When a friendship falls apart it can be one of the worst feelings in the world.
A friendship that meant a lot to you is worth trying to repair. While this is not always possible you will know in your heart if it is worth giving it a shot or if it is well and truly over.
Here’s some advice on how to save a damaged friendship.
Ask yourself is it worth it?
The first step to fixing any damaged friendship is to analyse the situation. Is it worth repairing? Is the person a true friend who made you feel loved or was it an unhealthy relationship where you felt you always had to compromise your values?
As you look back over the friendship, you may realise that they were never a good friend to you. If so, then it is not worth your time trying to fix something that is better left alone. This is just as important a revelation to have as the realisation that you do want to make some effort to fix it.
Once you have decided that the friendship is worth saving, the next step is to make contact. Find out if they too are interested in saving your friendship. If they are not then there is nothing you can do. However, if they are, arrange a time to meet up in person if possible. This can prevent things getting lost in translation over text messages. Communication is key when trying reconcile a friendship.
Use ‘I’ statements
Use ‘I’ statements when talking to the person. This will prevent blame being passed around. Say things like I felt hurt when this happened. Express your emotions without accusing the other of making you feel a certain way. Pointing fingers will only make things worse which will decrease any chance of repairing your friendship. Sentiments of hatred will only cause more hurt and will not achieve anything.
Being a good listener is essential when attempting to repair a friendship. There are two sides to every story. Make sure to make your feelings are heard but also ensure that you listen to the other person’s perspective. It is likely that the two of you will see things slightly or even in a completely different way. Try to find out how they feel and do your best to see things from their point of view.
These things take time. It can be very hard to accept and even more difficult to be patient but giving the other person space before you reach out to try and fix things can be useful for both of you. Time allows both parties to acknowledge and accept what happened as well as allowing for a healing period. A break can be a good thing as it allows the dust to settle and grants time to come to terms with how you are feeling.
Sometimes the best you can do is try. There is a chance that the other person will not want to repair the friendship. This can hurt but it is a perfectly natural reaction to have. Give yourself time and allow yourself to accept that the friendship is over.
Have you ever tried to save a damaged friendship?