Life can get busy. Even though you may still follow all your old friends on social media, it can be easy to become complacent with these updates and lose touch with the person themselves. In a time where a lot of people feel lost and isolated, now is a great time to reach out to those people you may have lost touch with, and check how they’re going. Here are five tips for connecting with an old friend.
- A simple message is the best message
If you haven’t spoken to this person in a long time, do not feel the need to tell them everything you’ve been doing in one big long message. By sending a short but simple ‘hello’ or ‘thinking of you’ message, you are able to strike up a casual conversation. Once the conversation has been initiated, you can then start talking about everything you’ve been doing since you last spoke!
- Be straightforward
If you haven’t spoken in a long time, mention that! There can be a level of awkwardness that comes with the first contact so acknowledge it. Be open and upfront; acknowledge that you haven’t spoken in a while. Let them know you were thinking about them and your past friendship and wanted to see how they are doing. If the conversation continues to be slightly awkward, asking open-ended questions can be a great way to develop the conversation and let the other person get comfortable with the exchange.
- Don’t sweep past issues under the rug
To rekindle a friendship, you must be ready to address any old issues that arose. If you stopped being friends for a reason in the past, it is important to talk about this. Discussing old issues and forgiving and past mistakes in a direct but calm way, ensures your new friendship can grow from a place of strength and not on unresolved issues.
- Make plans!
If you say, ‘I’d love to catch up’ make the effort to do it! Whether it’s a virtual chat, a phone call or catching up for coffee, making to effort to set a date and time shows you’re serious about rekindling the friendship. If you’re unsure how to meeting in person will go, try and organise for the two of you to do an activity or attend an event together such as bowling, a workout class or attending a sporting event. This gives you both something to focus on and a chance to bond over a common goal.
- Start fresh
Although it can be difficult, do not compare this rekindling with the friendship you may have had in the past. It is likely you have both changed and evolved as individuals since you last spoke, and this may change the dynamic of your relationship. To give your new friendship the best chance, it is important to go in with no expectations or added pressure. Your new friendship with this person may feel like old times, or you may create an even stronger bond than the one you had before.
If there was someone in your life that you miss, don’t be afraid to reach out! Although it may feel awkward at first, it is possible the other person misses you too and is afraid to reach out. Making the effort to reconnect using these tips provides you with the opportunity to form a new and lasting friendship.
Written by public relations student Taysha Sullivan