How to Build Friendships after a Pandemic

If you haven’t kept in touch with all of your friends during the pandemic, you’re not the only one.

Perhaps it’s the parent you'd always chat with at your kid’s soccer practice. Or maybe it was the person you’d grab coffee with because your offices were nearby.

It's hard to feel like you've lost touch with someone. The good news is that it’s possible to rekindle those friendships. In fact, it’s a great time to evaluate what friendships were meaningful to you and that you’d like to have back in your life.

Reconnecting with our friends is also important to our health: they can increase our longevity, give us purpose, and help us calm down when we’re stressed, the Washington Post reports.

Here are a few ways to build friendships even after time spent apart.

Make the first effort

Sending that first text to someone you haven’t spoken to in awhile can feel intimidating, but it’s helpful to remember that the person you’re reaching out to might be missing their friends just as much as you are.

Whether you give them a call or send an email, ask how they’ve been doing during the time apart. If you haven’t been in close contact, then you might not know about important or challenging life events they could have experienced over the past year. Share that you have missed their friendship and would love to hang out again and catch up.

Be prepared to meet in a different way

If your friend is not quite ready to go get lunch at your favorite restaurant, that’s ok. After a year of living isolated from others, some people are more anxious than others about the idea of restarting certain social activities that they used to love.

Give your friends time and let them know you’d love to see them whenever they’re ready. Alternatively, you can propose spending time together in a way that makes them feel comfortable, whether that’s a walk outside or a phone call.

You may find that once your friends start slowly reconnecting, they may be more eager to do so in the future!

Try something new

One of the most difficult parts of change is accepting that things might never be exactly as they once were. But that reality means it could be a great time for you and your friends to try something new. What new activities might you be interested in trying together? Perhaps that’s travelling to a new city, going on frequent hikes across the Pacific Northwest, or volunteering at a local organization in your neighborhood.

Trying new ways of being with your friends can help give you new perspectives on yourself and your friendship. Embracing change within your relationships is helpful not just for reconnecting, but for keeping your friends around for a lifetime.


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