“Dear Sasha,

I decided to go into business with my best friend. During the course of the project she had her moments where she seemed angry. I kept asking ‘what’s wrong?’ but she won’t say anything. After the project she stopped talking to me. After two years she wants to meet again. What’s the best way to handle the situation?”

Dear Friend, 

Reconnecting with your best friend after a long period of silence can be both exciting and nerve-wracking. Here are some suggestions on how to handle the situation:

Approach the meeting with an open mind: Go into the meeting with a positive and open mindset. Try not to dwell on the past or jump to conclusions about why your friend stopped talking to you. Give them the opportunity to explain their side of the story.

Communicate openly and honestly: During the meeting, express your genuine concern about the situation and your desire to understand what happened. Encourage your friend to share their feelings and experiences without interrupting or becoming defensive. Actively listen to their perspective.

Avoid blame and defensiveness: It’s important to refrain from blaming or accusing your friend, as it may lead to defensiveness and escalate the tension. Focus on understanding their feelings and experiences instead of assigning blame. Use “I” statements to express how their silence affected you personally.

Seek understanding and empathy: Try to empathize with your friend’s perspective and emotions. It’s possible that they were going through personal challenges or had reasons for their behavior that you were unaware of. Showing empathy can help rebuild trust and open the door for a constructive conversation.

Take responsibility for your part: Acknowledge any mistakes or misunderstandings you may have had during the project. Apologize if necessary and demonstrate your willingness to learn from the past. Taking responsibility shows maturity and can contribute to a more productive discussion.

Discuss expectations and boundaries: Use this opportunity to clarify your expectations and establish healthy boundaries for your renewed friendship or potential future collaborations. Discuss how you can communicate effectively and address any concerns that either of you may have moving forward.

Rebuilding the friendship: Rebuilding a friendship takes time and effort from both sides. Be patient and allow the friendship to develop naturally. Engage in activities that you both enjoy and work on creating new positive experiences together.

Consider professional help if needed: If the meeting raises significant emotional or unresolved issues, consider seeking the help of a professional mediator or therapist. They can provide guidance and facilitate healthy communication between you and your friend.

Remember that rebuilding a friendship takes effort, understanding, and forgiveness from both parties involved. Approach the meeting with a genuine desire to reconnect and find common ground.