When life falls apart. 3 tips that really help.

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“They’ll never find anybody who’s as good as you.”
“They’ll start missing you soon.”
“They’ll realize how great you were the first day you don’t come to work.”
“They’ll definitely regret it.”
“Don’t worry. He’ll regret it. He’ll come crawling back to you. But then, it’ll be too late.”

Just don’t say that to any person who was just dumped or fired, or anyone who left the relationship and regret their decision.
This is the easiest thing to say. It will make your friend feel better, and what is super important – it will make YOU feel better.
Resist this desire for easy happiness, and DON’T SAY IT.
Because you don’t know if it’s true. Because you know just one side of the story, and it may be a lie.
Don’t give any hope. Don’t give any illusions.
Don’t give them confirmation that it’s not their fault by telling them a cliché, by saying words that mean nothing.
Getting dumped or fired is ALWAYS a difficult and stressful situation. Always.
No matter how strong we are – we have to find ourselves in a completely new reality.
That isn’t easy. Not even for the strongest person. Not even for the most confident one.
But giving unjustified hope doesn’t make it easier to find peace, reach a solution, or learn a lesson.

Here are a couple of things you can do:

  •  Just listen

Nothing more. Let your friend talk. As long as they want.
No need to confirm how bad the world is. No need for pity.
Just listen and BE THERE.
That’s the best you can give in a moment of sadness or despair.

  • Ask

Socrates always used questions to help people realize important things. To this day, the Socratic method is one of the most common dialogue techniques in use. So, instead of giving your interpretation or worthless hope, just ask more questions  (if the person is ready).
Help them understand what actually happened. Help them get in touch with reality. Help them search for understanding rather than emphasizing the importance of revenge, hate, or regret.
That’s not helpful, not productive, and – most of the time, not even true.

  • Look into the future

Things are as they are – and they will not be any better just because we want them to be.
So, face the situation as it is… and make a plan to deal with it.
With everything that is available now   – what do you want the FUTURE to be like?
It may take some time for the person to be able to see the future – so be patient. But, when the moment comes, it’s much better to encourage someone to see the future than to give them vain pity. The future gives tangible hope.
Ask, “What do you have (now) and what do you need to do to achieve what you want?” Then, just help them see the small steps they can take.
Maybe somebody hasn’t had a job for 10 years, and they don’t know how to write a CV. Give them the time and support to do it.
Maybe somebody hasn’t been on a date in years. Take them out. Show them that NOW is not the end of the world.
Maybe somebody feels lost and doesn’t know what they want to do. Help them by showing different options and prospects.
When we see somebody in pain, somebody who is our friend or family member, it’s very easy to just go with the flow and say whatever they want to hear.  That boss was horrible, that ex was an asshole, that job was terrible, etc.  This isn’t helpful.
If you’re a real friend, just give them the gift of your presence, time, and tangible support.
Don’t over-promise, and don’t give empty hope. Not only because you don’t know the other side (“the predator”’s side) perspective and reason, but… because you simply don’t know what your friend will take out of this loss.
So, don’t go the easy way.
Leave advice or opinion only when somebody asks you for it.
You aren’t a fortune teller. You’re a friend. So be a friend.

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