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Aug 23 2016
by Kevin Hom

A Guide to Fixing Broken Friendships

By Kevin Hom - Aug 23 2016
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It's inevitable. All friendships seemingly end the same way -- in heartbreak. While you may believe you are staring at doom straight in the face, be reassured. With patience and determination, this article will guide you through hardships between you and your friends.

Why repair a broken friendship?

When you and your "friend" might being headed onto separate colleges, it might be easy to sweep this relationship under the rug. However, in doing so, you throw away months, even YEARS worth of memories and bonds. while you are surely going to make more friends in college, a close friend from high school/middle school/your neighborhood can prove to be very valuable. A friend can listen to your problems and offer solutions, comfort you, and understand you as a person.

What should I do?

Step 1: Give them space.

This is especially true if you know it's because it was something you did. Giving people space is an important skill and will surely test your patience. Creating space allows any tensions to air out and allows both you and your friend to focus on something else. If your friend hasn't spoken to you in the past day or two, it doesn't mean they don't care about you. They might be busy or preoccupied with events or situations that don't involve you. Besides, being up in their grill 24/7 makes you seem desperate, and even if you are, don't devalue yourself or overvalue them. No one knows your wants and needs better than you.

Step 2: Talk to them.

After you've allowed yourself and your friend to calm down, make the initiative to talk to them. This is often best face to face, but if this is not possible, through Skype or phone call would do. Be genuine! Don't rely on Facebook Messenger or text messages to get the job done! While it is easier to type an apology and hit send, remember those times when your friend thought you were being sarcastic when you were being serious? By talking to them in person, you show that you really care about them and their interests. If your friend mysteriously went silent on you, ask them how they are doing. Don't directly confront them about why they haven't been responding you the past couple of days or weeks (I've made that mistake myself). If your friend isn't talking to you because you didn't side with them in an argument, try talking about another subject such as school or about something they are passionate about. One of my good friends told me: 

You don't have enough time for those who choose not to have time for you. 

I don't think I'd ever be able to say something so deep, but he's right.

Step 3: Listen.

This is arguably the most important part. Maybe the lag in the friendship wasn't your fault. Or maybe it was. Maybe the reason why he couldn't make it to the movie theater to watch Suicide Squad with you was because he had to help his sister with SAT prep. Many times, we feel the need to just jump in and air our thoughts out before we actually listen to what others have to say. Take a step back to listen and process what they have to say. Be sure to keep an open-mind and don't jump to any unnecessary conclusions. By listening to others, you can correct misunderstandings and acknowledge different points of view which you wouldn't have in the moment. Even if you're 99% positive that you were right, agree to disagree. You're better off swallowing your pride on one occasion than to lose your future best man or bridesmaid.  

Step 4: Move on.

If you tried all of the steps above, you did your part. You can't force someone to think or feel a certain way. Remember that friendships are a two way street. If they are not receptive to you, it doesn't mean that they (or you) are a bad person. It just means that the relationship has hit a fork in the road and that you both chose opposite paths. If you truly believe that the broken friendship was purely your fault, take this as a learning experience! There are hundreds of people you will encounter in your journey of life, so don't fret. If you keep clinging onto the past, you might miss out on what is going on in front of you.

Remember that each friendship is unique; what works for one may not work for another. Enjoy your time with your friends and never take them for granted. Good luck!

Lead Image Credit: Erik Wilde via Flickr Creative Commons

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Kevin Hom - Boston University

Kevin Hom is a freshman at Boston University's College of General Studies. He was part of Red Cross Club and Key Club in high school. During his time in Key Club, he was appointed Club Bulletin Editor during his junior year and elected Club President during his senior year. Kevin enjoys following baseball and New York sports. Follow him on Twitter @khom01!

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