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How to Revive a Friendship

Reconnecting With A Purpose

It’s important and natural to rekindle a friendship with a solid reason, a purpose that has to be shared with the old friend.

Almost like wooing the former friend, one has to show their best, most honest side and share life experiences that are similar to the other person. One also has to ensure that the connection is genuine and organic, while not coming across as forced or intrusive.


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How to Revive a Friendship

How to Revive a Friendship


Key Ideas

A Friend Indeed

According to a report in The Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, an acquaintance has a chance of being your friend after about 50 hours of shared activity or discussions. A friend can be a close (or best) friend after about 200 hours.

Our old and former friends know intimate details of a part of our lives, but do not have an idea about our present selves, due to the years or decades of separation. This can feel disorienting, as suddenly a person with whom one was once so close, appears like a stranger.

Benefits of Friendships

Long-lasting, high-quality friendships lower the chance of chronic illnesses, and mortality rates. They boost one’s happiness and can also be a buffer towards anxiety, stress and even depression.

One can consider looking back and reconnect with a lost but cherished friend for emotional support or to relive the long-forgotten times.

Considering Reviving A Friendship

  • We need to ask ourselves if a certain friendship is even worth resuscitating, or if one of us has moved on to such an extent that we really don’t recognize the person any more.
  • The circumstances of growing apart also matter. If it was betrayal or a falling out, the process of getting back may require reconciliation and may not be easy.
  • People evolve due to the various life events that happen in the course of their lives, like medical issues, marriage, children or a divorce. It’s important to keep one’s guard up, as the person that one gets to meet after years might be a complete stranger in some ways.

Reconnecting With A Purpose

It’s important and natural to rekindle a friendship with a solid reason, a purpose that has to be shared with the old friend.

Almost like wooing the former friend, one has to show their best, most honest side and share life experiences that are similar to the other person. One also has to ensure that the connection is genuine and organic, while not coming across as forced or intrusive.

Reviving A Friendship: Start Slow

  • Ensure that your rekindled relationship with your former friend has some solid foundation before opening up the private areas of your life, like introducing your spouse. If you go too fast, you may be disappointed if the other person is not as keen on holding friendship as per your expectations.
  • Even with the best intentions and impeccable plans, things are not always predictable and as per one’s anticipation. The old pal may have some unresolved feelings or they may not be having the time to nurture a friendship anymore, and it is best to prepare for any such outcome in advance, rather than trying to save your face later.


Understanding friendships

Understand why some friends stay for years, while others fade away after a few months, or weeks. 

If you understand the nature of the friendship you have with a person, you can better...

Simple Friendships
  • Associate:  The relationship revolves around that specific thing, and you barely ever talk about anything else.
  • Useful Contact: With this type of friend, you exchange useful information, job opportunities, industry news, you introduce each other to people, exchange tips on good deals, etc. But, you don’t discuss personal matters with each other.
  • Favor Friend: This the type of friendship you could have with a nice colleague or neighbor. You help each other with the simple stuff.
  • Fun Friend: This is the type of friend that makes you take yourself less seriously. The friendship doesn’t require a lot of investment from you; it’s just about relaxing, having a drink, partying, laughing, etc. 
  • Helpmate
    This is like having two simple friendships in one; you socialize with this person, and you help each other as well. 

    This one you can ask for lifts to the airport, and call during emergencies like car accidents. You don’t rely on your helpmate for emotional support.

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    Close friendship

    To be best friends, you are committed to always be on standby. It's not that hard to be there for someone when you can physically be there, but when you're separated by state or time zone, ...

    Keep creating shared experiences

    When you see a friend regularly, you develop a collection of shared memories. You will also have an intimate understanding of what they're up to generally. If you're separated long-term, those experiences will shrink.

    It's important to create something you share with the other individual, not just exchanging information about past experiences. The more opportunities you give yourself to connect, the more organically you'll get to know your friend's new life.

    It's going to take more effort

    The idea that you can sustain a friendship and pick up right where you left off after long stretches of silence is a myth. A relationship grows stronger through nurturing.
    Although long-distance hacks can work for a time, there's no replacement for in-person interaction. It's more expensive and more of a hassle, but it's the best way to recharge a long-distance friendship.

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    Be opportunistic

    Learn to notice opportunities for potential friends. 
    We let many friendship opportunities pass us by because we feel awkward or too shy. Instead of small talk, invite them for coffe...

    Make yourself vulnerable

    We have to put our fears aside that someone might not like us or may have too many friends already.

    If you like someone you meet, ask to swap numbers and follow through with an invitation to socialize.

