Rekindling old friendships

Studies show that high-quality friendships provide positive health benefits, including lower incidences of chronic illnesses, higher levels of happiness and lower mortality rates ( Strong social support networks can also be a hedge against stress, depression and anxiety, say researchers ( Many of us are reflecting fondly on old friendships and wondering if they can be revived. In our electronic world, friends are often just a click, a text, or an email away—but what’s the best way to reach out, if at all

Writing in The New York Times, Anna Goldfarb consulted with experts, who offered these tips:

  • Take Inventory – Ask yourself why the friendship ended (was it a falling out or just a fading away?) and what bonded you in the past.
  • Manage Expectations – Things change for everyone. Don’t overwhelm a long-lost pal with prying questions. Let them disclose at their own comfort level.
  • State Your Purpose – Be honest about your reasons for reaching out.
  • Test the Waters – Start with small, low stakes gestures. Maybe congratulate them on a milestone. This can set the stage for more meaningful conversations.
  • Go Slow – Make sure you’re on solid ground before introducing (or reintroducing) your spouse, kids or others of significance.
  • Finally, be prepared for all outcomes. It takes two to keep a relationship going, so the goal of renewal has to work for you both.