Rekindling and reconnecting faltered friendships
Having been mostly shut away from social contact for more than a year, I was surprised recently by how much I enjoyed meeting up with friends and family around my birthday and neighbours at village events.
Like many of us, I’d been a tortoise and retracted into my shell with very few gatherings, holidays and coffee catch-ups to look forward to. As an extrovert, I take energy from being around other people and enjoy sharing thoughts and ideas, so I should have known that I couldn’t take the tortoise approach for much longer!
We have a new-ish neighbour who is a trained sommelier and, as wine fans, we were excited to join our village Wine Tasting Society. At the first event we tried five lovely summer wines, but I can’t remember too much about them – suffice to say, we had a wonderful time! Next was gin & tonic tasting which was equally entertaining!
If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that friendships enrich our lives, benefiting our mental and physical health. But some friendships have fallen by the wayside and it can be difficult to pick them back up again.
For many people, feelings of social anxiety are more prevalent now after a year of isolation so reviving friendships can feel awkward, but it’s really important to take the first step and rekindle the relationship – the chances are, your friend is feeling exactly the same as you.
So what’s the best way to reconnect with people we’ve fallen out of touch with?
Friendship requires hard work, it doesn’t just happen naturally, so make an effort to get in contact. You could say “I was just remembering when…” or “I’ve been thinking about you…”. Why not make a list of those you’d like to reconnect with and get in touch with them one by one.
2.They’re like you
When you’ve had a long break in a friendship, it’s easy to think that your friend may not like you as much anymore, or that they’ve moved on to other friendships. It’s more likely that they’re feeling just like you, so make the first move with a positive mindset.
3.Take it slow
Whilst some of us are champing at the bit to meet up and get our friendships back on track, others may feel a bit socially awkward about the ‘big reunion’. The pandemic has caused a deterioration in our social skills, making us feel rusty, and that’s understandable. Go at the pace of the most cautious person.
With a further lifting of restrictions planned from 16 August, we are cautiously looking forward to welcoming more people to Artistic ReTreats workshops and a wider opening up for more friendships to reignite, but we’ll be taking it slowly and respecting everyone’s feelings along the way.
Keen to get back out and see people as the summer presses on? Why not try a relaxed, friendly Powertex workshop with Artistic ReTreats?
Photo thanks to Toa Heftiba on www.unsplash.com