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How Do Friends Make Up After Being Estranged?

by Stacey Elkins

You have a friend that is no longer in your life. You might have had a misunderstanding, a huge fight or life circumstances took you in different directions. You miss her and want her back in your life. With some initiative, time and effort, it's possible for friends to make up after being estranged.

Consider What Happened

Acknowledging why you had a falling out with your friend is an important part of reconnecting with him, psychotherapist Linda Chapman told Gehna Singh of Canadian Living. For example, did you move and lose touch, did one of you say something hurtful or did one of you betray the other? An awareness of what happened can help guide you in a conversation with your friend. Think about what you want to say to him before you're face-to-face.

Reach Out to Your Friend

It can be hard to take the initiative to reach out to your friend after a period of estrangement. You may feel that your friend owes you an apology and should be the one approaching you. You may still feel angry, hurt, betrayed or sad. If you miss your friend and want her in your life, don't let pride stand in your way of reaching out. Call, send an email or meet face-to-face. If you meet in person, pick a neutral spot where you can talk, such as a cafe or a park. If your friend doesn't want to reconnect, respect her decision and give her space.

Talk it Out

It's important to discuss what happened to cause the estrangement between you and your friend. In order to reconnect, you need to be honest about how you contributed to the falling out, says Rebecca Bent, coach and CEO of the Handel Group, on the Huffington Post website. Admit and apologize for your part in the disagreement or fight. If you don't feel you have anything to apologize for, you can show regret for your lack of communication. Let him know that you miss his friendship and you're sorry that you haven't been in touch. Discuss what happened and come to a resolution. Be open and direct with your friend, but don't point blame at him.

Focus on Your Friendship

If you and your friend both want to rekindle your friendship, time and effort will need to be put into the relationship. You can't expect your friendship to instantly have the closeness it once did, Daniel L. Shapiro, a psychologist, told Elizabeth Bernstein on The Wall Street Journal website. Be patient as you rebuild the trust you once shared. Connect with each other face-to-face on a regular basis. Get together for a walk, coffee or an activity that you both enjoy. If you have busy schedules or don't live close to each other, you can still connect regularly via email, text, phone, Skype or FaceTime.

About the Author

Stacey Elkins is a writer based in Chicago. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale and a Masters in social work from the University of Illinois in Chicago, where she specialized in mental health.

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