Is there someone you no longer talk to, but desperately want back in your life?

Relationships end. Friends un-friend. But maybe there is someone from whom you’re estranged that you’d give anything to have in your life again. But the problem is: the two of you aren’t talking. There was a big fight, or, maybe there was no fight but one day the communication just stopped. You each believe the other holds most of the blame and responsibility for the breakdown. You’re both right.

The decision to cut off a relationship with an important someone can be draining. In social situations, such as family gatherings, it makes everyone uncomfortable, not just the two parties. The energy it takes to hold a grudge, and keep it, is considerable. Although you project a cold shoulder, a grudge is a hot ember in your subconscious. After awhile the reinforcing glow of righteousness fades but can be fanned anew whenever you re-hash the injustice of the other party’s behavior. Ask yourself: How is this continuing freeze-out serving you? Would you rather figure out how to move beyond the impasse with this very important person?

Clearly, it can be really difficult to be the first one to reach out. Embarassment, insecurity, rejection, ridicule are all common worries. It’s easier to keep the status quo, even if it’s not what you want.

You can extend an olive branch on your own, or a mediator can help you. Mediators are neutral, non-judgmental, and trained to listen and support both parties. Good mediators make sure each person’s story is heard and not discounted. Both parties have to agree to mediate, and there is no promise the hatchet will be buried, but the real possibility to recoup the valuable relationship of the other person, exactly where you left off, is in your grasp.

“Never cut what you can untie.” – Joseph Jouber