BREAKING up is never easy for anyone, and while breakups are in themselves hard enough, what’s even harder for some is facing friends and family and having to explain what went wrong, then hearing their views on the failed union.
Sure, your friend or family member may need a shoulder to cry on, but she doesn’t need much more than that most times, and certainly not any of the ‘words of wisdom’ below.
Because trust us, she would have already berated herself for the failure, she would have already weighed the good and the bad parts, and she doesn’t need a reminder from you about how much things sucked, or will suck in the near future.
Here are a few things you should never say to someone going through a break-up, gems that have some of the women who shared them with us still cringing.
1. “You have such bad luck with men. Maybe you should live alone.”
“Even if I am bad at picking partners, that is not something I want to hear when I’m going through a break-up,” Sandy said. “I wouldn’t want to be blaming myself for the position I find myself in.”
2. “You’ll get over him when you find a new man.”
“This is surely no comfort, especially when the other person is the one who broke up with you,” Elaine Gray said. “The last thing on my mind at this point is another man.”
3. ”I never liked him anyway.”
“This is not comforting, especially if the person telling me is a close friend or family member who I always thought was into him,” Arlene Thomas said.
4. “I saw him with his new girlfriend, they look so good together.”
Althea Sawyers said this is the last thing you should say to someone going through a breakup as it just further damages their self esteem.
5. “You were not compatible anyway.”
“Then how come we spent four years together? This is just something I didn’t want to hear,” one reader said of a comment she received after her break-up not so long ago.
6. “He used to cheat on you.”
“If I am the one who broke up with him, fine, but if he left me then it means I am still in love with him and don’t want to hear anything negative in the early stages. It really doesn’t help,” Stacy-Ann Bennett said.
7. “But I heard he was gay.”
“Commenting on his sexuality won’t make me feel any better,” Patricia said. “It only adds a whole new dimension to the ‘why’ and ‘how come’ questions that I will be battling for months after the break-up.
So what should you say? The experts say the ideal thing is to say less, listen more, and don’t judge. “Just offer a shoulder to cry on if they need it and an ear to listen if they want to talk — no more, no less,” counsellor David Anderson said. “Above all, don’t comment negatively about their ex. Remember, they chose to love them and your opinion doesn’t matter now.”