Friendships offer social and emotional support.

When a considerable amount of time has passed since you've talked to a friend, you feel uncomfortable with reopening lines of communication.

What do you say? What if they don't want to talk with you?

A group of three friends jumping together in the snow.Photo by Zachary Nelson on Unsplash

Why Did You Grow Apart?

Christopher says to Winnie the Poo,

A relationship, especially a friendship, is a two-way street. Assess why a friendship grew apart. Were there angry words and hurt feelings involved or did distance cause the split?

A betrayal versus moving away for college carry different weights.

Flaticon IconWeigh the Pros & Cons

Lucifer says, “I thought we were getting along.”

Pros

  • renew and strengthen trust

  • reminisce about the past

  • get closure for past incidents

Cons

  • reopen emotional wounds

  • return to an unhealthy relationship

  • negatively affect your other relationships

Reconnecting After Moving Away

Flaticon IconMeet Alexis.

After moving away for college, she is returning to Atlanta for her new job in the local art scene. She wants to reconnect with her old friends.

Flaticon IconCorrie

  • is a teacher

  • disparaged Alexis' dream job as an artist

  • gossiped about Alexis and her family's income

Flaticon IconMars

  • is a sculptor

  • works at an art gallery

  • was Alexis' Vice President in their high school art club

Flaticon IconElizabeth

  • is an architect

  • has known Alexis since middle school

  • sees Alexis when she visits home every Thanksgiving

Flaticon IconGeorge

  • is an art curator

  • pressured Alexis for a romantic relationship

  • is a part of the local art committee

Quiz

Who should Alexis avoid?

Corrie & George

Mars & George

Corrie & Elizabeth

Elizabeth & Mars

What Will You Say?

A man says,Think about why you want to reconnect.

You might want to relive nostalgia, seek closure, or express interest. This shapes how you approach the conversation to get the desired outcome.

Try to:

  • Break the ice with a memory

  • Reach out on a holiday or birthday

  • Be direct, open, and honest

  • Address the issues that might exist

  • Share life updates and allow them to do the same

  • Make definitive plans to meet again

Don't Go In With Expectations

It's time to downsize your expectations.

People grow and change. Your friend will likely have different feelings, goals, and values.

If they reciprocate, remember that your friend has changed since you first knew them. You have changed! Build your friendship up with time and care.

They might not want to be your friend. Be prepared for rejection. Accept their decision.

“We’re not gonna be friends.”

You could even reconnect then decide against continuing the friendship.

Take Action

Ask yourself if you will be able to retain the rekindled friendship. A friendship takes time and commitment. Reaching out is just the start.

A man holds out his to a woman for a handshake. She shakes his hand.

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This Byte has been authored by

ZG

Zhaneille Green

Graduate Student