Q: When a relationship has ended, it is sometimes hard for the person in the situation, due to depression, embarrassment or pride to reach out to friends for help. How does someone reach out?
A: When your up against the challenge of reigniting old friendships you’ve got two competing issues to deal with. On one hand, studies show that in women in particular, memory for emotionally based adverse events are held on to for a long time (forever?), so it’s not likely she’ll forget about how she was treated when you were focused on Mr. Wonderful. On the other hand, women genuinely find bonding and interrelating very emotionally soothing, and they have a wonderful ability to empathize. They want to care for you, but you have to be willing to show some contrition, and let some of your sadness and disappointment show. Your real friends will come out of the woodwork; your false friends my use your vulnerability to chide you or put you down, but you can choose not to pay attention to them.
Q: On the flip side if you see that your friend isn’t reaching out, how do you approach her to help?
A: She may be afraid that you will judge her negatively, or that you won’t understand her. Let her know that you’re there for a listening ear. If she’s not into the “crying on your shoulder” routine, instead invite her out for something lighthearted—maybe even an action movie or documentary, where she won’t have to talk, and she won’t have to watch Hugh Grant win over Drew Barrymore