How to Win Back a Friend: 12 Steps (with Pictures)

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How to Win Back a Friend: 12 Steps (with Pictures)
How to Win Back a Friend: 12 Steps (with Pictures)

While we often hear that friendships are solid and deep, most of them can actually be pretty shallow. If a friend of yours has distanced and you want to reconnect, the best course is to be open, honest, and ready to understand their feelings. Take as much time as you need, reflect on the situation and, who knows, you may be able to recover the friendship and move on.


Part 1 of 4: Assessing the Situation

Get a Friend Back Step 1

Step 1. Reflect on what happened

There must be a specific reason why the friendship has gone cold. Think about the situation as objectively as you can. Is one of you more involved in the conflict than the other?

  • Even if you've been hurt, consider the possibility that you've hurt your friend as well at some point, perhaps in some more subtle way, that you didn't notice.
  • On the other hand, if you were the one who made a mistake, think about what you did and why, as well as what you can do to avoid making mistakes again.
Get a Friend Back Step 2

Step 2. Be careful when making assumptions

If there doesn't seem to be a specific reason for the distance, don't jump to conclusions. It could be that it's not about you or that your friend is going through something.

Get a Friend Back Step 3

Step 3. Be prepared to accept responsibility or forgive

Even if you want to get back together, until you're ready to own up to your mistakes or forgive your friend for his or her mistakes, you won't be able to move on.

So it's best to talk to your friend before it's too late. It's important that both of you are ready to talk and settle things rather than hold a grudge. He may not listen at first, but if you show that you care, in time he will be able to forgive you

Part 2 of 4: Getting in Touch

Get a Friend Back Step 4

Step 1. Plan ahead of time what you are going to say

If you feel that you need to apologize, be specific and talk about what you are apologizing about. Be honest: why are you apologizing?

For example, if you have been ignoring your friend because you are now spending a lot of time with your girlfriend, it is not appropriate to apologize for spending time with someone else. Instead, say you're sorry you didn't spend so much time with your friend

Get a Friend Back Step 5

Step 2. Call your friend and arrange to meet him

It's best to talk in person if possible, as body language is able to communicate feelings more than voice, which will avoid possible misunderstandings. However, if that is not possible, talk over the phone.

If you're meeting him, avoid vague phrases like "We need to talk." Saying things like that will make your friend defensive. Instead, approach it in a warmer way, such as "I miss you" or "I was wondering if you'd like to go out with me because it's been a while since we've seen each other."

Get a Friend Back Step 6

Step 3. Write a letter

If you're very shy or if your friend doesn't want to see you, a letter can help break that barrier. Sometimes expressing yourself on paper is much easier than expressing yourself in person. Try to be simple and straightforward. At the end, suggest a casual, relaxed encounter, such as going for a walk in the park or having coffee.

Part 3 of 4: Communicating

Get a Friend Back Step 7

Step 1. Be honest

Tell your friend that he is very important to you and that you miss him. While it's tempting to get over the situation as quickly as possible, the pressure can end up hampering resolution. This is the opportunity to be honest and open your heart.

Again, avoid vague phrases such as “Let's get this over with”, as this will make your friend fearful and defensive

Get a Friend Back Step 8

Step 2. Hear your friend's point of view

It's important to talk without assuming anything about what he feels or is going to say. Keep an open mind and let him talk as long as necessary.

  • Maybe he needs you to give him hints, like “I know you feel bad about all this” or “I wish we were friends again. Do you think this is possible?”.
  • Listen without interrupting, even when a comment seems provocative.
Get a Friend Back Step 9

Step 3. Give your friend time to think about the situation

Maybe you've already thought it through, but your friend hasn't. The two need time to process the conversation. You've already taken an important step, which was talking - now step back and let your friend reflect on what was said.

This is especially important if you haven't received a positive response to the conversation. It could be that in a few weeks or months your friend will come back

Part 4 of 4: Moving Forward

Get a Friend Back Step 10

Step 1. Be patient

Your friend may need time, perhaps longer than you want, to get over the situation. Friendships are complex, so don't expect everything to work out overnight.

Get a Friend Back Step 11

Step 2. Talk about the things you would like to change

If you're both ready to rekindle friendship, this transition will be a great time to come to terms with certain issues, and also for you to grow and mature with each other.

  • For example, maybe you can agree to be a better listener and your friend can agree not to be critical.
  • This is not to say, however, that you have to make drastic changes in yourself to please your friend. If he makes demands that go far beyond what you can do, then rethink your friendship, see if it's healthy and based on love and mutual respect.
Get a Friend Back Step 12

Step 3. Make plans

When you feel that both of you have talked about everything and are already resolved, arrange to meet again. Suggest some fun activities you used to do together (going for a walk, cooking, watching a movie) so that you don't think about past problems anymore and can move on with the friendship.


  • Sometimes friendships come to a natural end because people go their separate ways or make unforgivable mistakes. If your efforts seem to be in vain, perhaps it's better to accept that it's over and move on.
  • Avoid words like "you" or "your" and words that describe the person. Choose “I”, “we” and words that describe you when you apologize. This will show that you have reflected on the friendship and that you believe in its importance. Example: “I know what I did and I know our friendship was very strong”.
  • Talk when both are well and talk maturely about what led to the end of the friendship. Decide if you still have common interests, like the ones that made you friends, and watch for a week or two as the new friendship develops.
  • Consider whether the friendship is worth saving. If the friendship ended because your friend wasn't loyal or because the two grew apart, it might be better for each of you to go your own way, allowing things to end naturally.
  • If your friend wants space, respect him. It's better to be fine and alone than sad in a fight. Give him the required time so that perhaps the friendship can come back stronger than ever.
  • Trust your other friends, especially if they know the person well. Maybe they can give you advice on what to do about your friendship with her, among other things.

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