Make plans. Look toward the future of your friendship, not back at the negativity of the past. Sure, it can take time for old wounds to heal, but they may heal a lot faster if you spend time together doing and sharing some of the things that made you such close friends in the first place. Get back to enjoying each other’s company and a stronger friendship is sure to follow.
Don’t be afraid to take the first step. If you wait for your friend to come to you, you may be waiting a long time... even if the person misses the friendship just as much as you do. Take the initiative. Reach out to your friend. It can’t hurt. Tell the person how you feel about finding a way beyond whatever it was that shattered your friendship. Ask how the other person feels. Hopefully, your friend also dislikes living with the void left by your missing friendship. But be prepared for the possibility the person may not be interested in reconciling. If that is the case, at least you’ll know you did what you could to try to rebuild the relationship.
Friendships end for many different reasons. Some friends grow apart naturally as their lives, interests, and responsibilities change. But some friendships cease abruptly, ending with negative feelings on one side or both sides of the relationship.
Most friendships have ups and downs, and most friends become upset with each other once in a while. It doesn’t matter how old or young we may be. But such conflicts usually do not destroy a relationship beyond repair.
When a friendship breaks apart in deep hurt or anger, however, the negative feelings can make it very difficult to put the pieces back together again. Even if the bond was very strong before the break, it can take work to repair the damage and rebuild the connection. If the friendship was meaningful though... and the friend loved... it may be worth giving it a try.
Of course, there are instances when it may be impossible, undesirable, or detrimental to restore a severed friendship. But, when both parties have the desire and are willing to put in the effort, it can be possible to restore what was once a cherished bond.
If you are thinking about attempting to mend a broken friendship, you may want to consider the following suggestions. Every friendship and situation is unique though, which means a step that may help repair one friendship may not be as beneficial to another relationship.
Take a long look in the mirror. Before you approach your friend to discuss your friendship and the difficulties that caused the friction between you, take some time to think about the part you played in the problem. Look at ways in which your actions may have contributed to the collapse of the relationship. It isn’t easy to step away from your own perspective, but it is important to try to see things from the other person’s point of view. After all, there are two sides to every conflict.
Build a better friendship with honesty. Address the real issues. It is important to have an open, frank discussion about what actually caused the friendship to fracture. Talk about the things that are really bothering each of you so the issues can be dealt with and put behind you. If both people are able to discuss issues in a truthful and nonjudgmental way, the conversation will be more productive and more likely lead to a stronger, healthier relationship.
Be open to apologizing AND forgiving. If you feel your actions played a role in the breakdown of the friendship, say so and offer your friend a sincere apology. Before talking with your friend, think about what you want to say in your apology and the message you want to convey. If your friend also offers an apology for his or her role in the dispute, forgive the person in the same way you would like to be forgiven. If there is forgiveness on both sides, the odds are probably pretty high that your friendship will have a future.
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