Has an ex-friend made their way into your thoughts of late? Can’t seem to shake those feelings of wistfulness? It might be time for a friendship recovery. Don’t get freaked out by potential awkwardness – if you really miss your pal, reach out to her. It could be worth it. Here are some pointers for making that transition back into each others’ lives as painless as possible.
Don’t ignore the elephant in the room
If your friendship slipped into a coma when she got with a guy / her dream job, etc., don’t try to just pretend nothing bad happened and it's all better now. Pretending you weren’t hurt will only make you feel fake and awkward. Find a way to address it in a way that suits how your friendship ended (casually, quietly, or definite and up front). Get it out in the open so you can figure out what you need to do to move on. Ultimately, you want to let her know that the bottom line is, you want her friendship in your life again.
Be willing to hear her side of the story
If your friend responds to your reaching out, it's clear that she’s willing to hear what you’ve got to say. Be ready and willing to hear her out too, and accommodate her needs. Recovering a friendship is a team effort, requiring communication and responsiveness from both parties.
Give up a grudge
Whatever happened – a fight, a period of silence that lasted so long things got awkward – forgive yourself / her. If you want to recover your friendship it has to be from a place of genuine interest and love. Being attentive and able to relax and having a good time requires being fully present – not being caught up in the past. Give up a grudge and give yourself to the new friendship.
Don’t assume you'll go back to the way it was
Depending on how much time your friendship has been on the rocks, your interests / situations / priorities may be a lot different than last time. Moving on with your friendship means finding a new place for your pal in your life, and finding your new place in hers. It might not be a smooth transition, but if you’re both willing to navigate the new uncharted territory together, a little awkwardness won’t be a deal breaker. You're human. We love our friends based on who they are, not the little things they do.
Commit to keeping the friendship alive
Recovering a friendship doesn’t mean "putting it back together so it's fixed forever." Friendships, like individuals, aren’t static. They change and grow as we do. Friendships include unwritten understandings that both parties are willing to work to ensure their friendship grows along with it's individuals – that means keeping each other up to speed on your thoughts and lives and being there for each other when you need it. Ultimately, keeping the friendship a priority. Ideally, that part is effortless.