Everyone wants to be a better friend. You want the people in your life to feel care for. You want them to know that they are important to you. Here's a framework for how to listen in to a friend to show you care.
- Shut up. People love to talk about themselves. People need to talk about themselves. Ask, then be quiet and let them answer.
- Flesh it out. First you get the narrative: "He broke up with me last Friday." Wonder out loud how it was to hear that. Then you get the feeling tone. "I was knocked over. I didn't see it coming." Or maybe, "We'd been on the rocks for a while, so I expected it."
- Echo the feelings. "I hate break-ups. It hurts so bad." Or, "Just cause you expected it, that doesn't mean it doesn't hurt."
- Air the feelings. Ask how it is with him or her and echo that. If it's still shocking and hurting, remind your friend that it takes time to metabolize a break up. If s/he's already moving on, notice that too.
- Touch. Squeeze your friend's arm or give a hug. Whatever feels right to you.
- Affirm. Sometimes folks need to know that others hope for good things for them. Don't let all the friendship happen between your ears. Get it into the airwaves. Go ahead and say: "You are very special and I want you to be with someone who knows that.