Knowing what to say to someone who broke up can always be tricky.
You want to emphasize your love and support without badmouthing the person they are broken up with in case they get back together, or you really do think it’s for the best and want your feelings about their ex to be known.
You always want to adjust what you say to be based on whether you’re trying to figure out what to say to someone who broke up with someone else or what to say to someone who got broken up with.
In any case, both are heart wrenching things, but people can have different reactions or feelings based on which one they are.
Read on for this guide on what to say to someone who broke up to get a better understanding of the emotions involved.
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1. Express That You’re Sorry
You don’t always have to know the right words to say.
Sometimes, you can simply say I’m sorry to hear that and be a listening ear, telling them quotes that show you care about them.
This is particlarly true if you don’t know the person well enough, but maybe it’s a coworker who are having a rough day after their break up and you need to find something professional and less involved to say rather than prying into their private lives.
Even if it’s a close friend, you can’t fix their pain in the moment so a really empathatic “I’m so sorry” is often all you need to say to start with.
2. Use the Phrase “I Know it doesn’t feel this way now, but…”
Be careful with this one depending on the situation of the breakup, but you can try and encourage people for the future and let them know that they will feel better by saying, “I know it doesn’t feel this way now, but I promise you that you will have a happy life and things will be okay.”
You’re acknowledging that to them, right now, it may feel like they will never be happy again or never have a relationship again, but that you are offering some hope for the future.
This isn’t the right line to use in all situations or in all stages of a post-break up talk as when it first happens, you may just want to comfort and say you’re sorry, but as the days go on, lifting them up and reminding them of the happy future that awaits can mean a lot.
3. Tell Them They Did the Right Thing
It can be really difficult to be the person breaking up with someone.
Maybe they broke up because they fell out of love, maybe their partner had dealbreakers they just couldn’t move on from, or maybe they just felt it had to happen for their own happiness.
The person who is broken up with will of course be devastated and not understand their reasoning, but it’s always the right choice to break up with someone that you know you are not giving your best to or are not the right person for.
It gives them the chance to find someone who is, even if it seems cruel at the time.
People need to be reminded of this, though, as you can feel as the person breaking up with someone that you have just caused this incredible amount of grief in their life (and in some ways, you have, but it can still be the right thing).
Reassure them that they did the right thing if their heart was no longer in it so their now ex-partner can be free and find happiness.
Say that you are proud of them for being true to themselves instead of living the next however many months or year living a lie that wouldn’t do any good for the relationship anyway.
4. Say Nothing and Just Comfort Them
You don’t always have to say something to someone who has broke up.
If you are with them in the same room physically, you can just say nothing and comfort them with hugs or a hand on their shoulder and let them cry or speak.
It’s possible to get across your sympathy with a look in your eyes and a kind touch if you don’t know what to say.
5. Do Something Kind for Them or Tell Them You’re Coming Over
It can be kind to help focus on the practicals and the ways in which you want to help them.
If you live close enough to them, you could tell them that you’re coming over and you’ll be there in 10 minutes to be with them.
If not, you can think of something else you can do like sending them a delivery of cookies or chocolates and let them know that they are on their way so they can have the comfort of a caring gesture.
Actions often do speak louder than words, and while you can’t always take the pain away from a break up with actions, it will reassure the person you’re talking to that you care about them and help get their mind focusing on other things.
6. Remind Them of Their Worth and Praise Them
When you’ve gotten broken up with, it stings so much because this other person is essentially rejecting who you are or wanting to be in a relationship with you.
Remind the person after the break up that they are worthy of having a happy relationship where the other person loves them, and praise their positive traits.
Tell them how funny they are, how smart they are, how caring they are, and how glad you are that they are your friend.
In the moment, it might not take the sting away, but over time, with enough praise and reminders of self-worth, they can go back to being confident about what they have to offer the world and in a relationship, even if their last one didn’t work out.
7. Know When to Offer Your Opinions on Their Ex
You have to be really careful about badmouthing their ex with them or offering your opinions on them.
If it’s pretty obvious the relationship is fully over and you know your friend wouldn’t get back with them, then a little bit of support in terms of agreeing with them that their ex wasn’t right for them or did XYZ wrong can go a long way towards helping them feel like someone is sharing in their anger.
However, you can really run the danger of them getting back together and you having badmouthed their ex, which creates a bit of an awkward situation going forward, so if they have a tendency to have more emotional break-ups that then get resolved or you think there is a chance they could get back together, keep your comments about their ex tame and instead focus on saying that you completely understand how your friend could feel whatever ways they do rather than launching into a verbal tirade about their ex yourself.
What to Say to Someone in Other Situations
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