I know what it feels like to be consoled through a breakup.
You nod at your consoler through your tears, you screenshot their messages to get you through the day and you also kind of resent them for seemingly having their life together when you, evidently, do not.
And then you get out the other side of your emotional turmoil and say things to your friend like 'I'm so lucky to have you' and 'I'll be there for you if you ever need me'.
Until they actually do need you. And you realise consoling someone is a terrifying sort of pressure.
I've had a few friends go through breakups lately or situations that resemble breakups.
There is this immense pressure to say the right thing and, under no circumstances, can you say the WRONG thing.
It was saying literally ANYTHING to my mum and just letting the words spill out without criticism of judgement - no matter how many times I repeated the same sentences over and over.Riley-Rose Harper
The wrong thing can potentially undo hours of profound conversations you've both had together and send them back to Heartbreak Hotel quick stat.
I've spent afternoons crafting perfect text messages, trawling the internet for insightful breakup quotes, watching He's Just Not That Into You for inspiration (okay, that was for my own leisure).
While my face is assertive, and my words seem enlightened - I'm also shitting myself trying to construct the best bombshell sentence to make my friend's heart boo-boo go away.
Let's take the phrase 'if it's meant to be, it'll be' for example.
How the hell do I know if it's meant to be, it'll be?
You can't be instilling a false sense of hope into your buddy.
What if they cling on to that adage for years?
It's a lazy quote to reference and I don't use it in my vernacular mainly because I'm scared it's not meant to be.
You may as well say 'there's plenty more fish in the sea' and be done with it.
Don't do that - unless you want an iPhone 6+ pegged at your head.
How about some good old-fashioned ex-smack-talk? After all, they did just trample on your friend's heart with unrelenting gusto.
We DO hate them! We never liked them, EVER! Their hair is dumb!
But no, you're walking a fine line if you do this, my friend.
One - negativity breeds negativity and you might start off with some casual venom spitting about said ex but this can also result in more gloomy feelings and induce a general hatred of the world. No one likes a hate rampage (most people, anyway).
Not to mention, if they get back together? Sheesh, that's a whole world of awkward. You then have to recant every horrid thing you said about their ex and try your damn hardest to smile and be happy for their reconciliation. That can be very emotionally taxing.
I remember when I was going through my last breakup. I thought I was inconsolable.
But, over time, you think about it less and your zest for life creeps back without you noticing.
It's not specific quotes or words I remember, even though I'm sure a lot were uttered to me during the whole process.
It was sitting in the lounge room with my sister and the satisfaction that came with sharing the space with someone rather than being alone with your thoughts. It was the security blanket of knowing I could call my best friend or visit her whenever I had the urge.
It was saying literally ANYTHING to my mum and just letting the words spill out without criticism of judgement - no matter how many times I repeated the same sentences over and over.
So, your wisdom might not be as Oprah level as you would like it to be, you might find yourself floundering your way through midnight conversations and there might be times where you literally stop and think 'WTF did I just say?'.
But it's not about saying the exact right thing; it's about being there through the thick of it all.
It's about listening. Being cried on. Texting 'good morning' messages.
The pressure to console someone is actually a privilege - you might desperately want to say the right thing but just by being there, you're doing the right thing.