We’ve all been there. Sitting on the couch with Kylie after her break-up with Lance, tongue-tied about how to comfort her through her heartbreaking sadness. Don’t get caught there speechless! What’s worked for us in the past, and will probably work for you, is to advise her by speaking about your own experiences. This handy guide will help you get through your friend’s crisis by making it about a subject you know everything about: you!
First, Let Her Speak…
She has a lot to get off her chest. Let her explain what happened and how she feels about it so you can start mentally flagging your own personal experiences that hers remind you of. Three minutes should be long enough to get the gist of things. If she notices you’re getting distracted, just make sure to keep nodding and saying “Mhm” while thinking about your last breakup.
…Then Be A Good Listener…
Listening is so important! If you listen hard enough to the details of her problem and the way it makes her feel, it will give you the space to think of a time when you were in a slightly, but not super closely related situation that made you feel a similar way. Flag words in her story that trigger your own memories, like, “sad”, “confused”, or “myself”.
…Then, Don’t Stop Talking.
Now that you’ve found the perfect anecdote, begin telling Kylie about how her breakup is kind of like that one time in college when you were dating a guy named Kirk and you and Kirk had the perfect relationship until one night you were out at a wing bar and your friend from communications class, Carlos, totally hit on you and you didn’t exactly flirt back but you didn’t exactly not flirt back, and Kirk got so mad that he ate like 15 hot wings in five minutes and then puked in the bathroom and when he came out was covered in wing sauce and vomit and broke up with you in front of everyone at the wing bar and you couldn’t stop crying but had no way of getting home so you had to wait there sobbing until Carlos finished his plate of wings and could drive you back to your dorm. If that story doesn’t work, there’s also the one about how your dad didn’t come to your middle school graduation because he was in the emergency room for a slipped disk.
If Kylie ever tries to interject her problems, just steer it back to a topic more relatable, interesting, and easily dissectible: you! That’s why you’re there. Because, what else are you supposed to do, sit there with your arm around her asking follow-up questions and saying everything will be all right? No way! Kylie will be so relieved that she can take a break from crying and listen to your masterful storytelling. She’ll totally forget all about her broken engagement or whatever is going on with her.