How Can a Strained Friendship be Saved?

How Can a Strained Friendship be Saved?

(This Q&A was orignally posted in Huffington Post Relationship’s “Ask an Expert” segment of their newsletter.)

My best friend and I had a falling out and recently have been trying to reconnect. What’s your advice for getting through the tense, awkward small talk? It’s hard when we used to be able to talk about everything.

It speaks to your strengths — and your best friend’s strengths — that you are both motivated to reconnect and repair your friendship. It is also meaningful that you still refer to her (or him) as your best friend. You word the challenge so well, and it could be useful to express similar sentiments as you rebuild your connection.

Try saying something like this:

“One of the things I value most about our friendship is how we used to talk about anything and everything. I have really missed our time together and our honest conversations. I wish it were not awkward right now, but I know we will get through that and I am so glad that we are not letting past grievances ruin our friendship. “

If it feels awkward to end there, toss in some humor by immediately following your heartfelt words with a fun memory. Perhaps choose a memory that is a reminder of how much the two of you love to chat:

“Remember when we got lost trying to get home from the Beyonce concert and we were so busy talking that we didn’t even realize until we had travelled an hour in the wrong direction!!?”

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Elisabeth LaMotte

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