“A good friend is like a four-leaf clover; hard to find and lucky to have. – Irish Proverb “
This quote sticks with me because I do believe that a good friend is rare and hard to find. It is exciting to find people with whom you can create this bond. But as time goes by life happens, and sometimes the strength of our bonds starts to deteriorate. No friendship is perfect, and eventually, life itself will create a distance that leads to communicating less frequently.
So as we all know, once life starts getting complicated some of our friendships will get pushed to the side, which can create friction. I equate this to a computer starting to run slow or malfunctioning. So when this happens, we usually select Ctrl-Alt-Delete, close out some programs and “restart.” I feel that this is what needs to happen when your friendship hits a rough patch.
Of course, before you decide whether to “restart.” your friendship, you must determine whether this is a friendship worth saving. As the year’s pass, I learned that all friendships are not meant to last. I have finally realized and accepted that some friendships are for a lifetime and while some are just for a season.
Restart your friendship with communication
Communication will always be the key to successful friendships. But what do you do when life gets in the way, and you stop communicating? Should we address the problem head-on? Do we give each other space and just assume that everything will go back to normal?
How you decide to deal with this issue will depend on the value you place on this friendship. As stated above, if you decide this friendship is not worth saving then let it go and become acquaintances. But if this is a friendship that you treasure, then I would recommend the following actions to “restart” your friendship.
- Give your friend some space.
Sometimes life gets hard. At times, we have so many responsibilities that life itself becomes overwhelming. So, it is natural for people to need time to get themselves in order. They just need a moment to focus on themselves and not have to worry about the thoughts and feelings of others. Yeah, it may sound cruel, but it is a harsh reality, especially when we spread ourselves too thin. So just give some time and most likely come around on their own.
- Check-in periodically
While giving your friend some space, it is important to still check on them regularly. However, this doesn’t mean sending long text messages or emails. This means occasionally sending a quick text message just to see how they are doing. With that in mind, just remember not to get offended if you do not receive an immediate response or if the answers are short.
One of my favorite methods of checking-in is through social media. Social media allows you to keep tabs on what is going on without becoming overbearing. For instance, when you like one of their social media posts you are showing that you are still supportive of them, even if you have not talked in a while.
- Talk it out
If you feel that something is seriously wrong, then it is time for you talk it out. Set a time to meet up with your friend to talk. If possible meet up at a neutral spot, like your favorite taco place. Then just discuss your feelings. I don’t suggest talking through text or email, it is too impersonal. Hopefully, this will be all that you need to get back on track. If not, then you may have to consider whether this friendship is for a lifetime or a season.
How do you deal with your friends when they stop communicating with you? Do you have proven methods that help you “restart” your friendships? Feel free to share your thoughts below.