Losing touch with friends and relatives is sadly a fact of life. However, at times, we often lament losing those connections and wonder if we can do something to rectify the situation. In a day and age where we are more connected than ever through the use of technology, it is becoming far easier to reach out to people that we have lost touch with - be they friends or family.
Here, we look at not only how you can reconnect with those very friends or family members but also why. Making that first contact can be a nerve-wracking moment for the fear that the person we are reaching out to no longer wants to hear from us at all. However, by identifying the benefits and rewards that we can enjoy from reconnecting with old friends, you can gain a steely motivation to make that call or write that email.
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Why you should reconnect with old friends
You should never underestimate how scary it can be to try to reconnect with old friends or long-lost family members. However, nor should the benefits be overlooked as to what you can gain from picking up where you left off with people who used to be a big part of your life.
London-based life coach Lucy Seifert told Age Times: “Interaction with others is so important to each of us, raising our self-esteem and contributing to our wellbeing. As you get older, you may find you lose connections with people, some move away, others become ill or pass away. So, reconnecting with forgotten friends and relatives can take on a renewed value, even reviving former relationships. Be assertive and take the initiative: pick up the phone, send a text or WhatsApp, go on to Messenger. However, hard it may feel to do, the person you contact may be delighted to hear from you. If you don’t try, you will never know!”
The shared history and memories that you have with another person can be reason enough to reach out to them. Being able to rehash past experiences that no one in your present day to day life knows of is hugely rewarding. Nostalgia is a wonderful notion to indulge in at times, and it is even better to do it with a person who can share in your trip down memory lane.
Right past wrongs
Perhaps one of the biggest motivators to finding old friends, past loves and long lost family members is because the connection ended on bad terms. Now, you may want to right any past wrongs that occurred between you both so that you can move on from a situation more easily as well as salvage the relationship you did have. There is always the higher chance if your connection did end badly that your long lost friend or relative may not want to hear from you. However, remember that the peace of mind you may achieve as a result of reconnecting may be worth taking the risk for.
We all need a support network around us to stay sane, content and happy. Reconnecting with old friends or relatives is one of the ways that we can ensure that our mental health is as good as it could be. The reason being is that we enlarge our friendships group with good people that we regret losing touch with, we give ourselves a much better chance of being happy in the future.
How to reconnect with relatives and old friends
Luckily, there are many avenues we can take to reconnect with relatives and friends thanks to the advancement in technology and the sheer amount of personal data that exists on people these days. Here, we identify three key ways that you can reach out to a person that you have lost contact with.
Perhaps the easiest way to start a conversation with an old friend is simply to call them. The majority of us will have had a mobile phone for many years now, and many of us keep the same telephone number as a result. Try calling the old number of your friend or relative to see how they are and catch up with what they have been doing for the last few years. Contacting people in this way can take a lot of guts, particularly if things in the past did not end well between you, but it’s also one of the quickest ways to get back in touch too.
Social media is, of course, a fantastic way to see what a person is up to but more importantly, how you can get in touch with them. You can message them directly once you have found them on a social media platform, or you can somehow learn more about them so you can track down their contact details in other ways. Plus, social media platforms are incredibly easy to use. Sites like Facebook and Instagram allow you to search for a person by merely knowing their name!
If the old number you have for a person doesn’t work and a simple social media search doesn’t generate any useful leads on an old friend, the next thing you can try are websites dedicated to background searches. They are more useful than a general Google search which can prove a lengthy and futile exercise if you only know a person’s name and little else about them. Instead, you can use a background search engine to generate a person’s contact details for you or at least a much better lead than social media and Google alone.
Reconnecting after time apart
Many of us would like to reconnect with old school friends or people from our past for pretty simple reasons - we liked them, but life got in the way, and we slowly lost contact with them unintentionally. If that is the case for you, have confidence in the fact that people will most likely love to hear from you and pick up where you left off.
Dr Gary Wood, psychologist and author of The Psychology of Wellbeing, told Age Times: "When we've lost touch with someone and want to reconnect, one of the main barriers is knowing what to say or write. And the short answer is' it doesn't really matter.' Just making the effort is enough. You don't have to agonise over the perfect opening line. Just making the effort and inviting a response is enough. Just say you were thinking about them and wondered how they are. That's it."
Dr Wood added: "When reaching out after a long time, we might fear our effort might be ignored and feel rejected. It's important to reach out but let it go and see what happens. And it's a good idea to reach out to a few people and start with ones where the stakes don't feel so high. You have no control over the result. So if you don't get a reply, don't take it personally. It's enough that you tried. So try again with someone else."
Of course, there are other situations where people cease contact with one another due to a fallout. Reconnecting with them in this scenario is often more difficult, but it can be that much more rewarding too. You can resolve past issues that arose and move on for them, bringing both you and your friend closure regarding a situation that upsets both of you.
Ultimately, finding a person is far easier to do these days than it ever has been before. So if you want to reach out to a person, now is the time to do so.