Ask Fred > Career/Work > How do I reestablish friendships that I have broken?

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Dear Fred

I read your article and agree that friendship is a continuious process of communication and respect for the other person , but as a person who has allowed herself to live in semiisolation I need advise as to how I could reestablish my friendships after remaining so standoffish at work .. i realize that due to my own issues in my life i have done this to myself and wish to change . I t is like waking up after being in a dull sleep to find that the world has surly continued on its way .. as I sleep in a self piting stupor and had friends and coworkers give up on me.. My question to you is how do I start over or change they way they look at me .. and can it be done ?.. I have a few close friends that i pay attention to and cultivate and have stayed firm for quite a few years but at work it is a differant story.

Fred's Response

I have long realized that we only develop a few close friends. The rest are friendly acquaintances and as scripture says, “if you would have friends you must show yourself friendly.” I would start doing small friendly acts such as speaking positively. I say slowly because if you change too much or too quickly they will think you are hypocritical. Let the them discover your change. For example, send a birthday card to someone who would appreciate it, even though they would be surprised. Don’t expect others to change before you do. Maybe on a holiday you could carry a plate of cookies into work. They would see this as very different than what they ordinarily expect from you. But don’t do too much. Let it come slowly and believably. You might even decide to spiff up your dressing. A physical change might be a clue to something that is happening on the inside that they will become aware of. Isolationism is very selfish. We are called to live in community. Christianity is about we – not I.