For the past couple weeks I’ve been discussing survival skills for the broken-hearted, the unloved, or the fed up. Now, I want to touch base on your role as a friend. We all have things we want to say to our hard-headed (and self-destructive, at times) bestie–but don’t forget, that you have been or one day will be in her place. She needs support, more than advice. Don’t get pushed away because you can’t figure out how to deliver the message tactfully. Here are some things to consider when your friend is going through a rough time with a lover.
Period. Nine times out of ten, she’s already made up her mind on what she wants and nothing you can say will change her mind. I’m not saying be a “yes man”–I’m saying know your place, and know if your opinion is even wanted. If your homegirl is in the same revolving situationship with the love of her life (you know the ones, make up to break up) be excited when she’s excited, and if it’s time to bust the windows out his car, bring the bat. You are her friend, not her parent. On her own, she will know when it’s time to do what’s right for her. She needs to know that there is always someone on her team as long as she’s happy. Ultimately, constantly criticizing her will lead her to tell you less, and not having you there to pick her up will make it harder for her to make the necessary decisions she needs to make for herself.
Be honest, when it’s requested, say nothing when it’s not.
This goes hand in hand with support. When she is ready to talk about how “she’s done with him,” this is your opportunity to speak up on how you feel. This is when you tell her she deserves better, because she won’t hear it when they are on good terms. You know how it goes, the good times overlook the bad, especially when the good is happening in the present. Your conversation will always be in the back of her mind, you want to leave an impact. However, when she’s happy? Shut up. There is nothing you can tell a happy woman. Let her be happy.
Side Bar: you never know if this ‘happy phase’ is a shift in their relationship. People are capable of change, if her SO makes a change for the better, she doesn’t need someone reminding her of the past. You only know what SHE tells you, but there is always the other side that only the people in that relationship know.
Do not bash her man.
Now, I can’t speak for everyone, but personally I won’t stand for it. The moment you say anything derogatory ‘bout my baby, I’m tuning you out. Put some respect on his name, because no matter what I told you, you didn’t endure it, I did. So, even when I’m angry with him and saying a select few words that I may or may not necessarily mean, that doesn’t give you the green light to throw dirt on his name. Agree or disagree with what your friend is saying, but there’s no need to add fuel to the fire. Leave the name calling and man bashing somewhere else, there’s no room for that in a supportive friendship.
What’s said between friends, stays between friends.
Simply put. Don’t go around telling anyone how stupid she is behind her back. Don’t tell anyone that she hasn’t opened up to anything about her personal life. It’s distasteful and disrespectful, all around it just isn’t nice.
Listen to her..
No one wants to go through things alone. You may be tired of hearing about the same thing, but be the ear when needed, be a shoulder to cry on, and be her laughs when she’s down.
Friends are the family you choose. So if you’re gonna be one, be a supportive one.