The older we get, the harder it is to make new friends. And to restore relations with the old ones, especially if you once quarreled and did not communicate for many years, it may seem like an impossible mission. Everyone has their own life, new interests and social circle. Suddenly the paths diverged so far that they will never converge again? Suddenly, the resentment was so burning that it still has not cooled down?
Nevertheless, if you really miss your friend and your relationship, you should at least try to restore them. Here’s how.
1. Make contact
The first step will require 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 a friend that you remembered him and realized that you missed him, ask how he is doing.
If an interesting and active conversation starts, this is a good sign. At least you are welcome and you still have something to talk about.
But if you come across an ignore or cold monosyllabic answers, most likely, the attempt to establish communication has failed.
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 you no longer have the same values, goals, or interests, and this new old friend will no longer be so attractive to you. Or maybe, on the contrary, you will now have even more common topics and fewer reasons for conflict.
3. Suggest a meeting
Live communication is still different from correspondence and even video chats. You can 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 to communicate with each other and whether it is worth continuing to communicate.
Perhaps it is 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 broke off due to your fault – you upset a 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 all ended.
It would be nice to analyze why you then behaved in this way and what to do so that the situation does not happen again.
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. See if you can be more empathetic and supportive this time around.
Or you gossiped behind a friend’s back – and this is an occasion to learn to be more restrained and appreciate the trust that you have been given.
In a word, it will be great if you admit that there is your share of responsibility in breaking up the relationship. And maybe you will consider it necessary to apologize – if there is anything for it.
In the opposite direction, this approach also works. If you have offended you, you have the right to expect that a friend will admit his guilt and behave differently.
5. Meet more often
For friendship to grow into a strong friendship, need 200 hours of communication. You’re basically starting a relationship from scratch right now, so it’s likely to be a year or two before your friendship gets back to where it was.
And it will need to be fed all the time. Chat in messengers, have Zoom parties, go to cafes and exhibitions together, go on trips and so on. Naturally, all this should not be an obligation – if you are easy and fun together, you will have many hours of pleasant communication.
6. Don’t repeat past mistakes
Start treating your friend more attentively if you used to pull the blanket over yourself and did not notice other people’s problems. If you have analyzed your behavior and realized that it was toxic, learn to communicate without aggression, including passive, and psychological violence.