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Ever had a BFF who had their heart crushed? Obliterated? Puréed into a gray sludge? Seeing your best friend fall to pieces over a breakup can hurt like hell. You know their potential. You know they deserve not just happiness, but the shiniest, brightest, most glorious happiness of all. So when someone else doesn’t treat your BFF like the little piece of heaven you know they are, it can almost feel as shitty as when someone breaks your heart.

But how do you show them that? How do you really make them know it? Well, you can’t. Not immediately, anyway. There is literally nothing you can say that will make the clouds instantly part for your dear friend. However, there are things you can say and do that will make a big difference — over time, probably — to help your friend get over their breakup. Like pennies in a wishing well, these words of unconditional love will add up to a fortune.

1 “You did everything just right.”

Even if your BFF kinda effed this one up, they’ll need to hear positive words. After all, no one knows our own flaws and weaknesses better than we do, right? We’re our own worst judges. No need to go pointing out all the ways your bestie could have saved their relationship. Chances are, if they messed up, they know exactly how they messed up, and they’re already kicking themselves over it. Better to let them know that they’re doing well, that, in fact, they’re doing perfectly. Because, everything in life comes with a lesson. Even an epic eff-up, or the world’s most painful breakup can lead to better circumstances. So, hold a mirror up to everything they’re doing right. They’ll always have critics — that’s not a job you need to take on.

2 “Things won’t always feel this bad.”

Remind your hero, as she’s curled up in a ball on the floor, that although right now SUCKS, and her pain is immense, she will one day feel better. Time heals. Someday, maybe soon, maybe not, but someday, she’ll be happy again. Maybe she won’t be able to hear it right then, but the words will stick in her head.

3 Nothing at all.

Sometimes it’s best to just let your bestie wail and rant while you merely listen. As she processes what happened in her relationship, her thoughts may get complicated. Let her work them out. Scoop her some ice cream. Make her dinner. Buy her a drink. And let her let it all out.

4 “I’m here for you.”

Be sure your friend knows she can reach out to you at any time. You’ll be there. Is she having a meltdown on Oscar Sunday? She can call you, and you’ll pick her up and sit with her. Or even take her back to the party you were at, if she wants. Obviously, you still have your own life (and any halfway decent BFF will respect that), but when your ride-or-die is down-and-out, letting her know that you’re available for whatever she needs can seriously be the thing she needs most.

5 “Call me first.”

In tandem with the suggestion above, let your best guy or girl know that if they’re on the verge of an epic lashing-out (“I see his car and I want to slash his tires,” or “I’ve typed up an 800-word, curse-laden text to her, and I’m hovering over the ‘send’ button,”) to call you first. They may need to just process their feelings and consider the consequences of their actions. Will what they want to do help or hurt? Sometimes we just need to get out of our own heads, and the only way is to talk our way out.

6 “You can ALWAYS talk about it.”

Six months have passed and your BFF is still going on about their ex? That’s okay. Let them know they can always talk about it. You’ll never tire of them, or get sick of hearing about it. Because you love them. And you know that this too, shall pass — even if it takes a very long time.

7 “They suck.”

If your friend was truly treated badly, go ahead and say so. “That person sucks! We hate them forever! What an ass!” These exclamations may seem juvenile, but they can also be bring with them a huge release. Like, sometimes you have to process things on a very childish level, and that’s totally okay. Calling a spade a spade can help your friend take their blinders off when it comes to Miss or Mister Perfect Who Turned Out to be a Huge F**k-Face.

8 “I will let them have it.”

Let your friend know that you will have their back, if you should happen to see their ex. Knowing they have an ally in you will help them navigate back into the public. There’s no way to adequately express the gratitude that comes with knowing that your bestie will shoot your ex the most severe of stares should they run into them at a party. Petty? For sure. Comforting to know your squad is out there having your back? Definitely.

9 “This does not define you.”

Your BFF’s relationship does not define them, nor does the break-up. They may feel like used goods, a rejected item, never to be loved again. You can let them know they ARE loved. The past is the past (phew), and neither you nor anyone else who’s worth a passing thought predicates their value upon it.

10 “This just made way for something/someone better.”

Your favorite human in the whole world may still totally be in love with F**k-Face, and that’s okay. You can’t change that. But you can gently offer the notion that that relationship may have come to end in order for them to find a better one. Clearing out what no longer works for what will. The universe has a funny way of doing that for us, if we let it.