Friendships are the building blocks of a happy life. If we are lucky, friendships are a vital part of our family and romantic lives. When a friendship is fractured, we really lose out. Even though it's a challenge, fixing the friendship is worth it. The work involved can be tough, but without our friends to stand by us, life would be even tougher.
Mending A Broken Friendship
Figure out what the problem is. How did the friendship get broken in the first place? It's hard to fix something if you don't know what part of it is broken. If you don't know, talk to your mutual friends to find out.
Determine your part in the breaking of the friendship. Sometimes it's as simple as neglecting the friend; sometimes it's more complex.
Assess your feelings. If you still are feeling anger toward your friend, mending the friendship will be difficult. If you still are angry, work on letting go of that before working on mending the friendship more.
Make a move. Reach out to your friend in person or on the phone. Emails and text messages are great, but they are too impersonal for fixing a friendship. Apologize for your part in the rift and tell her how much you miss her.
Gauge her reaction. In some cases an apology and a hug might be enough. In other cases, that might be the first step. Ask her how she's feeling and accept it if she doesn't want to rush back into friendship right away.
Build the friendship again slowly. Don't force a day of shopping before she is ready. If the initial contact has been received well enough, now is the time for a few friendly texts and emails. Show you care without forcing the issue.
- Keep in mind that honesty is an important characteristic of friendships, but brutal honesty isn't.
- Some friendships are not worth saving; some are not meant to be lifetime friendships. And that's OK.
Jennifer Zimmerman is a former preschool and elementary teacher who has been writing professionally since 2007. She has written numerous articles for The Bump, Band Back Together, Prefab and other websites, and has edited scripts and reports for DWJ Television and Inversion Productions. She is a graduate of Boston University and Lewis and Clark College.