Whether you're the friend who will never be caught shedding a tear or the ugly crier of the group, we all eventually experience a breakup that will make even the most nonchalant among us cry.
Though many breakups are amicable, the ones we tend to remember are the ones that leave us anguished. They're the ones that have us sniffling through Adele and blasting every song on Lemonade.
Sometimes we're not in the middle of a breakup, but simply a bystander watching the drama. We see the people we care about go through the motions.
Some cry, some drink, some don't eat or sleep, some stalk, some go about their day like it never happened. Some people turn to their friends for solace and some don't want to be around anyone.
It's only natural to want to help people who are hurting, but unfortunately, advice, logic and reasoning won't heal a broken heart. As a friend, what you should do is first remember everyone's process is different.
As much as you may want to distract your friend and shield him or her from the hurt, like any life lesson we usually come to our 'a-ha' moment on our own, and you have to respect that.
There's no need to bash the person your friend spent all that time loving or say there are more fish in the sea. Don't give false hope or make this all about your experiences in an attempt to show empathy.
The emotions your friend is going through are not to be fixed by you. It's a personal process, and honestly, there's not much you can say to help. The heart is broken, you have to let the mourning run its course.
Whenever we go through something devastating, it's easy to feel hopeless. We focus on everything that's wrong and lose sight of all the things that are right. We wallow in our self-pity and ignore all the good in our lives.
It's all right to think this way occasionally. Sometimes the universe has to recalibrate itself as we deal with a major blow. Even the wisest of friends will have no words to calm us.
However, that isn't to say a caring and thoughtful friend can't do anything at all. Sometimes it isn't grand actions or lengthy speeches that a friend needs.
Sometimes the best thing to offer is just a comfortable silence as you sit by a friend or a few carefully chosen words to remind and reassure him or her that hope is never lost (remember, it's a delicate time).
Tell your friend,
I know it hurts and it's OK to be sad, but this is not forever.
During a breakup, reminding a friend it's going to be OK is all he or she needs. Sometimes we feel like we're losing our way and we need people we trust to let us know we're not.
We need to hear that our feelings are valid. We don't need to be told our feelings are stupid, or that we should get over it.
It may sound so simple and little when you're not the one going through a breakup, but really, this perspective can make a difficult day so much better.
This isn't a fix to all breakup pain, but it can be the little silver lining moment a friend needs as they cope.