During this time of uncertainty and loneliness, it can almost feel as things have always been this way, or always will be this way. An easy trap to fall in, or spiral down.
When you’re feeling the most disconnected with everybody and everything in the world, it’s difficult to reach out — especially to those you feel have neglected you, or you’ve neglected them. It’s always a two way street when a friendship has been lost or forgotten. However, if nobody has done anything wrong, this might just be the perfect time to reconnect!
There has never been more of a perfect time to let your old friends know you care. However, there may have been a few reasons why your friendship may have dissipated in the first place. The questions you want to ask yourself before reconnecting are:
- Were they draining your energy during the friendship?
- In my experiences from friendships that have drained my energy, sometimes it’s a physical draining of energy. They are always wanting to do something, asking whether you’re free every day of the week. This is exhausting physically, and you should NEVER feel like you always have to say yes. Worse is, if they guilt you into wanting to do something. (Despite us all have been guilty of this before. We all make mistakes after all.)
- Mentally draining you — this might be as simple as them constantly contacting you, this is draining no matter who it is! You even need time to yourself to NOT speak to yourself during the day (see mindfulness). However, there are plenty of mentally draining conversations that can drain you within minutes, and this might be the constant need for them to complain, over and over.
- You may feel as though you’re an awful friend for not wanting to listen to your friends complain, but have you noticed, you only get frustrated by those who are consistently complaining? There’s nothing quite like listening/doing something repeatedly to drain your energy.
2. Were you the one draining the energy out of them?
- If you didn’t feel as though your friend was the one draining the energy out of you, then maybe you should ask whether the friendship dissipated because of you. It’s a hard notion to consider, but you might be the one physically or mentally draining your friend, consider who you may have been in that friendship. What exactly was happening in your life at the time? Whether things in your life at the time might have made a difference to who you were as a person, or as a friend.
3. Do you consider them to be somebody who would equally give your friendship the effort you would give them?
- The sad thing is, sometimes friendships disappear because one person has decided that they no longer have the time or effort to display the same affection to you. Sadly doing this twice might be equally as hurtful (if it was hurtful the first time) as it would be this time.
These are the first few things I ask myself before I contact any friend. As a point of reference, mostly I consider messaging old friends even if I’ve answered yes to the questions above, because circumstances change, and we change during stages.
Most importantly, reconnecting with old friends should be considered at times of difficulty like this. Letting people from your past know that you’re thinking of them, and the connection is something you haven’t forgotten about. We all need a little compassion, love and connection during these uncertain times.