How To Reconnect With A Friend After A Falling Out

How to reconnect with a friend after a falling out.

When I was 23 years old (almost 10 years ago), my first article ever published went viral.

While I was overcome with emotion, a part of me didn’t know how to feel because it was about a falling out with my best friend, someone I shared a 15-year friendship with. 

I was going through a heart-wrenching breakup at the time and felt like the other person was being chosen over me. A part of me knew it was immature, but I decided to distance myself from anyone that was even remotely associated in the same circle, including her. 

We make the choices we do when we’re in pain to protect ourselves, even if we can’t understand the reasoning behind those choices. For me, my issues and pain were so deeply embedded that I didn’t know how to look past it, resulting in me cutting off the friendship altogether. A door in my life was closing without warning, and I couldn’t handle even the thought of holding onto anyone who reminded me of the pain I was feeling.

Though I’ve experienced some ups and downs with my friendships, I remember wondering if our friendship was beyond repair or if we could ever reconnect. A couple of years later I had a dream that we were back in each other’s lives, which eventually became a reality, and we’ve been best friends again ever since.

Whether you and your friend stopped talking because of a disagreement, life changes, or simply grew apart, here’s how to reconnect with a friend after a falling out:

Make Sure You’ve Both Had Time To Heal 

When we force ourselves to move on from the past before we’ve healed, we might carry over unresolved emotions, feelings, or resentment from what happened. 

It takes time to move on from the things that have deeply wounded us. We’ve all heard of the saying that time heals all wounds. But sometimes I think the wounds are so deep that a scar will always remain. The scar reminds us of what we endured, and how we overcame even the deepest pain. 

The same goes for friendship—neither of you will forget what happened or the reason for the falling out, but you’ll know you never want it to happen again. In my situation, I knew for a long time that I wasn’t even open to the possibility of us being friends again because I was still carrying the pain and hurt with me. 

I also knew that until I healed from all the other things I was holding onto, it would be hard to reconnect with anybody who reminded me of what I went through. But over time, I was able to let go and move on, reopening the door to the possibility of us being able to reconnect and become friends again.

If you don’t give yourself and your friend time to heal, you might carry over resentment and unresolved feelings, putting you right back where you started. There’s a time for everything. Make sure you’ve both had enough time to process and heal from what happened. 

Forgive Both Yourself And Them

One of the reasons we stay stuck in the past for so long, or caught up in what somebody else did to us, is because we hold onto feelings of not wanting to forgive. Whether you feel like the falling out was because of something you did, or solely the other person—the only way to start healing and moving on is by learning how to forgive. 

I was never allowing myself to move on from what hurt me, because I was harboring feelings of resentment and bitterness. I was expecting my friend to act a certain way, and when she didn’t, I felt like I had no choice but to cut her off because I was trying to spare myself from experiencing more pain. 

But what I didn’t realize at the time is that our actions are all based on our perspective. I thought she was in the wrong, yet I never gave her an opportunity to explain her side or where she was coming from. We jump to conclusions quick when we convince ourselves that we’re automatically right. But sometimes if we were to step outside how we feel for a moment, we’d realize there’s more to a situation than just how we perceive it. 

You might not automatically feel different after you choose to forgive the other person, but it’ll help in the healing process. If we can’t put the things that hurt behind us, we’ll always remain in the same place. Life is too short not to forgive ourselves and the people who have hurt us, especially since time is something we can never get back.

If you want to reconnect with a friend after a falling out, ask yourself if you’ve fully forgiven this person and/or yourself for what happened. You can’t change the past, but you can decide how you’re going to start moving forward. 

reconnect with a friend after a falling out


Don’t Be Afraid To Reach Out When The Time Is Right

Just as it takes time to heal, it also takes the right time to reach out and reconnect after a falling out. 

I’ll never forget when my friend reached out after a few years of us having no communication. I was a little apprehensive at first, but I also knew that enough time passed, and I deeply missed this person in my life.

Our life circumstances can change, and even though we may feel a certain way about a situation after it happens, it doesn’t mean that we’ll always feel that way. I was once in the position of never being able to picture myself moving on from the situation to agreeing to meet up after she reached out.

If you’re on the side of wanting to reach out and reconnect, make sure that you go into it without any expectations, and that you’re not on the defensive side. When we aren’t receptive to a conversation or how the other person might feel, then it shows we aren’t really over it or ready to confront it like we thought we were. 

Even if you’re ready to move on from the situation, it doesn’t always mean that the other person is in the same place as you are. We can’t expect other people to heal the same way we do, everyone heals and moves on at their own pace. 

Encourage Honest Communication And Hard Conversations

One of the most important things about learning how to move on from something that hurt both of you is encouraging honest and open communication, and having hard conversations about what happened. 

Rebuilding trust takes time, and it’s not something that will automatically happen just because you’re starting to reconnect. Your friendship might never be like it once was. But more often than not, you won’t want it to be because it’ll be stronger than it ever was before. 

The hard conversations are never easy, but when you feel deeply hurt, it’s hard to learn how to move past that without a genuine, honest conversation. There were hard truths about myself that I had trouble admitting (insecurity, fear of abandonment, etc.), but I knew until I dug those out and dealt with them, I would never be able to move on. 

I can say without a doubt that my friendship with who I had a falling out with is stronger than ever because we came back together after something that almost broke our relationship completely.  Encourage honest and open communication by addressing the issue and deciding how you’re going to work through it if you want to rekindle the friendship. 

Deciding whether to reconnect with a friend after a falling out involves considering if you’re both willing to move past the issues for the sake of the friendship, or if it’s time to let it go and move on.

Sometimes people are only meant to be in your life for a season, while others are meant to be there for a lifetime. No matter how much time is lost, if somebody is meant to be in your life, you’ll always find your way back to each other.

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