5 Tips For Breathing Life Back Into Struggling Friendships



Although having great friendships can be considered the cornerstone of happiness, it doesn’t mean you’re always satisfied with your girls, which is normal. As an adult, not only is it hard to make friends, but the busyness of life tends to make it challenging to retain and grow your current relationships. As soon as schedules pile up, the first thing off our to-do list seems to be bonding with our homegirls. As much as it’s unfortunate, it’s true that some friendships might fall to the wayside, desperately needing resuscitation. But how can we start the mending process? What’s the first step?

We asked friendship and relationship expert Danielle Bayard Jackson about the intricacies of fighting for your friendships, even when it seems like all hope is lost. To our surprise, advocating for your relationships isn’t too complicated as long as you know the breakdown in communication and the distance between you both. Jackson lent her expertise on how to breathe life into our struggling friendships, and we can guarantee you’ll want to take notes. 

Play into nostalgia: First, I suggest nostalgia because nostalgia bonds people and can quickly revive a struggling relationship. Think of your most memorable time or fun place you went to. Can you revisit that place mentally to stir up the same excitement, fondness, and affection with your friend? Even if you can’t make the trip, you can share pictures or mementos from that time. Think of creative ways to tap into that memory bank and the power of nostalgia to add a little boost, a little burst of connection and friendship.

Ask for help: People underestimate how helping connects us. The right kind of friends (those who are supportive and caring) are eager for an opportunity to show up for you. So, I would encourage you to ask yourself, “What are some things I am shouldering on my own? What things am I carrying and handling on my own?” One thing that can reconnect you to your friends is to let them know you need help because vulnerability connects us, and it’s not the easiest thing to do. It can be something simple, like choosing what to wear for a big date, or something more extensive, like a hospital visit. Something that’s relatively manageable that your friend can assist me with. Think of ways you can invite your girlfriends to support you while managing life’s daily stressors. 

Limited series: Another would be to introduce what I call a limited series. You could also introduce the “limited series” concept, which means creating a specific routine with your friends full of experiences that you love. For example, there might be a new television series with six episodes that’s about to drop; maybe you and your friend can debrief about every episode because that may create some semblance of routine and connectedness, like a ritual, but it’s not ongoing forever. 

Change of scenery: You can also switch up the backdrop you’ll generally hang out with your friend. What do you all usually do? What have you been curious about trying or visiting a place? Go there with your friend! Be sure not to rest on attending eateries and bars on your date with your friend; instead, try a new activity or hobby with your girlfriend. You can even volunteer together! Whatever adds new positive memories to the memory bank.  

Confront any tension: If you feel tension building with your friend or are getting the sense that your relationship has dulled, you should communicate that to them. It’s important to verbalize certain hangups, gripes, fears, and grudges you’re just sitting on to improve your relationship. Additionally, not speaking about issues in your relationship could hinder connection opportunities because you fear confrontation. 


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