How I Fixed a Broken Friendship When Paths Crossed Unexpectedly
True friendships never die. This article shows examples, from my experience, how to renew bonds when the opportunity arises. I also just added poll questions at the end of each section for you to compare your experience with other readers (Give it time to build responses).
Things happen that can cause people who once cared for one another to stop communicating and lose touch.
Good friends are hard to come by and when they are good people it’s a shame to let them go.
I've learned that if they are true friends, they will make every effort to rekindle the friendship when given the chance.
It's important to know how to reconnect when the opportunity presents itself, because your paths may cross when you least expect it.
Sometimes it takes an extreme event to bring old friends back together. The story that follows will show you how to take advantage of these moments.
I never imagined that the way I would be reunited with two lost friends would be at a funeral.
Miscommunication Can Damage a Friendship
This first example is about friend I lost because of a failure to communicate. We met in the mid 90’s and we had a lot in common. We both liked the outdoors. We liked to lead healthy lives. We were both single and eager to find a good woman to settle down with. We had different backgrounds but we respected our differing attitudes towards life.
We were also both creative people, and that creativity inspired one another to get involved with various experiences. We shared a lot of information. 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.
What went wrong?
I was in a social group run by a mutual friend where we organized hikes, trips to museums, and social activities around town.
I invited my friend to join the rest of us at one of our events. Everyone saw that he was a fellow of great esteem. The kind of person we all welcomed into the group.
One day my friend asked me to remove him from the mailing list because 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.
I removed him from the mailing list as he had requested. From that day on we hardly spoke. Eventually the phone calls stopped. I didn’t call him anymore and he never called 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 even more. I had no idea what he really wanted, and I never questioned him.
Did you ever lose a friend due to a misunderstanding that was never resolved?
Respecting the Wishes of a Friend Who Needs Space
I had a second friend who I had met in our social group several years earlier. He had dated one woman in the group and she invited him to join the rest of us on a hike.
He was very sociable, friendly and intelligent (Three reasons why everyone welcomed him into the group).
As I got to know him through various social events, we became very good friends. I discovered that he was a very caring person toward his family as well as towards all his friends and acquaintances.
What went wrong?
He was going through a difficult time in his life and once he sent me an email stating that he no longer wanted to be contacted.
Well, when someone says they don’t want to be my friend, I leave them alone. However, I did leave an open door for him by replying to his e-mail 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 at one place or another, but he never called and I respected his wishes.
Did you ever have a friend who needed space and requested to be left alone?
How to Fix Broken Friendships When the Opportunity Arises
We are all getting older and life is short. One by one, we all are losing our beloved family members. It's at times like this when we remember lost friends who are still alive.
Suddenly the mother of a wonderful friend of mine had passed away. She was struggling with her Mom's poor health for quite some time. Recently she had moved her parents closer so that she could take better care of them since they were both in poor health.
I had attended the memorial service and as I was consoling her, I noticed my two long lost friends way back on the other side of the room. Finding old friends under these circumstances was the last thing I would have thought would happen.
When I had my chance, I worked my way through the room to where they were standing, and I said hello.
We chatted for over an hour about all 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, the one who's mother died, overheard when we were stating our intentions to one another about making an effort at rekindling the friendship. She was in a state of grief and yet she was pleased to overhear our discussion. She was actually the only one who kept in contact with all of us lost soles.
We all showed concern for one another. Both of these good friends showed a sincere interest in my life and I was glad to finally have the opportunity to ask them what was going on in their lives.
Did you ever rekindle a friendship when paths crossed unexpectedly?
We sometimes misjudge or misinterpret the reasons for other people’s actions. We may think they are just being silly. Or worse...we take it personally. However, I assure you they have their reasons and it may not always be as it appears on the surface.
Sometimes we just need to accept the decisions others make and not feel threatened by it and not shut them out. Of course it was a two-way street, in my case either of us could have called the other if we had wanted to. Maybe we didn't have the courage for fear of further rejection. Maybe we just didn't have the desire at the time.
It's possible that we will find the friends we lost at the most unexpected times. We just 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, but it happens. It's a small world.
A well-known saying that I'm sure you know... "You can select your friends, but you can’t select your family." That’s why it’s so important to hold on to your good friends and don’t let miscommunication destroy friendships. I can add my own quote about friendship now... "True Friendships never die."
© 2010 Glenn Stok