How To Help Your Friend Get Over A Bad Race

Our resident etiquette expert shares how you can comfort a friend when they miss a goal or have a less-than-stellar running performance.

Etiquette expert Lizzie Post, great-great-granddaughter of Emily Post, knows a thing or two about the rules of the road—and the descendant of the famous decorum diva is a runner too!

My friend just had a really bad race. I don’t know whether to call her, write a supportive note or even ask her to run anytime soon. How should I handle this?

We often try to brainstorm possible solutions when a loved one is feeling down, because it’s hard to see our friend hurting. However, it’s very easy for this thoughtfulness to turn into negative assumptions. If you worry too much about which way is the best way to reach out, you’ll miss the whole point: Simply reach out. You can always ask her how her day is going or invite her to go for a run, walk or hike. She’ll let you know if she wants to talk about the race or go for a run, or neither. She won’t break or crumble because a friend tried to connect. Ask her how she is; you’ll know from her response how to be supportive.

Have a question for Lizzie? Email or tweet @womensrunning with the hashtag #ProperForm.