Friendships are an incredibly valuable commodity and one that you should never underestimate. Having a friend means having someone you can share experiences and memories with, it means having someone to lend a hand or a shoulder to cry on when you need it, it means having access to a different point of view and it means getting the opportunity to enjoy a range of different activities. The wider the range of your friends, the more fulfilled and varied your life will be.
Unfortunately though, maintaining friendships can be hard and over time it’s not uncommon for us to drift apart from people that we were previously close to. Sometimes we’ll move to different parts of the country, other times we’ll drift apart figuratively, and sometimes it’s just a case of taking on too many commitments and not having as much time to socialise. Gradually you stop contacting each other so much, then you find you have less to say when you do, then it becomes awkward and eventually you stop getting in touch altogether.
Just because you’ve drifted apart though, that doesn’t have to mean it’s the end of your relationship. If you have a desire to get back in touch and they feel the same way, then there are many ways you can overcome that initial awkwardness and get back on familiar terms. Here we will look at how to reinvigorate a friendship that you had presumed over.
How to Get in Touch
The first thing you need to do if you want to reconnect with an old friend is of course to find a way to get in touch. Obviously the internet makes this much easier than it has been in the past and specifically by using Facebook it’s possible to track down pretty much anyone.
What can also really help is if you have a mutual friend. This way you can get them to arrange a meet up both of you, and you’ll have some common ground to make the initial meet a little less unpolished.
The main thing to do is to have the guts to meet up. ‘Catching up’ online isn’t the same as actually seeing someone face-to-face and unless you get that one-on-one time it’s not going to get you back to feeling comfortable with one another. If you can meet at a party or with a mutual friend then you’ll find that it makes the process much smoother, but if you can’t then you just need to be willing to brave that brief period of awkwardness.
What to Talk About
Bumping into someone from your past can sometimes be painfully uncomfortable as you struggle to make normal conversation. In general there is just too much to catch up on for this to be normal, and you’ll often find the conversation goes like this:
‘So, what you doing now?’
‘Ah same, you?’
And then that’s it… The solution is to avoid covering old ground and instead to act as you would with any other friend. In other words, don’t try to get all the gossip in one go as that will just result in a very forced conversation. Instead, ask them how their day has been and what they have planned for later. What you’ll find is that your conversation flows much more naturally, and as you tell them what you’ve been up today and they recount the same, other facts about your lives will come through and you’ll fall back into your old rhythm. In no time you’ll be back to chatting like it was yesterday.
Making it Regular
Now the problem is that one good night out together isn’t really enough to make you bosom buddies again. When you’re really good friends you constantly exchange what’s going on in your lives and stay up-to-date on a regular basis. Leave it another year before your next proper chat and you’ll be back to square one.
To stay constantly close then, the solution is to find a way to contact each other regularly. One brilliant way to do that is to come up with a regular meet up – so that could mean going to the gym together once a week, or joining Pilates together. Alternatively you could just meet regularly for a coffee before work.
If you live further away on the other hand you should make an effort to chat on a bi-weekly basis. If that feels weird, then even just sending your friend a joke by text every now and then can be enough to show them you’re thinking of them and to keep the ‘banter’ alive.