Nowadays, people have access to more tools for connecting and communicating than ever before. However, that does not make it any easier to break the ice with a friend you haven’t spoken to in years—or even decades.
It’s quite common to feel nervous or even stressed out at the thought of getting in touch with an old friend, but reaching out to someone who you haven’t spoken to in a long time gives you the opportunity to rekindle a friendship you’ve been missing.
How to reach out
There's no magic formula that will guarantee your success when you attempt to make contact with an old friend, but there are several steps you can take to make the process as easy as possible.
- Set your anxiety aside: If you feel nervous about contacting an old friend, you’re not alone. Even best friends can drift apart with time. The important thing is that you want to reconnect. Your friend might be just as anxious as you are about reaching out to you, so don’t let nerves get the better of you.
- Send a brief message: There’s no need to write a novel chronicling everything that has happened since you last spoke with your friend. Keep your message short, sweet and to the point. Start off with something like, “I know it’s been a while since we spoke, but I’d love to catch up." You might include a simple question to get a conversation started.
- Ease into an in-person meeting: It’s exciting to finally get in touch with an old friend, but you shouldn't jump straight into an in-person meeting. Continue corresponding online, via text or over the phone until you both feel comfortable enough to get together.
- Consider the circumstances: It’s important to think about what your friend has experienced since you last spoke and how they might feel about you reaching out. If you and your friend had a falling out that caused you to lose touch, an apology or reconciliation could be in order. If you don’t address pain or hurt from the past, your friend may be skeptical of your motives.
- Keep your expectations in check: Even with all your best efforts and intentions, you might never hear back from your old friend. The reality is that not everybody is open to rekindling friendships with those they have lost touch with. Don’t get discouraged by a missed connection and try to understand why your friend might be uninterested in reconnecting.
Communicating with old friends isn’t always easy, but it can be well worth the effort. Putting yourself out there can lead to the revival of meaningful friendships you have lost over the years.