How to Rebuild Broken Friendships Destined to Reunite
Things happen in life that can cause friends to stop communicating and lose touch. However, real friends will seek ways to rebuild the friendship, as revealed with the examples in this essay.
Amazing things happen that bring people back together. We may find the friends we lost at the most unexpected times. It's helpful to know how to reconnect when the opportunity presents itself. It's best to keep an open mind and welcome them back. Take advantage of the situation, when face to face, to reopen real communication.
The following will hopefully give you some ideas. The events could be different from your experiences, but you might relate to something in it.
I'll give you examples of two broken friendships, explaining what went wrong, and how I began the process to rebuild those friendships when we unexpectedly reunited.
Friend #1: Hurt by Miscommunication
I lost touch with this friend because of a failure to communicate. We met over 20 years ago, and we had a lot in common. We both enjoyed outdoor activities and liked to lead healthy lives. We were both single and eager to find a good woman to settle down. We had different backgrounds, but we respected our differing attitudes towards life.
We were also both creative people, and that creativity inspired us to get involved with mutual interests. We shared a lot of knowledge. If one of us would discover a new way to invest in stocks, for example, it was fun sharing that information with the other.
If either of us found something on the Internet that might be helpful, we’d share it with the other. We were always available to one another should the other need help with anything that came up.
I invited this friend to join me in a social group I was part of, going on hikes, trips to museums, and other social activities around town. Everyone saw that he was a fellow of high esteem—the kind of person everyone always welcomed into the group.
So what went wrong?
One day my friend told me he didn’t want to have anything to do with the group anymore. He never made it clear to me what was on his mind. I figured that he no longer wanted to be friends with anyone in the group, including me.
From that day on, we hardly spoke. Eventually, the phone calls stopped. I didn’t call him anymore, and he didn't call me.
The strange thing is that others in the group continued to invite him to parties, and he would accept. I saw him at these parties. That confused me. I had no idea what he wanted, and I never questioned him.
Since we stopped talking, I never knew whatever it was affecting him. Some miscommunication caused both of us to have ideas that probably were not based on reality. It just left unresolved hurtful feelings.
Did you ever lose a friend due to a misunderstanding that was never resolved?
Friend #2: Respecting a Friend Who Needs Space
I met this friend when he became involved with our social group. A woman in our group had been dating him. She invited him to join the rest of us on a hike.
He was very sociable, friendly, and intelligent. He was a very caring person toward his family and friends. As I got to know him through various social events, we became terrific friends.
What went wrong?
Evidently, he was going through a difficult time in his life, and he suddenly sent me an email stating that he no longer wanted to be contacted.
Well, when someone indicates any form of rejection, I leave them alone. I respect their wishes, don't ask questions, and merely move on. Besides, I only knew him for a few years.
However, I did leave an open door for him by replying to his email with a short, simple statement, stating that should he ever want to communicate, I’d be there.
He never called. Other friends have said they ran into him in one place or another, but he never called, and I left him alone.
Did you ever have a friend who needed space and requested to be left alone?
Mending Broken Friendships When Meeting Unexpectedly
We are all getting older, and life is short. One by one, we all are losing our beloved family members.
Suddenly the mother of a mutual friend passed away. I had attended the memorial service, and as I was consoling her, I noticed my two long lost friends chatting with one another on the other side of the room.
I wasn't in the least surprised they were both there since we all knew one another, but a feeling of awkward tension came over me. I wondered if I should ignore them, or go over and say hello.
It didn't take me more than an instant to know the right thing to do. I worked my way through the room to where they were standing, and I said hello.
As it turned out, we chatted for over an hour about the latest things that were happening in our lives. There was so much to share—good things, bad things, wonderful things, terrible things, losses, major losses, lost loves, and health issues that we all deal with from time to time.
We were catching up, and most of all, we were bonding again. Friends bonding at a funeral. Imagine!
Our mutual friend, who's mother died, overheard us stating our intentions to make an effort to rekindle the friendship. Despite being in a state of grief, she was pleased to hear our discussion. She was the only one who kept in contact with all of us lost souls.
I was glad to finally have the opportunity to ask them what was going on in their lives. I never imagined that the way I would be reunited with two lost friends would be at a funeral.
Did you ever rekindle a friendship when paths crossed unexpectedly?
We sometimes misjudge or misinterpret the cause for other people’s actions. We may think they just are being silly. Or worse, we take it personally. However, they have their reasons. It may not always be as it appears on the surface.
Sometimes we need to accept the decisions others make and not feel intimidated by it.
Of course, it was a two-way street. Either of us could have called the other if we had wanted to do so. Maybe we didn't have the courage for fear of further rejection. Perhaps we didn't have the desire at the time.
Sometimes we need to go on with our lives, being with other friends, going to social affairs, and attending functions that may not be pleasant, but important to another friend. You never know when your paths will cross once again.
A well-known saying that I'm sure you know, "You can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family." That’s why it’s crucial to hold on to your good friends and not let miscommunication destroy friendships. I learned, good friends never die.
Good Friends Never Die
I found this video by Andy Conway that expresses my sentiments precisely.
© 2010 Glenn Stok