Reclaim Friendships This Forgiveness Day

June 21st, 2011

Ever had a friendship go bad? Do you feel guilty about the way things ended? Have you lost sleep thinking about it? It’s time to make amends.

A little-known holiday offers the perfect opportunity.

June 26 is National Forgiveness Day. It’s a day when people across the country are urged to put the past behind them and restore damaged relationships. And it could be one of the best days of your life.

Don’t Live With Regret

It can happen to anyone. Sometimes a simple argument spins out of control. A minor incident may be blown out of proportion. Before you know it, you and a close friend aren’t speaking to each other. Years go by with no communication. After a while, you might not even remember what you were fighting about. You may just wish things were different.

Regret and guilt can tear us apart. If a close friendship ended badly, you might feel anger and remorse. These feelings can keep you up late at night. But you can let go of the negativity. You can move on. Most of all, you can try to rebuild your friendships.

In the spirit of National Forgiveness Day, here are four things you can do to get started:

1.  Make A List

The first step is simply writing down the names of the people you want to forgive. Your list can include people who offended you … and people who were offended by you. You may need to forgive someone, but you might also need to be forgiven.

Finishing your list will help you focus. Writing down names and thinking about the people will fill you with memories. Try to concentrate on the good times. Remember the happy moments, and the reason you were friends in the first place. You’ll probably end up with a smile on your face. And it only gets better from here.

2.  Find People

Once you have your list together, it’s time to get active. You’ll need to look up each person. Some may still live at the same address, but chances are good that people have moved a time or two through the years.

Luckily, it’s easy to find people these days. You can run a people search for one person, or start a people search membership to find all the people on your list. If you can’t find someone, try contacting a mutual friend. You may be able to find someone who can help put you in touch.

3.  Write A Letter

Emails are fine, but an old-fashioned letter brings a more personal touch. Letter writing may be a somewhat lost art, but it’s a fun and effective way to reconnect.

Writing a letter gives you the time you need to collect your thoughts. Make your fist draft as long as you want, then edit later. Talk about everything that’s built up inside of you. Most importantly, tell the person that you want to move forward. Tell them you want to rebuild your friendship.

4.  Make A Call

You may find it easier to talk through your feelings than to write about them. That’s fine; you should do what’s comfortable for you.

Before you call, think about what you’ll say. Consider how you will react if the call goes to voice mail. Will you hang up, try to explain your entire story in a brief message or just ask for a return call? If the other person answers, are you prepared to talk to them? To answer the tough questions they might ask? Take a little extra time before you make the call. Know what you want to say, but be ready to be flexible. The other person may have a lot to say as well.

Forgive And Forget

With a little luck, things will work out and you’ll find you have a shot at rekindling an old friendship. In some cases, the other person may be unresponsive. It’s still worth the effort to try. You can offer forgiveness, even if the former friend isn’t ready to make amends. And who knows, you may have opened a door to a future reconciliation. You’ll never know until you try.

Do you have a story to share about reuniting with a former friend? Then leave us a comment below. Thank you for reading the PeopleFinders people search blog.

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