Fix Your Friendship

by Carolina Smart
“When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.”

I’m sure that Alexander Graham Bell was talking about opportunities, but this quote can also sum up what happens when we let friends go during a relationship.

Depression, embarrassment or pride can make it hard to reach out after a breakup. You’re already an emotional basket case and reaching out to lost friends may end in rejection and even more hurt.

“I never actively ended any relationships with female friends,” says Cathy, a medical administrator who is recently divorced. “But not everyone got in contact with me after this (my divorce). I just let the chicks fall where they may… ba doom chi.”

But friendships don’t have to be over. Dr. L.B Wish, a psychologist, social worker and author suggests a few simple things that may bring your friends back if you’re willing to do a bit of work.

Step one: Swallow your pride. Make the first move.

Step two: Ask for forgiveness. “Apologize—without excuses. And be sure to mention a few things about the person that you respect and admire,” says Wish. Tell her you were out of your mind, in love, blinded by passion and temporarily forgot what was important in life. Tell her that you want to reconnect.

Step three: Make a Date. After the initial phone call or e-mail, call and make a date. Do something your girlfriend loves. Is she the outdoorsy type? Take her on a nature walk or hike. Does she love to pamper herself? Treat her to a pedicure.

Step four: Let HER talk. Make sure she gets a chance to air HER feelings. Ask her how she feels about your friendship. Ask her about her life since you last were friends. If she’s angry or hurt, listen to her and don’t be defensive.

Step five: Be patient. Healing takes time. Don’t drop the ball. Continue to persist and nudge her out of her grudge. If she’s a really good friend, she’ll come around.

If she still rejects you, take the high road and be gracious. Let her know that the door is always open.

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