If you have ever been heartbroken in your past relationship and you feel like it’s time to let go and move on.
Here are 5 ideas you should have before connecting again.
1. If there is a current crisis that is time-sensitive, put it out there: “I want you to know how much I appreciate your willingness to be in touch. Mom is not doing well, and I wanted to include you in what’s happening.”
2. Affirm that you are not there to re-litigate the past:
“I just want to say upfront that my goal in this conversation is not to go over what has already happened. Dealing with the crisis has made me re-evaluate, and my hope is that we can find a new way to move forward.”
3. Reassure them that you do not assume an ongoing relationship:
“I’m doing this without expectations, I want to share what’s going on, and my hope is we can find a way to reconnect, even a little bit.”
4. Be willing to listen without being reactive:
“I appreciate your willingness to have this conversation. I’m committed to listening to where you are coming from. I may not get it right every time, but I am open to what you have to say.”
5. If it comes from the heart, apologize or take responsibility:
“I’m sorry I judged you and didn’t listen to where you were coming from; I’ve had time to think about it and realize how hurtful my reaction must have been.”
If you have regrets and are willing to own your part in the cutoff, let the other person know. Empty apologies have a way of causing more damage to an already delicate situation. Only bring it up if the regret is authentic. And be specific.
If you are successful at initiating contact, realize that crossing into new territory may take numerous interactions over time. Building a lasting relationship is a process. Remember: communication that feels like the whole situation is backsliding may be the bottleneck that opens into a whole new relationship.