Reconnecting with family and friends can be exciting and nostalgic, but it can also be a little nerve-wracking. The festive season is the perfect time to reach out to friends and family you haven’t seen for a while. Experts at Harvard created a three-step approach to avoiding awkward situations.
1. Acknowledge the lapse in time
Most people like to reconnect with old friends or family members who have lost touch with, but it’s often important to acknowledge that it has been a long time. Don’t expect to dive straight back into relationships, some people may feel hurt that you haven’t seen them for a while. Letting them know you realise there has been a long gap can help to ease any tension.
2. Explain “Why now?”
You don’t have to go into detail about your reasons for contacting friends but it may seem strange to get in touch out of the blue. You could explain that you have made a few changes in your life or that you enjoyed their company and want to rebuild old friendships.
3. Offer a quid pro quo
Relationships are a two-way thing. When reconnecting be prepared to be there for someone as much as you want them to be there for you.
Thanks to social media it can be much easier to find people that you may have lost touch with. If you don’t have their details, you could also try re-establish contact with them through mutual acquaintances. Things may have changed since you last saw them and it may not be the perfect first reunion.
Start off slowly with a low-key get-together, like a coffee or walk. If you run out of things to talk about, ask questions to find out what’s been happening in their life. And be prepared to make new memories by organising experiences together.
Remember, relationships won’t survive if you only focus on the past!