize, never make fun of your friend

Your friend could be throwing silly tantrums and showing a crazy range of mood swings after a breakup but this is not the time to make fun of him or her. Empathize and try to put yourself in your friend's shoes whenever you see an unnecessary tantrum or hear a stupid rant.

A post breakup scenario is not your average day when you can engage in healthy banter and silly jokes. Your friend will not react to being made fun of in the same way because of his or her fragile emotional state of mind.

Even the silliest of humor can hurt your friend at the deepest corner in his or her heart. Stop yourself from passing even the most seemingly harmless comments. The slightest feeling of being ridiculed at such a tender time can rob your friend of the last bit of self-respect left within.


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    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 4 years ago from The Caribbean

      They're all good points but number 11 is very important; they'll know they're not alone.