Women's Wellness

How to Revive Your Friendships

It can be confusing to navigate the world of friendships, whether they’re old friends from school or new ones from work. You might miss the sweet and innocent memories with a friend who was once dear to you. It’s never too late to reconnect with those who matter. Here’s how to reach out to people you’ve been missing without feeling awkward.

By Aditi Mudgal
31 May 2022
friends

The pandemic has impacted many relationships, especially when it comes to friendships. You might not have seen some people since before the pandemic, which may have led to a gradual falling out. There might be friends who you’ve fought with but regret now.

 

When you’re ready to return from your period of ‘pause’ and reconnect with old friends, it might not be what you expect. Social anxiety can prevent you from making the first move, which can lead to a lot of frustration. But when you value a person’s presence in your life, nothing should come in the way of forging a connection that’ll make you happier in the long run.

 

Related Story: How to Be More Mindful in Friendship

 

The Importance of Maintaining Friendships

Friendships don’t just enrich your life, but they also enrich your mind, body, and soul. Having good friends can go a long way in ensuring a good life. A 2020 report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (USA) shows that more than one-third of adults above 45 years feel lonely. More than one-fourth of adults aged 65 and above are considered socially isolated. Many cases of social isolation arising from the loss of friends and family have been seen, as people lose touch due to changing priorities or difficulties in keeping touch.

 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Protection (USA), social isolation can increase a person’s risk of premature death. Loneliness is also associated with higher anxiety, depression, and suicide rates. Friendships don’t just prevent social isolation and loneliness; they can increase your sense of belonging and purpose.

 

Having someone to confide in and share anecdotes from your life can also reduce stress and make you happier in the long run. Whether you’re going through something traumatic or need a supporting hand, friends are the joy that money can’t buy or replace.

 

Related Story: Why Do We Get So Anxiour About Relationships?

 

Losing Touch

Friendships that seemed so easy to maintain when you were young now may require significant effort to remain that way. Ultimately, as we age, our priorities can naturally gravitate from maintaining friendships to taking care of ageing parents, children, and partners. Your career might become too time-consuming for you to make it to Friday night drinks with your friends.

 

Adults especially can find it hard to make new friends when they don’t have the time they once did to explore new friendships. New and old friendships can become challenging to maintain, especially when you move to another city or country.

 

Related Story: How to Break Up With a Toxic Friend

 

Getting Started on Reconnecting

Before you get started reconnecting with a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while, you need to think about the effort it will take to maintain the friendship in the future. All friendships require give-and-take, and when you’re not willing to do that for your friend, it might not be the best idea to get back in touch with them.

 

When you’re sure that you want a particular friend back in your life for good, you need to first figure out how to contact them. Whether you want to give them a call or shoot a message through social media, the choice is up to you. If it’s been a really long time since you’ve been out of touch, it can be best to start off with a message and gradually move on to a call. Here are some ways you can start the conversation:

  • Hey {name}! I’ve been meaning to talk to you for a while now and just wanted to catch up on what’s been going on with you. Let’s chat sometime!
  • Hi {name}, I was thinking about when we {mention old memory together} and just wanted to talk to you again. What’s been going on? Let’s catch up with a call or meetup!
  • Hey {name}, what’s up? I’ve missed you tons, so let’s meet up sometime!

 

If you’ve previously had a falling out with the friend you’re getting back in touch with, it can be best to start with an apology. You don’t want to pester any friend with tons of messages, and the best thing to do here is to be patient.

 

Related Story: Why You Shouldn’t Be Hiding Your Emotions

 

How to Prevent Awkwardness or Miscommunication

When you’re worried about how you might come across or don’t want things to be awkward, there are some tips to help you out.

  • You might want to avoid calling or meeting up with them right away. Test out the waters first through a message on social media or your phone.
  • Be open. You have to communicate with your friend about how happy you are to reconnect with them. Be kind and affectionate, and they will reciprocate.
  • Recall memories of hanging out with them or things that happened in the past. It can help bridge any awkwardness in the conversation.
  • Don’t dwell on past conflicts and who was wrong. It’s important to start on a fresh page where both of you can focus on the good. Apologise for your part and address any underlying issues for the best resolution.

 

Be Intentional

Many of us vaguely make plans with our friends to meet up, and the topic never comes up again. When you’re committed to reconnecting with your old pals, you have to be intentional when making plans. Don’t say ‘’let’s meet up soon’’ when you have no intention of doing that. Making concrete plans and arranging everything proactively is crucial when you want to truly reconnect.

 

Never Hesitate to Reach Out First

There is a lot of stuff online about long-lost friends meeting once again, and a lot of it implies that these friendships happen again organically. That is usually not the case. You can’t take a backseat or be passive when you’re looking to reconnect with a friend. You have to be an active part of their lives, and when you’re not willing to do that, you won’t be as close to them as you once were. Even sending a simple message like, ‘I was just thinking of when..’ can allow the both of you to reminisce and get the conversation started.

 

Reconnecting with an old friend can be exciting and emotional simultaneously. Rekindling a friendship can take effort, but it can bring immense happiness and satisfaction when it’s done.

 

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