    Start by doing an activity together

    Suggest an activity that you can do together. It will anchor your time together and give you something to focus on or talk about.

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    The antidote to loneliness
    The antidote to loneliness

    When people were forced into social isolation, a light was also shining on another crisis - loneliness.

    The antidote to loneliness is accessible to all of us: friendship. The shared global ...


    Science shows friendship is critical for our happiness, health, and longevity.

    * In the 1970s and 1980s, some epidemiologists and sociologists showed that socially isolated individuals over age 66 had a 30 percent increased risk of early mortality.

    * Studies reveal that social connection improves cardiovascular functioning, reduces susceptibility to inflammation and viral disease, sharpens cognition, reduces depression, lowers stress, and even slows biological aging.

    Definition of friendship

    Friendship requires at least three things: It should be long-lasting, positive, and cooperative. Friendship nearly always includes a willingness to help, especially in times of crisis.

    In short, friendship is creating bonded groups that act as a buffer against life's stresses.

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    The need for close friendships

    We are social beings and we need to create intimacy with other people, for the well-being of our body, mind, and heart.

    Close friendships regulate ...

    Defining closeness
    Close friendships need intimacy and reciprocation to exist.
    • Intimacy means being able to be fully yourself and be seen and understood by others.
    • Reciprocation means that both people feel they are seen and understood by the other person. 

    “We think about relationships as things that happen to us, but the truth is that we make them happen.”

    “We think about relationships as things that happen to us, but the truth is that we make them happen.”

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    Build deeper friendships
    • Evaluate your relationships and find out which friendships need a deeper connection.
    • Make plans that encourage conversation like going to an art exhibit, taking a class, ...
    Letters Of Complaint

    Be polite. The person who gets your letter will seldom be the one who wronged you. And is unlikely to pass it on to the desired recipient if you are insulting and raging.

    Make plain...

    Letters To Friends

    Always remember that your job, writing to a friend, is to entertain. That can mean revelling in the odd pratfall. So, don’t just write about the mundane and pleasant things, try to give them the whole picture and make them feel something.

    Letters Of Condolence
    • You are extending respect and friendship. Write quickly, and preferably by hand.
    • You’ll want to calibrate what you write to your relationship both with the recipient and with the deceased. Make it personal.
    • If you knew the deceased well, sharing a couple of warm memories will let the recipient feel there’s a shared bond.
    • If you didn’t know the deceased, you can make respectful reference to what you knew of them.
    • Use tact. Don’t tell the recipient how they should be feeling.
    • If you’re finding it hard to know what to say, you can acknowledge that; but don’t harp on it.
    • Avoid operatic, or competitive, expressions of grief.
    • Acknowledge, but don’t belabour, the grief and pain they feel.
    • Focus on the individual excellence of the deceased rather than the consequences of the loss itself.
    • Be tactful of their religion even if you don’t believe in it. 

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    The importance of friends

    Having a weak circle of friends carries the same risk as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.

    Researchers suggest that the core factors in a happy life are the number of friends, the closeness of f...

    Reconnect with old friends

    You have probably met a large number of friends through just a handful of people. Those are your superconnectors. Rekindle those friendships and ask them if there is anyone you should meet.

    Connecting to people

    Don’t be interesting. Be interested.

    • Listen to people and ask them to tell you more. 
    • When they mention something you have in common, point it out.
    • Be enthusiastic and encouraging.

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    Why you need friends

    Friendship helps protect the brain and body from stress, anxiety and depression. Being around trusted others, in essence, signals safety and security,

    Research suggests that you only need ...

    Finding friends

    Friendships are always about common passions. Whatever you’re into, someone else is too. Let your passion guide you toward people. Volunteer, for example, take a new course or join a committee at your local religious center. If you like yoga, start going to classes regularly.

    Once you meet a potential future friend, invite them to do something. You have to put yourself out there.

    It takes time

    The process takes time, and you may experience false starts. Not everyone will want to put in the effort necessary to be a good friend.

    Which is reason enough to nurture the friendships you already have–even those than span many miles. Start by scheduling a weekly phone call. 

    Fear of Better Options (F.O.B.O.)
    Fear of Better Options (F.O.B.O.)

    F.O.B.O is our inability to decide between different options all of which are decent. It can lead us to paralysis when we’re in the process of making a decision.

    F.O.B.O. m...

    What Causes F.O.B.O.

    For F.O.B.O. to happen, you have to have multiple options. It is mostly a consequence of our world in which everything seems possible.

    Mostly Fine Decision

    To beat FOBO, find the Mostly Fine Decision. This is the outcome you’d be ok with, even if it’s not the absolute best possible one.

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