Reconnecting with a friend after a long period of silence can seem stressful. Whether you've been self-isolating, shy, or just too busy to maintain your friendships, there's always that worry in the back of your mind that this person might not want to talk to you.
But what if they do? What if your old friend wants to reach out as much as you do, but they're not sure how?
Old friendships are as valid as new ones, and reconnecting with childhood friends or other friends from your past can be a great way to improve your mood and make you feel more connected to the world around you.
We're here to help guide you towards rekindling relationships with your friends. Keep reading for our top tips and suggestions.
Make the First Move
Rekindling a relationship with an old friend is scary! We get it. It's hard to put that anxiety and fear of rejection on the backburner when it seems like there's so much at stake.
Remember that this old friend can't read your mind. Even if they're feeling the same way, they don't know how you're feeling, and they may be having this same anxiety session on their end.
Keep in mind that people generally like to know when someone is thinking about them, even if they don't want to reconnect. You'll make the old friend feel good regardless of how (or if) they choose to respond.
Send a Letter or Email
Does the idea of making a phone call or sending a text message fill you with anxiety? Don't worry about it. Phone anxiety is getting more and more common, and it might work in your favor if you don't want to call your friend. After all, they might not want to receive a call.
Instead, why not send an email (or, if you're feeling more old-school, a letter)?
When you send an email or letter, you have more room to say what you want to say. You also can make an outline and make sure that you get everything down.
While many of us are inundated with emails every day, it's nice to get a personal one. Almost no one sends personal letters anymore, so getting personalized mail is also a lot of fun.
Post or Send a Social Media Memory
Is that kind of formal communication too stressful for you? Don't worry about it. In the world of social media, it's easier than ever to connect with people that we used to be close to.
It's likely that you and your old friend are already friends on a social media platform. If so, do you have any social media "memories" that include both of you? Fun photos and old conversations make great conversation starters.
When these "memories" come up, most social media sites give you the option to send or re-post them. If you're feeling nostalgic, why not do so? While posting may seem too public, sending a private message with the memory is a great way to reignite a friendship. After all, it gives you something to bond over right away.
If you're not friends on social media, but you both have social media accounts, this is a great opportunity to send that friend request. The worst that can happen is they ignore it, and that's okay. They may be trying to make room for themself at the moment.
Know (and Share) What You Want
Once you've decided that you're going to connect with this friend, make sure you know what you expect from this relationship.
Reaching out is the easy part. If you want to maintain the new relationship, you need somewhat of a game plan. Do you want to talk from time to time? Are you interested in a close friendship or a casual one?
These things matter. Again, your old friend can't read your mind, and they won't know what you want or expect if you don't tell them. It would be best if you weren't aggressive about your wants when you reconnect with a friend, but you can mention them.
Arrange a Meet-Up (If Possible)
Many of us move away from our friends (especially childhood friends), but if you're still in the area where your friend lives or you plan to be in that area soon, why not try to meet?
It can be more comforting to meet somewhere neutral (so not someone's home). Try going out for lunch, going for a walk, or doing something fun like going to a local carnival or museum.
Make sure that you take your friend's life situation into account. If they have children or a busy work schedule, you need to work around it when trying to make plans together.
While meeting up might be scarier than sending that initial message, there's no better way to bond.
Speaking of life situations, keep in mind that things might not go to plan, and that's okay.
When someone isn't as willing or able to reconnect with you, it doesn't mean that they're rejecting you. People who have busy lives or who are dealing with their own struggles may not have the mental or emotional bandwidth to reconnect at the moment, and that's okay!
You should also remember that even if someone can connect with you, that doesn't mean that you'll be able to get the exact relationship that you want (at least right away). Even if you were best friends in the past, it takes time to build a relationship back up.
Go into this situation with reasonable expectations, and you'll be less likely to be disappointed with the results.
Is It Time to Reconnect With an Old Friend?
It's normal to feel nostalgic about old friendships. Reconnecting with an old friend can be a fun and exciting experience, so why not give it a try?
We know how stressful it is to be faced with the potential for rejection, but you won't ever get that friendship that you want if you don't reach out. It may turn into something wonderful!
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