We can suffer a lot of stress and anguish when our friendships aren’t what they used to be or what we want them to be. You can muddle through and let the relationship wane and eventually end. Or you can take some concrete steps to change it. Watch our TV interview on PHL17 about Fixing Friendships!
First determine why the relationship isn’t the way that you want it to be. Did it change because the people have changed? Did your friend do something or take an action that hurt you? Did it change because you no longer share the same values and interests? Or has it changed because with the busy-ness of life it hasn’t been a priority?
Then decide if you want to continue the friendship. Is this a relationship that continues to add value and support to your life? If you have been hurt can you, and are you willing to, forgive them? Or do you remain in the relationship because of loyalty and your history together? Whatever your reason for remaining or ending the relationship it is important to know for yourself as that will guide you through this process.
Now that you know what is isn’t working for you in your friendship you can start having conversations with your friend. Be honest and share your emotions. Tell them that you’re sad/hurt/angry that you don’t spend as much time together or because of something they did. Then you can ask for what you need and want to be different in the friendship. Perhaps you need to spend more time together. Or you may need an apology and acknowledgement if you’ve been hurt. Whatever it is, ask for what you need and be open to hearing their feelings and needs and wants for the friendship as well.
What has worked for you to mend a friendship? What tips can you share with us?