It’s always difficult to lose a person in whom you’ve invested a lot of time and emotion; and this can easily lead to depression and isolation. That’s a natural feeling. Like any normal person, you will go through the five stages of grief before you can finally move on – and yes, that’s true even if the person you’re grieving hasn’t died. If they’re gone from your life, you might find yourself grieving them. If the friendship was a good one, however, and you genuinely believe that fixing it should be an option, then you’re in luck. As long as both of you are willing to put down the walls, set aside your egos, and work on your friendship; there’s no excuse for you to not reach out and give it another try.
Here are some useful tips to mending a broken friendship:
Process your emotions first
The worst thing you can do is come out swinging when emotions are very high. You will most likely do or say something permanent that you will regret later on. Let the smoke clear first before reaching out. They say that time is one of the best healers.
A change in environment would be good for you both. Traveling is one way to rediscover each other away from the stress of work or your family and friends, who might just make things worse by all the pressure; even if they are doing it with good intentions. Make sure to keep an open mind and keep expectations low.
Invite your friends over to your home for a meaningful conversation. Before they arrive, there is some “homework” to be done. According to House Method, inviting your friend to a clean and organized house can shift the mentality of the conversation. Subconsciously, your guests will feel respected and important because you took the time to tidy up. During this conversation, be an active listener. Furthermore, be respectful and listen to the problems they are having with you.
Plan for concrete actions
Words are hollow if they are not supported by actions. One good way is to list down what you love and don’t like about each other. You can start to build your communication from there. You will find that most of what you don’t like with each other is easily resolved. People have the tendency to bottle their emotions until they blow up and say something they shouldn’t have in the first place.
Forgive and forget
Forgiving is forgetting. Don’t bring up the same mistake as ammunition in future arguments. If they’ve wronged you, forgive them and be sincere about it. More importantly, forgive yourself, too. If it’s your fault, admit your mistakes, ask for understanding, and both of you should work on moving forward.
Ultimately, some friendships do run their course. It’s not anybody’s fault, but people do change. They just might have outgrown the relationship. It may hurt, but there’s nothing much you can do. If you can’t mend a broken friendship, don’t look at it as a failure. When you look back, there are lessons to be learned for your own growth. Maybe someday you can use those lessons to become a better person and a better friend in the future.