Watching your best girlfriend go through a terrible breakup is the worst – especially if you didn’t like the guy. You don’t want to tell her you completely hated him and you’re happy that their relationship is over. You want to comfort her but also give her space. Jennifer Byrne, author of THE LAZY GIRL’S GUIDE TO LIFE, shares how to help your friend get through a breakup and come out stronger than ever.
Did you know that at the funeral of North Korean autocrat Kim Jong Il, people who didn’t cry convincingly enough were sentenced to six months in hard labor camps? Talk about being a little too lazy! You can bet that hundreds of people who would have much preferred to dance around singing “Ding Dong, the Dictator’s Dead” were instead wringing their hands, shrieking in pseudo-agony, and chopping onions on the sly. And so it must be with you, lazy girl, as you react to the news that your friend is finally breaking up with that jerk she’s been lugging around.
I mean, this guy is a grade A loser in almost every way. He’s selfish, lazy, mean-spirited, and the intellectual equal of an amoeba. And he has a wandering eye that strays so far someone should round it up and put it in the SPCA. And yet he continues to think he is God’s Gift to Women. Let’s hope God had the sense to include a gift receipt with this one.
Basically, he’s the Kim Jong Il of boyfriends, and he’s finally been toppled. How do you pretend not to celebrate with the fervent joy of a thousand repressed societies? How do you not roll your eyes as you listen to your friend grieve her sucky relationship for the thousandth time? How do you get through your friend’s breakup with this POS without having to put in more effort than he did?
Lazy Girl Hack: Buy Tubs of Ben & Jerry’s and Watch The Notebook
Sure, you had your issues with the guy—he was a know-it-all creep who talked down to your friend (when he wasn’t busy talking directly at other women’s boobs)—but for whatever reason, she cared about him, and she’s probably grieving the breakup. Your dance of joy would therefore be inappropriate and hurtful, but that doesn’t mean you can’t derive some enjoyment from the situation. So invite your friend over, pop the Notebook into the DVD player, and start consuming tubs of ice cream like there’s no tomorrow, because let’s face it, what woman doesn’t love shamelessly indulging in swirls of caramel and chunks of brownies while watching Ryan Gosling carry Rachel McAdams up several flights of stairs? We women are unique in that we have our little celebratory rituals for the full range of our emotions, the bad as well as the good. In other words, even our pity parties have awesome food.
And when your friend starts bawling over how much her ex reminds her of Ryan’s character (right, because you’re sure her man also jumped up onto a moving Ferris wheel to ask her out), you can start your own waterworks by lamenting the hours you’ll have to spend at the gym to burn off those five pints of Half Baked you just ate. By the end of the movie, she’ll be consoling you!
Lazy Girl Hack: Don’t Make Her Defend Him
A crucial mistake you want to avoid is to force your friend into the position of defending this man. No matter how much of a creep he might have been, she will be compelled to defend him if you attack him. In this way, you’re essentially forcing her to recall his finer moments (yes, he took me to Hooters for Valentine’s Day, but he paid, and that Lots-A-Tots appetizer was delicious!) and cite his good qualities (he always said he thinks girls with a little extra weight are beautiful!). The next thing you know, she’ll be getting all sappy thinking about how “wonderful” he is, and she’ll be in danger of a relapse. Nice work.
Lazy Girl Hack: Focus on Your Friend’s Pain
The point being, you don’t need to pretend you loved the guy— that’s too ambitious, and would seem about as real as Victoria Beckham’s bone structure. Instead, empathize with your friend’s feelings. ink about the losses in your life, how you struggled with them, and how you finally got through them. By drawing from your own experiences, you’ll show her that not only have you been there—you survived. And she will too. If you do this right, it’s barely faking at all. And if you’ve still got the urge to openly celebrate your friend’s emancipation from that a-hole, just remember that he might be back next week. And if you don’t play nice now, guess who’s going to get the Kim Jong Il treatment later?
Help your friend get back out there when the time is right. Always remember the do’s and don’ts of dating.