When friendships fall apart, it can feel like it’s impossible to pick up the pieces and fit them back together. Some broken friendships are destined to stay that way. However, when you have a special intimate friendship that brought meaning to your life, a renewal is important. Restored relationships give us perspective on our experiences, and deepen our lives. Not all friendship fissures are fatal.
If you have a long lost friendship you’d like to rekindle, chances are you’ll be able to make a meaningful reconnection. Today, we are discussing a five step plan that will help you determine whether or not a friendship should be saved, and if so how you can do it.
Step One: Count the Cost
First and foremost, you need to determine if a fractured friendship is worth repairing. Unhealthy relationships are not worth it if they force you to compromise your principles or subvert your self-respect. A good friend will understand and respect your convictions. Realizing when a friendship no longer works can be a positive step. If the cost is too high, then make a clean break. If the friendship has meaningful qualities and is worth the cost of repairing, then you are ready for the next four steps.
Step Two: Make Meaningful Contact
Start by calling or writing a note to convey one primary message: “Our friendship is valuable to me, and I miss seeing you. Is there any way we can resolve what stands between us?” This simple step is a way to open the doors to reconciliation. At this point, there is no need to air your grievances. You are simply setting the ground to see if your friend is willing to seek resolution as well.
Step Three: Forgive as Best You Can
It’s tough to let go if you’ve been wronged. Feeling the need for revenge and “balancing out the score” is natural. The problem with revenge is once you feel the compensation is satisfactory, chances are your enemy will take their turn at punishing you right back. It’s a vicious cycle.
How can you stop this? By forgiving. Forgiveness puts an end to all. You have to set your pride aside and try to see the perspective from all sides. The problems that plague a friendship are rarely 100% one person’s fault. If you keep this in mind, you will be well on your way to forgiveness, rather than balancing the score.
Step Four: Diagnose the Problem
Finding out what went wrong is crucial if you want to avoid repeating the problem. Naturally, we tend to avoid diagnosing the problem. Why? We don’t want to face the fact that people are partially good, and partially bad.
Viewing things in black and white seems easier and more practical. But most of life, including friendships, come in shades of gray. So don’t pretend there is no problem, get to the bottom of it together and move forward. If a friendship can’t survive such conversation, that may be a sign it ought to end.
Step Five: Rebuild Respect
The final step in mending a broken friendship is to rebuild respect. If you’ve been hurt, begin by noting your friend’s most admirable qualities that inspire you to become a better person. The goal is to rebuild respect by highlighting those qualities you like best about them.
Next, you need to own up to your end of the relationship, as well, by offering a sincere apology for not being the kind of friend you could have been. Take ownership, and ask for forgiveness. If you do this, then mutual respect is almost certain.
If you feel a pang of regret or remorse when you think about a former friend and do nothing about it, you’ll never know what might have been. Some relationships will recover smoothly, and others may never regain the full joy they once had. However, the satisfaction will only be known if you try! For more on this topic and other relationship issues, check out our new edition of Real Relationships.
Have you rekindled a broken friendship? What steps did you take to resolve your issues? We’d love to hear your story in the comments.
This article is factual and realistic, but it fails to factor-in cultural differences and spiritual contexts, and it also failed to address the main and major underlying root causes of broken relationships.
I wish the authors could do a sequel of this great write-up and try to squarely address the foregoing points in a very comprehensive manner.
did it help you?
I find all your blogs as being extremely helpful and I thank you very much for all that you do!!!!!!
Some great thoughts and notes. I will add my wife and I went through some Christians friends who just walked away from us, even to the point of saying we need to cut ties w/”some people”. The interesting part is God continues to bless them regardless of the way they treat others. I will always find this interesting that God loves us all no matter what we do to others. Anyways thanks for the blog.
This has helped me a lot with my best friend. we had this argument because i didn’t want to hang out with someone who made fun of me and stuff but recently we started texting and we have forgiven each other and have said that we are going to meet up and catch up and we have said that we really want to be friends again. Thank you so much this honestly has helped me so much
I recently jeopardized my friends relationship unintentionally and I feel terrible for doing that . I really wanna get back with her , she understood me like no one else did . I’ve apologized before but I don’t know if its enough !
Sometimes the person who was hurt needs both apology and effort. I was betrayed by my best friend and although he apologised to me afterwards and I would have been willing to give the friendship another go, he never put any effort into the friendship after that. There were promises from his side to meet up and talk it out over coffee but he could never give me a date. He also communicated far less often with me over text and phone calls which caused the friendship to fade away.
Agree with this
Sometimes the other person just needs time to process it.
I agree. Allow your friend space to process what happened but dont give up if the friendship means a lot to you and when he or she comes back to you let that person know how much you appreciate it and appreciate them.
I wonder how did you now I broke 💔with my friend on this same date you sent this article in 2021but indeed it is so valuable to me thanks a lot
Need a way on how to connect to a friend who just gave up something without telling me the only thing is I sent a message to her many times and from then I was not supposed to contact or anything else. I went to far. My friend and I go to the same church but I just can’t focus on anything right now. I am trapped in a phase would love to tell my parents the whole thing but they knew I was over the top, my feelings toward her is beyond not communicating or beyond contact.
need way to cool my best friend we traveled together for 9 yrs for 1 reason she cuted my friendship we both walk daily together to school we both still sit together but don’t talk we don’t even see face to face many times I tried to talk with her but she doesn’t responding me I texted her many times she doesn’t replied one word daily we were talking in call for 4to5 hours 13 April is the last call of her I think she doesn’t no how much I’m missing she doesn’t understanding my feelings please give some solution for my problem
Perhaps give her some time to process everything and then try again. IF the friendship means a lot to you dont give up and if she comes back to you let her know you are pleased