When dealing with a brokenhearted person, you want to comfort them and have the right words to ease their pain. Sadly, many people say the wrong things and make matters worse. Remember, these people are in a horrible place, and their emotions are on edge.
Do you know that you can cause rifts and relationship trouble by saying the wrong things to someone suffering? You want to be a source of comfort and help during these difficult times, and your words have power behind them. People can become so depressed that they can die from broken heart syndrome, according to Hopkins Medicine?
Johnny Cash: The Sad Story of a Truly Brokenhearted Person
The reality is that brokenheartedness is something you shouldn’t take lightly. Did you know that family and friends insist that the famous country singer Johnny Cash died from a broken heart? In 2003, his beloved wife died from complications she developed during heart surgery.
The entire world took the news hard, but no one experienced pain like the husband, who has stood by her side for more than 35 years. Cash went downhill quickly, and four months later, he was admitted to the hospital for problems with his diabetes.
He died brokenhearted without his sweet wife by his side. Indeed, diabetes was a significant factor. But some family members stated that his body couldn’t handle the grief of losing the one thing that meant the most to him. When someone experiences such grief that overwhelms their body, it can take something like diabetes and turn it into a deadly situation.
10 Things Not to Say to Someone Who is Brokenhearted
Whether because of death, a breakup, or an illness, it’s hard to know what to say and what you should avoid. You want to wrap your arms around hurting someone and tell them everything will be okay.
Sadly, you cannot make such promises because you don’t know it will be okay. Here are some everyday things you should never say to someone who is brokenhearted.
1. I Know How You Feel
You are invalidating their emotions when you tell someone you know how they feel. While you may have experienced something similar, your feelings are different.
Each person has a unique personality and feels and acts differently during troubling times. So rather than telling them you know how they feel, try saying something like, “I can’t imagine how you’re feeling right now.”
2. It Was for The Best
Whether they’ve lost a loved one or a partner, you never want to tell them it’s for the best. They still love and miss this person so much. So you don’t want to diminish their feelings of loss by telling them it’s better this way.
If it’s lost love, tell them that when a door closes, another one will open. If they’ve lost someone to death, tell them that they will see them again one day. Give them hope and something to look forward to rather than focusing on the loss.
3. You Need to Move On
Moving on is easier said than done. When someone has lost a great love, it will not help matters by telling them to move on with someone new. They need time to grieve and process the loss they’ve experienced, but they will move on when they’re ready.
It would help if you tried to tell them that it’s okay to cry and grieve and no one must set a timer on when they’re ready to move on. They can grieve for as long as they need. However, if you see signs of depression, you should encourage them to get help.
4. You Need to Get Out More
Sometimes when you’ve faced a great tragedy, you don’t feel like getting out and mingling with society. Stop telling people they need to get out when they don’t even feel like taking a shower and getting dressed for the day.
Instead, you should say, “When you’re ready, we can go for coffee or spend some time together.” They would feel safer when someone walks beside them than facing the world alone. Be a source of support, not someone pushing them when they’re not ready.
5. They’re in A Much Better Place
One of the most common and yet hurtful things to say when someone has lost an important person in their life through death is that they’re better off. Of course, they’re in a better place, but the person experiencing the loss isn’t going to see it this way.
What might be better to say, “I bet heaven is beautiful, and your loved one is so thankful to be at peace finally.” A statement like this doesn’t minimize their grief and lets them know that their loved one is in a better place without sounding presumptuous.
6. Dry Up Your Tears and Think Positively
No one has any right to tell someone else how to grieve. Some people tend to cry by nature more than others. There are different stages of grief; whether they’re suffering from a breakup or a death, they will move through these stages at their comfort level.
Instead of telling them to dry it up, why not say something like, “You cry as much as you want and get it all out. My shoulder is always here if you need it.” By wording it this way, you offer a shoulder to cry on rather than telling them to get over it.
7. Let Me Know If There Is Anything I Can Do
When someone is brokenhearted, there are a lot of people that ask them if there is anything that they can do for them. However, when someone’s mind is reeling from the loss, it’s hard for them to think in the moment of something they need. Additionally, people use this blanket statement when they have nothing better to say.
It would be better to ask them specific things that you can do. You could say, “I can pick up your kids from school or bring over dinner a couple of nights this week.” Using this phrase, you’re giving them options and specifics, so they don’t have to strive hard to find some way for you to help them.
8. How Are You Doing?
Stop asking people how they’re doing. They’re brokenhearted and hurting and don’t need anyone to remind them of their pain. They may have gotten to the right place, and when you ask them this question, it reopens their grief.
Try saying something like, “You look like you’re doing much better, and it’s good to see you smile.” This kind of positive statement will let them know they are okay and will make it.
9. You Knew This Was Going to Happen
Is there anything worse to say to a brokenhearted person than they knew it would happen? Life is all about risk, and you win some things while you lose others. However, when you make this type of statement, it shifts the blame back onto them. That remorse is something they don’t need.
If they lost someone sick, you could say, “I am so sorry they were sick and suffered for so long.” If they lost love, you could say, “There are plenty of fish in the sea, and while it didn’t work out with this one, there will be someone else one day.”
10. You’re Handling This Better Than I Expected
The key to this statement is “I expected.” You’re telling them that you thought they would be a basket case with what they’re dealing with right now. If they’re doing good, you can certainly tell them and give them that positive reinforcement they need, but you don’t have to compliment and slam them in the same statement.
Try saying something like, “It’s okay if you’re not feeling so great. I am here for you.” Then you acknowledge that they’re having a rough time. Also, you’re reminding them that you’re there for them.
Final Thoughts on What Not to Say to the Brokenhearted
While a famous song states that you say it best when you say nothing, it certainly doesn’t apply to these situations. When someone’s heart is broken, they need all the love and support they can get. They don’t want you to avoid them or any conversations merely because you don’t have the right words.
It’s better to listen than speak in these instances, but the key is to be there. There are many different reasons why someone may be brokenhearted. So modify the phrases we mentioned above can to fit each specific case. The most important thing is not what you say but your actions.
You need to be there for your friend or loved one who is having a rough time. You may not have the right words or say anything that makes them feel suddenly better. But you can do wonders by wrapping your arm around them and telling them how much you care. Don’t use common phrases that everyone says when they don’t have the right words, be there.