Friendship Do-Overs: Assessing What Went Wrong
First, think about some of your past friendships, and name three people you used to enjoy spending time with, but no longer see.
-- What caused the estrangement?
-- Did you have a fight?
-- Did you drift apart?
-- Did the other person stop returning your calls or e-mails?
-- Was the other person always "too busy" to get together?
You may not even know what happened—that's OK.
Ask yourself how you feel about the demise of each relationship. Do you still miss spending time with the other person? Are you angry? Hurt? Confused?
After assessing the friendship, you may decide that it is not worth the investment of time and energy to reconnect. But even if that’s the case, do your best to let go of any negative emotions you feel toward the person or relationship — whether it's anger, sadness, or simply regret. Recording your thoughts in a journal is a great way to let go of negativity. So is visual imagery. For example, imagine attaching your feelings to balloons and watching them float up into the sky. Or imagine smashing some dishes.
If you would like to reconnect, consider making a phone call, sending a Facebook message, or writing an e-mail telling the person that you miss him or her. Ask if it might be possible to get together to talk about the relationship. If it’s possible that you did something to hurt the other person, offer an apology. Maybe you’ll be rebuffed—or maybe you'll find that your old friend is just as eager as you are to reconnect. You never know until you try.