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I'm extremely bad at staying in touch with people. I feel absolutely no inclination to pick up a phone and call someone, or text, or email (even if I did, I wouldn't know what to talk about).

That being said, I feel guilty about this at the same time. I have literally gone years without talking to people, but if they ran into me on the street I would treat them as no time has passed. I have never had anyone directly confront me about this, but I can't help but feel that I'm being a bad friend by not staying in contact with others.

What are some ways that I can go about re-opening contact with old friends? I don't want to come across too awkwardly. I'm open to any communication type that I have available as well.

Most of them have Facebook, so this may be a viable avenue for re-opening conversations with them, but I feel like many people would find it strange reaching out to them after so long. Would Facebook come across as disingenuous?

These are mainly old school friends and people I grew up with.

  • 4
    What is your age range and their age range? How many years have gone? How close are you to them? This is a bit important, because if you haven't seen them since high school and now you're 60, and you were pretty close back then, then I don't think there will be awkward moment. If you are not too close, then it might be awkward. – Vylix Nov 28 '17 at 9:05
  • Do they have the means and opportunities to get into contact with you? – Anne Daunted Nov 28 '17 at 10:49
  • @AnneDaunted Yes, all of them should have a means to contact. My number hasn't changed in years, nor has my e-mail or any other social account I can think of. – Mr Guy Nov 29 '17 at 0:33
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As someone who doesn't see the need to stay in constant contact with friends, sometimes I go months without speaking to the friends I don't see on a regular basis.

The approach I've taken is to send a message to say hello, make small talk, and depending on how interested they seem in reconnecting (by their responsiveness to our conversation), expressed to them why it was I fell out of touch. While I think you could get away without the last step, I think some people appreciate knowing that it wasn't anything in particular that caused you to fall out of touch - you're just not the type of person to stay in frequent contact.

For example:

"Hey! Long time no see. How has life treated you?"

(Make small talk)

"I'm glad to hear you're doing well. Sorry that I fell out of touch all those years ago - I realize I'm not the greatest at staying in contact, haha. I was wondering if you'd want to hang out some time to catch up?"

If you decide to explain yourself, like above, you don't need to overly apologize. Just mention it as a way of saying "Oops, I didn't realize I was doing this until a significant amount of time had passed" and then express that you want to rekindle the friendship from their end, too.

Since it's possible not everyone will feel the same way about re-kindling the friendships, the key is to show that you are still interested in their life. Ask questions about how they've been, what new developments have occurred, and where they're headed in life. These are all signs that you care and are interested in knowing about them, and will leave the ball in their court to decide if they want to fully re-connect with you, too.

  • If I don't see any other answers that seem to fit the bill by end of day tommorow I'm going to mark yours as the answer Jess, mainly because it seems you are speaking from a pair of similar shoes. I'm not good at small talk but I'll see what I can do. – Mr Guy Nov 29 '17 at 0:35
  • If nothing else, just ask about what's new in their life. Sound interested. Ask follow up questions to what they tell you. That's all it really takes for this, in my opinion. :) – Jess K. Nov 29 '17 at 0:36
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Motivation needs to come from you. If you don't feel the desire to, it's hard to give the tools to want to. However, restarting conversations is less hard than you think.

I find that just starting out with "Hey, it's been a while and I wanted to get back in touch. How are you? I'm sorry it's been so long!" Then NEVER follow it up with a request for a favor. People who re-open old friendships just to ask for a favor don't get that request viewed very favorably.

  • Thank you for your input Prussian. I've edited my question to remove the motivation portion ( I was unsure if that needed to be there but the mods made that clear ). On a side note it was never my intention to ask for any favors although I'm glad that you mentioned that. I've had this very same situation but on the receiving end before. – Mr Guy Nov 28 '17 at 1:11
  • That's why I'm on Facebook. Yeah, sometimes my feed gets clogged with unnecessary politics, but it is a great way to stay in touch with old friends. For those who insist on polluting their page with that noise, I just unfollow them but leave them as friends so I can manually check on them once in a while (and then say "there's a reason I don't follow this person"). – baldPrussian Nov 28 '17 at 15:33

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