Break-ups suck even when it isn’t yours. If your bestie is going through a break-up,experts want you to know that your presence is crucial.
Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux were recently in the news for their mutual decision to split after three years of marriage. While her Friend’s co-star Matt LeBlanc came out in support, Courtney Cox too was by Jen’s side to celebrate her birthday, sans Justin.
A break-up isn’t easy for anyone involved — the couple, or the ones who witness the relationship crumbling from the outside. While one needs to go through the divorce alone, life coaches suggest that there are a few ways to support the loved one through the healing process.
Life coach Chetna Mehrotra says that sometimes showing up to be there for the friend is the biggest act of support. “Break up, like death, is a very difficult phase for anyone to get over with,” begins Chetna, adding that with the break-up comes feelings of guilt, mourning, anger and impulsiveness. However, the thing about grief is that it reoccurs in stages. Sometimes, it may surprise itself with bouts of anger. “Ignore their aggressive behaviour, as they may not be in a good frame of mind. It’s a part of grieving. People need their own space to often figure themselves out. Let them do it at their pace,” she adds.
Life coach Khyati Birla says it is imperative to take cues from the friend you’re dealing with. “Give them a ear, and encourage them to share their thoughts since it is immensely valuable. It is imperative to be by their side and show them you care,” adding that one mustn’t shy away from offering practical support. “Sometimes you may need to be the sound-board for them. But at times you could offer her practical support,” advises Khyati, adding, “One could help the friend with something as simple as shopping for groceries. Or one offer help by offering legal counsel.”
While being around for the friend is appreciated, one mustn’t over-compensate for the loss. Chetna warns, “All they seek is to remove the baggage from their mind and get their life back on track. The most important thing is to not ask a person to move on.”
Khyati reminds that the grieving process can get taxing at times. “You may need to set some boundaries. It can get extremely difficult and often one’s coping strategy may fail. However, as a friend ensure that you’re there for them without making them dependent on you. That may mess up the whole process,” she explains.
While it may seem easy to bad mouth the partner, Chetna says it is best to refrain from it. “You do not know if your friend won’t rejoin their ex. A lot of people rekindle their old affairs after a while and that would create an awkward situation. At best, empathise with your friend and criticise the partner in a milder tone if you really want to. You don’t have to prove your friendship by bad mouthing someone.”