Welcome back that old friend. Life is short... connections are meaningful.

We all know someone who falls off the radar for a time. For some of us, we ARE that someone. Take me, for example. I haven't posted much lately. Yet here I am... coming back like a bad penny (seriously, what makes for a bad penny? Every penny is worth exactly the same.)

Your friend was away... you don't know why. Perhaps they weren't returning your calls... They might have made lame excuses when invited to go out... Maybe they said they'd come to a party and then never showed. Perhaps you wrote this friend off as unreliable... but I am here to ask you to give this friend another chance.

When this friend finally does come around again, I hope you will let the happiness you feel in seeing them outshine your irritation that they were not around. If they truly are your friend, your face should break into a warm smile. Resist the urge to question them about their absence... instead, ask sincerely how they've been.

Tell them you've missed them. Offer a chance for connection - invite them for a cup of coffee, or just continue talking and keeping the door open to them. Don't make excuses to cut this conversation short; you don't know how much courage it took them to approach you.

Don't demand to know where they've been, or why they've been out of touch. In fact, don't make any demands. Make offers instead. Let them know you'll be happy to see them around. Extend an invitation to do something together, but let them set the time frame. A firm commitment at this point may seem overwhelming.

Don't expect everything to go right back to the way it was before. Obviously your friend has been dealing with something. You may never know exactly what's kept them away, and that's okay. The best thing you can do is be available for them as much as you can. You have your own things to deal with, of course... no one is expecting you to bend over backwards for your friend at your own expense. Just do what you can.

If you find yourself in a vulnerable position and this friend is asking more of you than you can offer, say something. Be as straightforward as you can without assigning any blame. You have every right to do what is best for yourself.

Our time on this earth is short. Real connections are rare - and worth every effort.

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