Sharing your worries with other people often makes those worries shrink, and we find that talking to our friends can really help to make us feel better. Often, your friends have been through a similar situation and can offer good advice and tips. However, sometimes they might not know how to respond and may even fail to say the right thing.
If your friend is struggling because of their parents' separation, here are some useful tips for supporting them:
We recommend saying things like...
“you don't need to tell me, or talk to me unless you want to, but make sure there's someone you can talk to you”
"If you ever want to talk I'm here".
But please don't say things like...
"Everything will be alright" / "It will get better" / "things will change" / "stop crying" / "tell me what's going on"
Don't be pushy – don't keep asking them about it all the time
Don't force them to talk
Remind your friend that they are not a burden and that it's ok to be sad
Comfort your friend
Do nice things that take their mind off things - like watching films or going out and having fun
Provide silent, supportive encouragement
Encourage other friends to be understanding about what your friend is going through
Everyone's situation is different, so respect each other’s feelings
If your friend is upset and they get annoyed at you, don't take it personally and don't say nasty things to them just because you feel rejected or unfairly treated
If they say rude things, don't take it personally
Respect their personal space
Don't ask your friend “have you been crying?”
If your friend is crying, just give them a hug - you don't need to say anything
Remember - actions speak louder than words
If your friend has been crying and says they want to be alone, then give them space
Your friend will be hurting so much that they can't really control what they do, so if they lash out and are nasty, remember not to take it personally
Try not to take on too much of your friend's sadness, it might make you sad too, but remember it's ok for you to be happy