Dear Ms Mostly,
How do I rekindle a lost friendship? At the time, I was caught up in a personal issue and couldn’t attend one of her events. I didn’t reach out to tell her in advance and she probably was upset with me. I was somewhat ashamed.
She doesn’t live really close to me but we always made a point to meet once a month and texted and talked regularly on the phone. As friends, we went way back to our first jobs. As time went by, neither of us made an effort to talk and before I knew it a year went by, then another.
She has been on my mind a lot lately. I see her posts in my feed every so often and now I hear she is ill. There is the urge to reach out to her but I feel ashamed for letting things go so long. I cannot get the first step clear in my mind as to what I should say. In the end, there isn’t any excuse large enough to discount a friend, so what does one say?
I think you might be too hard on your self and your lost friend too. A busy life is full of ebbs and flows. Life is not static. There are changes in careers, marital situations, moves to different cities, children growing up. People come and go.
It can feel a bit tricky, but the rewards of rekindling that friendship are worth the temporary awkwardness. The very fact you are thinking of her is a sign you should do it.
Here are five things to consider:
- Just say hello. Keep it simple. Don’t make excuses. Start fresh. A good opening is “Hi, I have been thinking of you and wondering how you are and what you are up to?”
- If you are too shy to do it by phone, drop a card in the mail or a post on her social media. Make sure to include your current phone number.
- Once you connect, set up a time to meet in person. Let’s do _____ is totally insincere if there isn’t a firm date set. Meet for coffee, lunch, drinks, a walk, anything but do not close without a follow up in place.
- Start from where you both are at this time. Circumstances will have changed. You are both different than the last time you met. Acknowledge it and forge a new friendship, steeped in the connections of the past. It may take some work to rekindle the friendship.
- Celebrate. Have fun. Laugh. Be positive. Take the pressure off. Don’t dwell in the past, step as a pair into the now. You are together again and that is cause for great joy!
Life is too short for regrets. Let me know how the rekindle goes.