If you are at odds, it doesn’t have to be forever. Rebuilding a relationship can be easier than it sounds.
The older we get, the harder it is to find new friends. And to restore relations with old ones, especially if you once had a quarrel and did not communicate for many years, it may seem like an impossible mission at all. Everyone has their own life, new interests and social circle. What if the paths have diverged so far that they will never converge? What if the insult was so burning that it still hasn’t cooled down?
And yet, if you really yearn for a friend and your relationship, you should at least try to restore them. Here’s how to do it.
1. Make contact
The first step will take some courage and a little effort, but you can’t do without it. It’s good that now you can not call a person and not talk to him, but write to him, say, on Facebook. This will reduce the degree of awkwardness a little .
Start with a warm greeting, tell your friend that you remembered him and realized that you missed him, ask how he is doing.
If you strike up an interesting and active conversation, this is a good sign. At the very least, you are welcome and you still have something to chat about.
But if you are faced with ignorance or cold monosyllabic answers, most likely, the attempt to establish communication has failed.
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2. Get to know a friend again
Ask him where and how he now lives, where he works, what he enjoys. You will be surprised how much a person can change in a few years.
Maybe your values, goals, and interests no longer coincide, and this new old friend will no longer be so sympathetic to you. Or, on the contrary, you will now have even more common themes and fewer reasons for conflicts.
3. Offer a meeting
Live communication is still different from correspondence and even video chats. You will be able to see the emotions of the interlocutor, feel his mood, catch whether there is tension between you. And in general, to understand how easy it is for you with each other and whether it is worth continuing to communicate.
It may be during a personal meeting that it will be easier to discuss some old grievances , if you still have them.
4. Prepare for an unpleasant conversation
If the last time communication was cut off due to your fault – you upset your friend, stopped giving him time, said or did something unpleasant – he has the right to be offended. And it may well remind you of how it ended.
It would be nice to analyze why you then behaved in this way and what to do so that the situation does not repeat itself.
For example, in the past, you did not support a friend during a difficult period for him, because you were too busy with yourself and your own affairs. Think about whether you can be more empathetic and supportive this time .
Or you gossiping behind a friend’s back – and this is a reason to learn to be more restrained and appreciate the trust that you have.
In short, it will be great if you admit that in the breakup there is your share of responsibility. And maybe you will find it necessary to apologize – if there is anything for it.
In the opposite direction, this approach also works. If you are wronged, you can expect the friend to admit his guilt and behave differently.
5. Meet more often
So that friendship grows into a strong friendship ,necessary200 hours of communication. You are now effectively starting a relationship from scratch, so it will likely be a year or two before your friendship returns.
And it will need to be fed all the time. Chat in messengers, throw parties at Zoom, go to cafes and exhibitions together, travel and so on. Naturally, all this should not be an obligation – if it is easy and fun for you together, you will have many hours of pleasant communication.
6. Don’t repeat past mistakes
Begin to be more attentive to your friend if you used to pull the blanket over yourself and did not notice other people’s problems. If you analyzed your behavior and realized that it was toxic , learn to communicate without aggression, including passive, and psychological violence.
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Be prepared to support your friend if they have difficulty. Don’t get lost, don’t ignore messages, and remember that friendship needs to be given time, like any area of your life.
If the problem was not in you, carefully monitor how your friend behaves, whether he offends you, whether he violates your boundaries, whether he is tormenting you with ignorance. If something happens that you don’t like , feel free to say it politely and explain your emotions.