It’s easy to get distant from your closest loved ones and not know how or why it happened… or how to fix it! Suddenly you just look up and…you’re lonely! It’s not too late to get back in touch.
If you’ve been MIA for a minute, and need to reach out again, here’s the formula I give my clients for shaking off the awkwardness and getting back on track.
1) BEFORE YOU DO ANYTHING ELSE: Remind yourself that someone gets disappointed about not hearing from you is communicating that they want MORE of your presence, not less! You make a difference to them!
2) Acknowledge that you miss them too! There’s no room for pride about this point. Your pride will isolate you. If you miss them, say that.
3) Ask them how they’ve been.
4) If there is trust between you both, explain what kept you away. If you aren’t that close, give a vague summary, and emphasize that they didn’t do anything wrong (if they didn’t).
5) Ask for what you want: a phone call? Facetime? To jump online and game together? To meet up for a movie? How do you want to rebuild the bond?
6) Collaborate til you find a plan that works for both of you.
Here are some examples you can use. Copy them, but personalize them (it makes your friend feel special, ok?)
“Hey, I just realized I have NO clue how you’re doing! You good? I miss you!”
“Sorry I went quiet. Sometimes I gotta hide my phone from myself just to get my stuff done. But actually I’ve been wondering how you’re doing with your [big project].”
“I am not on top of my messages these days, dealing with a lot with the family. Would love to get out of the house soon. When can we get boba again? I’m usually good on Fridays.”
“Ah man, I know you get crazy busy too. Send me a couple times that might work better for you and I’ll try to find a place that’s open then?“
On a broader level, take a moment to think about how YOU like to connect. If something isn’t working anymore, try something else.
Switch from facetime to messenger, or from sending long typed messages to asking for a phone call.
Change your meeting spot.
Sometimes life changes and the energy we have for our social lives changes too.
And, let’s be honest, there are a few friends you may not actually miss that much. It’s okay to leave the distance there (free yourself from the pressure be fake).
Now…not to get too clever here, but I’ve been gone from this blog for a few months! “And I would’ve gotten away with it too!…” if it wasn’t for someone who called me out! (Thank you, Someone!)
So, let me practice what I’m preaching here:
Sorry for being AWOL from sharing some tips for you! I have been focused on some other projects that cut into my writing time. Some of these projects are for your benefit and some are things unrelated to therapy altogether, but they are exciting all the same! I hope you are well and if you have questions about making an appointment, you know where to find me: