How to reconnect with a friend you haven't spoken to in a while (2023)

How to reconnect with a friend you haven't spoken to in a while (1)

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When you haven't talked to a friend in a long time, be it months, years, or decades, reaching out again can be uncomfortable, even scary.

emAdam Smiley Poswolskynext bookfriendship in the age of loneliness,one person he interviewed referred to this deadlock in communication as an "out-of-touch guilt spiral" - or when two people never connect again because they feel awkward about how much time has passed and are too afraid to deny it to give the first step .


So why is it so annoying to text someone you were once close with? For some, it has to do with the fear of rejection, the friendship coach said.danielle bayard jackson.

"There's definitely an emotional risk involved because you say you want to reconnect and there's a chance that request won't be returned to you," he told HuffPost. "Rejection can make us self-conscious, angry, and severely affect our overall self-esteem:"Am I not interesting enough? adorable enough? Worthy enough?'”

"Friendships can come and go, and it's okay to take a break from communication once in a while, especially during the pandemic."

- Adam Smiley Poswolsky, author of "Friendship in the Age of Lone Lines,"

Or maybe you hesitate, worried that the dynamic between the two of you has changed over time: what if things are awkward right now? What if the conversation doesn't go well? And if it's been a long time since your last contact, you may be wondering how much the other person has changed.

(Video) How to reconnect with someone you haven't spoken to in a long time!


"The truth is, depending on how much time has passed and why the friendship ended, it'shabitbe like it used to be, and we have to make room for that," Bayard Jackson said. "You almost have to hope that no matter how strong the chemistry is, you'll end up meeting someone new. Their mood, interests, values ​​and worldview They have probably changed during the breakup, and as a result, it may not seem as natural as it once did.

It can be reassuring to know that there are many people in the same boat who would like to reconnect with someone, but might need a little push to do so, perhaps even with their old friend..That is especially true of late, given theThe price that the pandemic took our friendships.

"Beyond the very narrow immediate circle in one's life - a romantic partner, children, and the few very close friends or best friends who are regulars in one's life - there are those friends you like who just don't seem to matter to you. , texting or meeting like they used to,” says the sociologist and friendship coach.Jan Yager, Author of "Friendship: Find and keep friends who will improve and even prolong your life.“

If you want to reconnect with any of these friends, keep reading. We asked the experts for advice on how to rekindle a friendship, no matter how long it's been.

Don't blame yourself for a lack of communication.

Instead of thinking about how long it's been since you last signed in, focus on the fact that you're now reconnecting.


"Friendships can be up and down, and it's okay to take a break from communication once in a while, especially during the pandemic," Poswolsky said. "In my opinion, everyone gets overlooked for not staying in touch during COVID-19, especially moms and dads! Everyone has their hands full right now, so don't be ashamed about it."

(Video) How do you reconnect with someone you haven't talked to in ages?

Approach him with clear intentions and realistic expectations.

Ask yourself what makes you want to contact this person in the first place.

"Do you miss the old days? Are you driven by nostalgia? Many of us spend a lot of time reflecting on old attachments during the pandemic, and nostalgia for the past is common," Bayard Jackson said.

Other times, you may want to close an unresolved issue from your past together.

"Did something painful happen that caused you to break up with them?" said psychotherapist Deborah Duley, retiredWomen's Empowerment Trainerand owner of consulting practicestronger connections. "If so, I would dig further to see if you can process what happened, and if so, is an apology necessary or are you willing to put the past behind you?"

How to reconnect with a friend you haven't spoken to in a while (2)

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Also think about what you hope to gain by having this person back in your life.

"Having realistic expectations when resuming a friendship is always important," Duley added. "What is the desired outcome? Are you ready for the friendship to be different?"


(Video) How To Never Run Out Of Things To Say In Conversation

Determine what type of communication is best.

This depends on the person and the nature of your friendship: it can be an SMS, a phone call, a letter or some other method.

“It could be an article, a recipe, or even a meme,” Poswolsky said. "For others, it may wait until you can have a conversation face to face, or mask to mask."

Then decide what you want to say.

The way you approach the conversation can be different depending on how you left things in the last conversation. If it was just a gradual withdrawal, start with something light to break the ice.

"Like a funny photo, meme, or funny reminder that made you think of your friend," Poswolsky suggested. "He'll open things up before you dive into the most challenging conversation about why you're struggling to keep in touch."

You can also use a birthday, holiday or other special day as an "excuse" to communicate if it feels more natural, Duley said. And with something as simple as, "I've been thinking about you lately. How did you handle it? I miss you!"


How to reconnect with a friend you haven't spoken to in a while (3)

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However, if things ended on not-so-good terms, you'll probably want to acknowledge that in your message.

(Video) Phrases to reconnect with old friends - Free English speaking lessons #Friendshipday

"You want to leave as little room for subtext as possible, especially when your message comes out of the blue," Bayard Jackson said. "Try going with the vulnerability first, and start the message by stating the specific reason you were reluctant to get in touch: 'I've wanted to get in touch with you for a while, but wasn't sure how I would sign up. Lately, I've been thinking a lot about how much fun we had last summer and I wanted to know if you're ready to catch up soon, would you be open to that?

Try not to freak out if he doesn't respond right away.

If you don't get an immediate response, resist the urge to jump to the worst case scenario: This friend isn't interested in hearing from you. They may be busy with work, children, family issues, or health problems. Or maybe they just need a little time to formulate their answer.

"Until you prove otherwise, assume your old friend wants to hear from you," Yager said.

But it's okay to prepare for the possibility that things may not go your way.

Your friend could send you a text with emojis and exclamation points and say she's glad you contacted you and wants to do the same. But it's also possible that she tells you that she's not ready to be friends with you again, or that she doesn't respond at all. It's okay, even good, to hope, as long as you're prepared for other possible outcomes.


"I suggest spending some time envisioning all the possibilities and working through how you would feel," Bayard Jackson said. "If you were completely devastated by the rejection, or by no response at all, I would wait until you are in a place where you can focus more on being proud of yourself for reaching out and seizing the opportunity, regardless of the outcome."

No matter what, give yourself some credit.

Whether that friend is open to reconnecting or not, you deserve a pat on the back for putting yourself out there; it is not an easy thing.

"I hope he or she wants to reconnect, but if not, understand and reach out to other old friends, strengthen the connections you already have with your circle of friends, or even work on making new ones." Yager said. "Fortunately, friendships can be made and maintained at any age and at any stage of life."

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