Toxic People- Trying to Rekindle a Broken Relationship

The pandemic hit and you found yourself more alone than ever before. Forced to stay indoors and limit your activity, you may have wondered if it would ever end or if you would ever have a life like it once was.

It was also a huge time for reflection for many as you pondered many things. Two of the main questions most have asked themselves are the following. 

Who is presently in your life?

Who was and is no longer in your life?

As you reflect back on those who are no longer in your circle of friends, you may have forgotten why they are no longer in your life. You may have forgotten the disagreements you once had or what the major fight was about that caused your friends to end. 

Now that you spent quite a bit apart from them and have also pondered the fragility of life,as evidenced by so many lost lives as a result of the pandemic, you may decide to let bygones be bygones and make an attempt to rekindle that once fractured relationship.

So you muster up the courage and type in that email or text or even make that phone call. While many believe their brave act will be well received and they will be welcomed with open arms, truth be told, they may be met with rejection. In fact, 50 % of those who have attempted to rekindle a once “over” relationship are met with indifference or even hostility as the ex  “friend” on the other end wants to continue to keep that door shut.

If you tried and were rejected or met with hostility, give yourself a huge amount of credit for at least trying. Know that you gave it your best. You may have apologized and admitted culpability. You may have been completely open, wearing your heart on your sleeve and letting them know you want to try to fix what was broken or start over.  while it may feel like a kick in the gut, the reality of the situation is that you just learned a valuable lesson. You no longer have to fantasize if the relationship or friendship will ver work out in the future. You have discovered the reality- that it won’t work out. It takes two to tango as they say. if they aren’t willing to join in and start anew.

Sondra and Jill were once close friends. They shared the same sense of humor and family background. Both were career-driven women who were successful in a similar line of work. One day Sondra said something false about Jill to a colleague. She also shared something that was true with their mutual colleague about Jill having an abusive boyfriend. Jill found out about it when yet another colleague asked her about her abusive boyfriend. Jill was shocked. That information was only meant for Sondra’s ears. Now that information was in countless ears and mouths which created humiliation and embarrassment for Jill. As Jill denied this to everyone as being a rumor, she was seething inside. Sondra broke confidence. She could never forgive her and never did. So when Sondra texted one day to apologize and meet for lunch, Jill texted back that she could go to hell, that she never wanted to know about her, let alone hear from her, and to never contact her again.  For Jill, the offense Sondra committed was so egregious that she could never allow Sondra near her, let alone have her in her life again.

Now you can give that relationship a second funeral. Bury it. Mourn it and Release it. Remember the good times with love and happiness and remember the reality of the bad times as well. Know you were in that relationship for a reason- to learn to grow to create to achieve, to share . Now it’s time to let it go for good.If you were the one that did wrong and apologized, let it suffice that at least you made amends. It’s no longer up to you as to whether your apology or amends will be accepted.

The other side of the coin is that you may initially be met with hostility, anger, and a myriad of strong emotions. But after some serious “mea culpa” and self-revelations on both parts. You may each finally understand why the other person did what they did or where they were coming from. You may finally see their point of view. You may both forgive one another as you empathize with where they were at emotionally during the time in their life when you both had a falling out.

Carol finally understood why Marybeth acted the way she did and ended their friendship. She now understood that Marybeth’s husband was leaving her and demanding custody of the kids. Her whole world was falling apart. She had no room in her life for yet another disagreement or perceived slight. She was scared and angry, so she in essence “threw the baby out with the bathwater”. She threw away her long-time friendship with Carol just because Carol liked a political candidate who Marybeth hated. Instead of agreeing to disagree, she slammed the door shut on their friendship.

When Marybeth heard from Carol she was happy and seemed to forget why they fought but soon remembered. Now that she and her husband divorced and they have joint custody of the kids and she has a new boyfriend and a new home, she feels more settled. Now she could care less about what she cared so much about when her plate what overloaded with stress. They have hugged, made up, and gone to lunch several times. They discuss their shared loves of fashion, horses, and travel and have both agreed to stay away from their most inflammable subject- politics. Because of their mutual pact to never discuss politics, their friendship is strong as it was before.  

So the bottom line in dealing with those who have unplugged from you, give it a try if you want them back into your life. It a 50% chance they were accept you or a 50% chance they will reject you. Whether you were the TOXIC PERSON or THEY WERE THE TOXIC PERSON, or both were TOXIC it may be worth a try to reconnect.

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