It can be agonizing to watch a friend or loved one suffer through a broken heart. However, there are things that we can do to help them through it. Now if you did the heartbreaking, that would be an altogether different situation. If you broke someone’s heart accidentally, you can probably help the healing process with a heartfelt apology and doing everything in your power to make up for the wrong. If you did it intentionally, for whatever reason, the odds are unless you think you made a mistake and try to fix it, everything you do will only add to the other person’s pain.
But if you are a friend, relative, or bystander who knows of someone who has had their heart-broken by someone else, there are some things you can do to help.
DON’T LET HIM/HER GO INTO ISOLATION WITH A BROKEN HEART
You need to get your friend to be involved with life again. Don’t let them wallow in self-pity for very long. The more they isolates themselves, the more walls they will build between them and every other relationship they have. It is very dangerous.
They need to get involved with life again to begin the process of healing a broken heart. They need to interact with people, so get them involved in activities and clean social events. I’ve pastored many people who have a broken heart, and I’ve learned that people need to get involved in life again in order to move forward. They need to invest in other’s lives in some way. I never recommend to a broken-hearted person just to lie low. Get them involved.
You may need to be a bit blunt about it. You may need to say things like, “Don’t let what that other person did keep you from living! You’re hurt, very hurt. I know you wouldn’t want to wish that pain on anyone else, but staying here, doing nothing, is hurting those that do care about you. Come on. Let’s get out of here.”
Do whatever you need to, within reason, to get them involved in life again.
TRY TO GET THEM TO OPEN UP AND TALK ABOUT IT
So much pain is released when people are able to talk about their broken heart. If you can get them to talk, they will find a release for a lot of their pain. The problem is in getting them to talk at all. They may want to so withdraw into themselves that they have no interest in conversation. Or, more likely, they may fear reliving the pain if they talk about it.
They still need to talk about it. You don’t necessarily have to agree with their viewpoints, anger, or reaction, but being sympathetic is important. Allow yourself to sympathize with their pain. Tell them so. Tell them they need to talk about it just to help rid themselves of some of the pain. Explain that talking about it will help. Most likely, you’ve suffered a broken heart yourself. Tell them about that time. Let them know that they aren’t the only ones who has ever suffered.
When they do start talking, you need to be a good listener. Don’t interrupt, don’t do the talking yourself. Learn to listen. Your thoughts, suggestions, and solutions are not relevant at this moment. Let them flush some of the pain out of their system. You don’t have to have a solution; you just need to be a shock absorber.
USE HUMOR TO DRAW THEM OUT
This is something that I always try to do when I counsel a person with a broken heart. I try to get them to laugh. I may make a crack about getting a six-pack of root beer, or making a run for the most broken-hearted award. If I can get a person to laugh, chuckle, or grin, I will have broken past the pain for just a moment.
Having breached the barrier of their pain, you are now in a unique position to help. Not only are they more apt to listen to you, but they have found a moment’s relief from their pain and that is invaluable to them.
POINT THEM TO GOD
You or they may not be necessarily a Christian as I am, but having a God who loves you, a Saviour who cares for you is very comforting. Having a faith that is greater than the sum of all our lives brings tremendous hope and provides a solid rock on which to stand when the storms of life rage around you.
The great tragedy of life is having no hope. Give a person hope, and they will find strength and reason to heal their broken heart.
These are some things that you can do to help someone with a broken heart.