4 Questions to Consider Before You Rekindle a Friendship
Friends come and go in life. Some friendships end after fights or abuse. Other friendships simply fade due to busy lives. The good news is that you might get a chance to rekindle a friendship. Social media makes it easy to reconnect. You could also encounter a former friend by being at the same place at the same time. The question becomes whether rebuilding a friendship with someone is healthy. If you struggle with anxiety, the decision to rekindle a friendship can seem overwhelming. Read this post to learn about questions you should ask yourself before you decide to rekindle a friendship.
4 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Rekindling a Friendship
- What caused the end of your friendship? The reason your friendship ended in the first place is a critical factor to consider. If your former friend participated in toxic activities, you probably do not want to give the person a second chance. However, if you and your friend simply lost touch, you could very well rebuild a healthy bond. When all is said and done, you need to look after yourself and your values. Ask yourself whether your friend will respect you and add positivity to your life.
- How close were you and your friend? The friends you are closest to are often the hardest to lose. If your friend did something to hurt you, but the act does not affect you now, you could look at your friendship through rose-colored glasses. Focusing solely on the good times could cause you to overlook the very valid reason the friendship ended. On the other hand, it could help you forgive your friend for something that was not really a huge deal. Think about what made your friend important to you in the past and how they could be important now.
- How long ago had your friendship ended? People do not change overnight. If you lost a friend due to repeated betrayals, a few weeks apart would not be enough time for one of you to break the pattern. However, if years go by and you happen to see each other and start talking again, you might notice a change. This is especially the case for people who have mood disorders and other health conditions. Receiving the right treatment could cause a person's behavior to change completely. A positive change over time increases the likelihood for a healthier friendship to form.
- If you decide to rekindle a friendship, what would you want to change? Regardless of the reason your friendship ended, rebuilding and maintaining a healthy friendship requires effort and setting healthy boundaries. If you and your friend parted ways due to fights about controversial topics, avoid talking about those topics. If you and your friend separated because one of you took advantage of the other, don't put yourself in the position of doing it again. Sometimes it is best to limit contact to texting or social media before you hang out in person. You can change your boundaries over time.
Always remember that it is your decision to rekindle a friendship. If you decide to do it, make sure you suggest healthy boundaries and progress at a pace that is comfortable for both of you. Taking a reasonable amount of control will keep you from feeling manipulated. At the same time, keeping an open mind will help your friend feel respected. Cooperation and open communication are keys to rekindling a healthy friendship.
Lueck, M. (2021, July 12). 4 Questions to Consider Before You Rekindle a Friendship, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2023, November 28 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/toughtimes/2021/7/4-questions-to-consider-before-you-rekindle-a-friendship
Author: Martha Lueck
Thanks for this.
My friend Heather and I were really close for years. Then when I got a boyfriend, Todd, and she met him, she started hanging out with him too much and we had a bunch of fights. I confronted her and she got mad at me. I suggest we take a break and maybe try again later, and she said that she never wanted to try again. We went our separate ways for more than a summer, and Todd cut off his friendship with her as well. Then she said she was lonely and she wanted to be friends again of I did. I was hesitant. She's been trying to hang out with my friend group again because hers dumped her or something. What should I do?
What a fantastic read! So often we think of relationships in terms of romantic partners or family but friends are such a huge part of many of our lives and sometimes that means friendships ending and potentially deciding if they should be rekindled or not. It's important to take a look at all of these questions and make sure you are being honest with yourself when you answer.