You and your best friend are hanging out having a glass of wine and she says to you, “I have herpes”.
You immediately pour another glass of wine and don’t know what to say.
Have you been there? Of course you don’t want to say the wrong thing and you want to be there to support your BFF. Let’s face it, she's scared and you’re there wanting to make all the pain go away.
Ok so here’s what to say and how to comfort your friend.
Ask questions about their diagnosis
Your friend probably wants to share their story about how they got herpes and what it was like getting diagnosed. This is probably therapeutic for them to rant and vent and get it out. Maybe they had the worst experience at the doctors or maybe they didn’t even have any signs of an outbreak but just got a call from an ex. Who knows but your friend is going to want to go deep into details.
Ask how you can support them
This is not the time to make the conversation about you. The last thing you want to do is talk about how you know how it feels. If you haven’t been diagnosed with an STI and specifically herpes then you don’t know what they’re going through. This conversation is all about them and how you can be there as a friend. Maybe your friend just needs to cry or maybe they want to rant and vent. It doesn’t matter but ask how you can best be there.
Do your own research
We all have this idea in our minds of what herpes is really like. And chances are what you’re thinking is not what it’s like at all nor is it what your friend is going through. There are tons of myths out there that make having herpes out to be the worst thing ever and to be honest after you research it, you'll probably find that it’s not that big of a deal. The more you can know about herpes, the more you can help ease your friend and even give advice.
Do something out of the blue to show you care
As the days go on and everyone gets back to normal life it can be easy to forget that your BFF was diagnosed with herpes. They might be acting normal and talking normal but that’s probably a facade. Do something that shows you care. It doesn’t have to cost money it can be random text messages checking in and seeing how they’re doing. Or you can pop by their office with their favorite coffee or candy. Just letting your bff know that you’re there and you don’t judge or treat them differently is all that matters.
Ok so talking about friendship and community when it comes to having herpes is key. If you’re BFF wants to listen to other people who have gone through exactly what they’re going through then you should send them over to our recent podcast where one of our Secret Society members, Jenna Robert’s was on the show and she talked about her herpes diagnosis changed her life for the better.
And as we’ve talked about but community and friendship is key so feel free to send your bFF over to the Secret Society where so many people in there share their empowerment stories and share how they’ve begun to overcome the stigma or move on from an unhealthy relationship. Have them check it out and come see what we're talking about.