Talk To Us: If you're trying to get over a breakup, what's the worst thing a friend can say to you in an attempt to make you feel better?

Reader Jaberkaty made a great suggestion for an article:

What can friends and family do when someone close to them is going through a bad breakup?

Honestly, I don’t have the answers, and I doubt that any single person can. So, this might be the perfect opportunity to get some reader feedback….

For those of you who’ve been through a particularly emotional breakup, what are some of the worst things someone can say or do in an attempt to make you feel better? For me, “don’t worry, you’ll find the right person” always smacks of hollowness. I know they’re trying to help, but… honestly, no one can possibly know that I’ll ever find the right person, so those words mean nothing to me.

Conversely, what are some things someone has said or done that have helped you get over your breakup?

Please click the comments link at the top of this post to let us know!


Addendum: The product of this discussion can be found here.



  • I think the thing I hate hearing most when going through a difficult breakup or life situation in general is: “Wow, I don’t even know what to say or tell you.” … thanks, that just made me feel 1000 times worse. My situation is that bad it’s left you without words. Stay off suicide hot lines.

  • oops, sorry Dennis, I didn’t sign my name above

  • worst: “You can do better.”
    – Unless you dumped the person because you’ve decided that “someone better” is what you need, this comment does nothing say “you being in the relationship for as long as you were (4 years in my case) was nothing but a demonstration in how bad your judgement is.” Especially if you still love them or if it was an even remotely amicable breakup.

    best: well, you’re really cool girl and there’s tons of fun stuff coming up, so let’s hang out when you’re up to it!
    – I told my friend I wanted to keep myself busy, and having someone just be nice and positive was good.

    best I came up with on my own: the relationship is over. my life is not.
    – I had a ton of other stuff kind of going on in every other aspect of my life. When you’re with someone for a long time, it can be really diffcult to separate the relationship from the rest of life. I kind of understood this very quickly (with the help of some great friends) and bounced back unnaturally fast.

  • After a break-up I think the worst thing to hear is the TRUTH. You just aren’t at a place where you want to hear it.

  • He’ll come to his senses. Just give him time. You two were meant to be together so just be patient. I know he loves you, he is just going through some tough issues of his own right now.

  • Let’s go to the beach comber…

  • i hate hearing something along the lines of…”he wasnt that great anyway”…well you know what i thought he was! right after a break up i really dont want to hear that. later, when im more angry than sad its ok to insult along with me, but right when it happens, it just makes me feel worse. i obviously hought this person was good enough to go out with, there were things i liked about them, and the last thing i was to feel is embarassed that i made a bad choice. also sometimes the guy was great, but the relationship just didnt work, so dont jump to conclusions and say he sucked! unless you hear it from me first, then its ok. If im calling him a douche bag he prolly is. But i would say wait until i give the ok to insult.

  • FatalFlyingGuillotine

    I basically dislike any clichés concerning break-ups, along with needless – and usually baseless – insults or judgements of my former significant other. I’m the one who was close to her- only I’m allowed to make rude/hostile/insulting comments about her, if and when I’m ready to.

  • “O good, now I can bang him without feeling guilty, I hated feeling guilty this past year”
    other than that… basically what everyone else said. As for best, I’ve found that making a drink and just. let. them. vent. She doesn’t need me to tell her he’s a dick. She knows that. She just needs to get there herself.

  • @hellzno- What bugs me about the whole “you can do better” is that I know what they’re *trying* to say, but honestly, (especially if you were dumped/rejected/whatever), you apparently can’t do *that* level, so how could you possibly do better?

    Of course that assumes that you have a high opinion of the person. Which I’d hope you do if you’re dating them.

  • Everything happens for a reason.

  • The best that happened to me (during/after my divorce) was my friend listening to me, without saying anything back. While the whole thing was taking place, she was always there to listen to me; any time, for as long as I needed it.
    The worst is the ‘oh, you just have to put yourself out there, you’ll be fine’ line. Which I still get every once in a while (like today, for instance).

  • Thanks for the feedback, everyone. Wow, all I have to say is… some of you have really shitty friends! 😉

  • Wow. These are good to know. I’m typically something of a pitbull when it comes to my friends, and my first response would be to rip into the guy/girl that just put him/her through the wringer. I’m pretty good about keeping my opinions to myself and listening, but sometimes my filter isn’t in place. Especially if the Ex in question has done something particularly d-baggy to my pal.

  • After reading these, I realized that I don’t have shitty friends. They just listen and agree that these are going to be some tough weeks ahead and they will be there for me.

    What I hate most ? Don’t remind me of anyone in my past. Ever. Don’t say ” today would have been what’s his name’s birthday no ? “

  • Pingback: Breaking Up Is Hard… For Your Friends, Too! « Musings on Life and Love

  • “I told you so!”

  • “I know how you feel, I’ve been there”

    way to immediately invalidate my feelings.

    fuck you, have you ever dated a girl for five years and then had your heart broken? you have no idea how this feels.

    • Shit, I do in fact know how that feels. I just got my heart obliterated by my girlfriend of 5 years. (technically, four years almost 10 months, whaaaatever)

      No one I know thats my age has been in a relationship that long, so none of them can really grasp the magnitude of the pain and suffering. So I completely feel your understanding of that qoute.

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