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Seven Tips for Rekindling Old Friendships

Do you ever think about that friend from high school that for some reason, you don’t talk to anymore? Or think about why you let that stupid fight sophomore year of high school ruin your friendship with a close friend? Or maybe you think back to even before high school and wonder why you never talk to your best friend from middle school or even elementary school.

It’s a shame that we just stop talking to the people who used to be our confidantes in high school, middle school or elementary school, the people who knew about every boy we ever had a crush on, who knew the day that boy asked you on a date and who knew all of the details about your first kiss. The old friends you think about might be the boys you had a crush on in middle school or the guy you dated in high school who was your best friend. These were the people we shared many stupid jokes with that would no longer make us laugh.

Some people will tell you that everyone drifts from friends, and that’s that. But we don’t think that’s necessarily true. Some of your old friends may no longer have anything in common with you, but there are others that you could actually still have a lot in common with, and maybe if you guys reconnected could become good friends again.

So rekindle those friendships! But it’s not always that easy to just do it. It takes a certain something for your efforts to be successful. So here are some tips and ways other girls have successfully turned old friends into now friends.

Don’t force the friendship. Senior Jessica Ringlespaugh, a health education and behavior major, said to take initiative to see the person but don’t force anything. “Take the initiative to meet up with the person (to go out to lunch or dinner or have a beach day), and if it doesn’t work out, try a couple times again,” she said. “But if the person isn’t making time for you to get together after about the second or third time, chances are they really don’t care about connecting back up.” It has to be a two-way street for rekindled friendship to work, Jessica said. “When people want to see you, they will make it happen. But you don’t want to force getting together just for the sake of seeing the person,” she said. “You want them to want to see you too.”

Move on to a new kind of friendship. Don’t let any hostility about the past friendship get in the way. Monica Freifeld, a freshman food science and human nutrition major also said to not hold grudges against the person about how the friendship dissipated in the first place. People change and who your friend is, as a person, now may not be who they were when you were friends with them, but that doesn’t mean rekindling your friendship won’t work. It just means you have to accept that your new friendship won’t be the same as your old one, which is probably for the better. If you try to make your friendship what it used to be, it probably won’t last.
Send old friends a link or photo that reminds you of them via Facebook and other social media. “When I’ve lost touch with people in the past, I’ve found that finding something as simple as a funny link or photo is always fun to send to them, with a tagline just saying that it made you think of them and that you miss them,” Jessica said. “Then ask how they are doing now.” This is a great way to reconnect with people because it’s not quite as random as just saying, ‘hey, I miss you.’
If you’re not Facebook friends, add the person. The idea of sending old friends a link or photo is great but only if you’re still connected with them on Facebook or Twitter. But you can easily fix that, by simply adding them. At first, this may seem like something that could get you labeled as a “Facebook creep,” but from personal experience, I promise you it’s not. I’ve added friends and had friends add me after 10 years of not speaking to them, and I don’t think any of us found it “creepy,” in any way.
Sophomore economics major Emily Jones said don’t be embarrassed just because you haven’t talked in a while. “Everyone likes to feel important, so just start a conversation,” she said.
Reach out to an old friend for help with something or to teach you more about something you want to know about. “Sometimes, you know that a person can help you with something or knows something you want to know more about, and you may reach out to them,” Monica said. This can help rebuild the friendship, she said. Monica asked old friends for advice, which helped her rekindle old friendships.
Make plans to do something or go somewhere. “It’s always a good way to get together without it being awkward,” Jessica said. She said going for a walk together is a good idea. “It’s one of my favorite things to do to connect back up with people because you’re not standing there awkwardly just looking at one another with nothing to focus on,” Jessica said.
But Jessica’s favorite way to hang out with old friends and eliminate potential awkwardness is to do something in a group setting. “There will always be more to talk about because there will be more people contributing to the conversation,” she said. As we all know, people do grow up differently, so there always will be the possibility that when you and that old friend make plans to hang out, you end up having nothing to talk about. Hanging out in a group setting will help alleviate any awkwardness you may be feeling because of your lack of things to talk about.

Move slowly back into friendships. “Moving slowly back into friendships is better than becoming best friends away because just like anything else you don’t want to rush it,” Monica said. This will also give both of you a chance to have a sort of “test run” on your new friendship and see how it works.
Not all friendships you try to rekindle will be successful. You may find that your best friend from seventh grade has exact opposite taste than you, and that’s okay. Jessica said, “I understand that people change and that things probably won’t be the same, but that’s life. That’s the fun part- seeing each other grow into the person they were meant to be.”

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