The Power Of Reconnecting!
I had a friend named let’s say “Steve” who used to be one of my best friends but now I never see him.
Yet when I think of calling him, I think, “Yeah, but why doesn’t he call me?” and I stop.
I haven’t seen him for about 10 years now.
In fact, it has been so long that I can’t remember exactly why we stopped being friends.
Did I hurt his feelings?
Did he hurt mine?
Probably some of both, plus a lot of inertia.
So we did what grown ups do and we disconnected.
We stopped talking and pretended we didn’t care then we “moved on”.
I don’t know about you, but there is too much “moving on” in my life and I want it to stop.
I want to relish being alive before I have to move on for good!
One way to do this is by making my friends really matter in my life, even if that means swallowing my pride every now and then rather than disconnecting.
Is there someone such as Steve in your life? A friend or a relative from whom you have become distant, a person to whom you once were close who now gnaws away at you in your imagination so that whenever you think of him or her you feel guilty, angry, resentful, sad or all of these?
Is it worth reconnecting with this person?
Is it worth the hassle of reaching out, risking rejection and embarrassment without any promise of reward?
To Call or Not to Call?
Sometimes the answer is NO.
Some people you should not reconnect with because they will only hurt you all over again.
It took you years to get your distance and you would be foolish to let that person get close enough to hurt you once more.
But how do you know who’s dangerous and who is not? Usually, it’s obvious.
But what if it isn’t? then you can ask some people who know you both.
When the person from whom you have become distant is bad for you, usually your closest friends will know.
When you ask them if you should try to reconnect with that person, they will say, “Are you crazy?” or something similar.
So if you are in doubt, ask a trusted friend.
But there are other times when you will enrich your life by reconnecting with an old friend or relative.
Often making up or just getting back in touch feels like having a load of stones taken off your chest and suddenly you stand taller.
Making Up Is Hard to Do
I have a friend named let’s say “Jeff” whom I had stopped seeing much, because all he ever did was talk about himself.
I used to like him a lot, but then he started to get so preoccupied with himself that I just didn’t like to be around him.
I tried to understand all that he was dealing with, but after a while it felt to me that I was becoming his therapist instead of his friend.
That wasn’t much fun, so I just let our friendship lag.
Then one evening, we had dinner together and after the meal, I said, Jeff I have to tell you this.
We used to be good friends, but over the past couple of years you have done nothing but talk about yourself.
I need friends who understand that friendship is a two way street.
Jeff looked upset and quickly changed the subject, however on his way home he said to me, “Thanks for telling me that”.
Now, Jeff is one of my best friends again.
He changed, he took the feedback I gave him, and made it a point to ask about me whenever we got together.
I was very moved that he took my complaint to heart and made an effort to change, instead of getting defensive and reject me as I had rejected him.
Jeff and I gave each other a lesson in reconnecting.
I took a difficult step in bringing up my resentment.
Jeff then took what I think is the much more difficult and unusual step in actually listening to what I had to say and making a change in his behaviour.
My words did upset him at the time, I could see it, but he didn’t get so angry or defensive to reject me.Instead he made a change and rescued a wonderful friendship.
It Takes Two
It would have been so much easier for us to do what Steve and I have done, and simply let the years pass as a friendship gradually fades into a memory.
The process of reconnecting takes at least two people, one person can’t do it alone.
Someone has to reach out, sometimes at the urging of someone else and then the other person has to reach back.
The process can be as risky as defusing a bomb and the situation can explode.
Where strong feelings are involved danger lurks, but it is not that dangerous.
We need to learn from kids who fight easily but make up easily too.
We grown ups are too proud.
What is the great treasure that we are hiding behind the wall we put up?
My advice to you is the advice I gave myself: Forgive if you can, and do it now.
Then take action unless you have a good reason not to.