Meaningful friends make life worth living because of the mental, physical, and emotional support they offer. So it can be painful when they no longer talk to you, especially when you think the relationship would last forever.
However, a broken friendship is worth fixing once you acknowledge how meaningful it is to you. Do you miss your friends and the positive impact they make in your life? Then it’s time to get them back. We’ve listed 10 easy steps on how to mend a broken friendship.
How to Mend A Broken Friendship
1. Evaluate Reasons for the Breakup
It’s necessary to evaluate why your friendship ended. Doing this will help you know if it was a toxic friendship or a friendship worth keeping.
To know if your friendship should be fixed, here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Was this a healthy relationship?
- Were boundaries broken?
- What’s the importance of this friendship?
- Do you influence each other positively or negatively?
Your answers will give you clarity and help you decide if you want to fix it or move on.
2. Reach Out
Re-establishing communication can be hard when you want to mend a broken friendship. This is because you feel hurt and expect the other person to reach out first. You might even decide to let the friendship end because they didn’t attempt to fix it. On the other hand, your friends might also find it difficult to reach out because they feel bad for their actions.
Either way, being the first person to reconnect will help you find out if your friends value your relationship with them. It also gives you the advantage of choosing where and how to fix this friendship.
To reconnect with them, text to know how they’re doing, apologize for the part you played in the breakup, and ask if they’d be willing to talk things over. If they don’t respond, wait a few days before you call. If they still don’t respond, you can pay them a visit to best understand why they’re not responding.
Related: How to reconnect with an old crush.
3. Have an Honest Conversation About the Split
Address the reasons why your friendship ended with all honesty. Don’t try to hide what they’ve done to maintain peace.
Also, listen with an open mind and don’t interrupt when your friend starts to speak.
When you both do this, you clear all misunderstandings and prevent the situation from happening again.
4. Avoid the Blame Game
When addressing the reasons why your friendship ended, avoid throwing blames. Blame games will only bring back fights and arguments, this will put more strain on your relationship and ruin any chance for you to mend a broken friendship.
Accept your mistakes and talk about how you could have handled their actions differently.
5. Don’t Get Defensive
When your friend points out what they feel you did wrong, don’t get defensive. Being self-justifying leads to more arguments and increases the tension.
Rather than try to defend your actions, find out how your actions hurt them and address the situation. Doing this may trigger the same response from your friend. They might start to accept their flaws, and mending your friendship becomes easier.
6. Apologize and Accept Their Apology
“Apologizing does not always mean you’re wrong and the other person is right. It just means you value your relationship more than your ego.”– Mark Matthews.
You can start your conversation with an apology. This will bring down their defense and compel them to listen to what you have to say.
More so, a genuine apology means you acknowledge the role you played in the fight and are willing to make amends. Also, graciously accept your friend’s apology and put all that has happened behind you.
7. Don’t Force Anything
When you reach out to mend a broken friendship, don’t force them to get back to you. This could mean they’re not ready to bury the hatchet.
Also, don’t force them to apologize when you successfully have a conversation with them. They might not have fully understood what they did and would do it again if you force an apology out of them.
8. Reaffirm Boundaries
Another step in how to mend a broken friendship is to reaffirm boundaries. Boundaries are necessary for maintaining a healthy friendship because they help both of you to balance your needs and avoid doing what might offend each other. When people unconsciously overstep boundaries, it can lead to fights or breakups.
To mend a broken friendship, identify the boundaries that were broken or the actions that led to the breakup and suggest ways to avoid them. Also, ask for their opinion and set new boundaries that will help both of you in the future.
9. Rebuild Trust and Friendship
When you hurt a friend and it leads to a breakup, they might find it difficult to trust you again. To rebuild trust, ensure you both have a mutual understanding of what your individual needs and boundaries are. Then work towards respecting these needs and boundaries.
Also, take things slow when trying to rebuild friendships. Rather than jump right into calling or hanging out with them every day like you used to, ask them when they would like to hang out, and don’t insist on timing that works for only you. There are chances that the tension from the breakup is lingering. Give them space to ease the tension and get into the natural flow of how things were.
10. Give Them Some Space
Sometimes, things don’t go as planned. If you reach out and they’re not willing to mend a broken friendship, give them some space and try again in a few months. It could be that they need more time to process what happened and accept the part they played in the breakup.
Conversely, give them some space to get over the tension caused by the breakup if they choose to work things out slowly. It could mean that they need time to get over their hurt.
If you’re in doubt about how to mend a broken friendship, evaluate the reasons why you broke up with them. Are they toxic or good friends? If they’re good friends, rekindle your friendship by reaching out, having an honest conversation, and rebuilding trust.
However, remember to give them space if they’re not interested in reconnecting or if the breakup caused a strain and they need time to adjust.