A number of friends and clients have said to me, “Hey, you won’t believe who contacted me through Facebook…” When this connection occurs you can feel excited and happy to be back in touch with this person or it can bring up unresolved feelings of angst and resentment.
Facebook is a social network that was created to help people connect and network. Although, intended or not it has become a tool that can help to give us closure to past relationships. How many of us have searched for old friends, ex-lovers and former business associates that we miss, needed to say some unfinished business or wanted just to see what was going on in their lives?
So the major question is, “what do you do if you are connected by someone from your past?”
I don’t know who said it but “the past is always present”. Being contacted by someone from your past with whom you have unresolved feelings gives you the chance to decide if you would like to heal that part of your past. The opportunity also gives you a chance to accept more fully who you are and can help build self-esteem. Below are some simple guidelines how to connect with someone from your past or how to handle being contacted by someone from your past.
Be Clear About What You Want
Before you begin searching for former lovers, old friends or past business associates, ask yourself why are you contacting them? What do you wish to heal or find out? Remember, the affect this relationship had on you – how you felt about yourself when interacting with this person. So if you are looking to have the final word, point out mistakes or hear from this person, “you were right;” you might want to rethink the situation before your search.
If you are unclear to how this person is going to react to your contacting them, Facebook has a feature where you can send a private message first before requesting them to be added as your friend.
There are several avenues to take in re-establishing a former relationship.
· You can determine that want ended the relationship is no longer important to you and doesn’t need to be discussed.
· You can have an open and honest conversation about the situation and both suggest how things can be resolved. In this situation, be prepared the other person may not be at this same place and unwilling to work towards resolving the conflict.
· You can start from the beginning and wipe the slate clean.
An individual that you contact might not want to or be ready to establish a connection, don’t take it personally if you are not contacted back.
Below is an exercise that I suggest you do prior to contacting a former relationship.
Find commonalities that you share. Often we focus on the differences. Write down five “things” you have/had in common. This exercise will help you to understand that we are all human. We all have faults, talents and abilities.
Recently, a friend of mine said that she added a friend request to her Facebook. After she did this, this friend wanted to open a line of communication. She has changed a lot since this relationship and now realizes that this former relationship wasn’t really healthy for her.
Remember, just because you are contacted you don’t need to respond. Take a moment to check in with yourself and to determine if this is a relationship that you want to establish again. Sometimes in life we pick friends for certain reasons: to work on issues we share, to expand ourselves and/or because of beliefs that we grew up with. Now you can to choose who you share your time with, even it is cyberspace.
So you have reconnected with your past and you are feeling good about it. It is important that with every connection with this person that you ask yourself “Am I being myself?”
Sometimes when we reconnect to an old relationship, we have a habit of slipping into our old ways of connecting from childhood that weren’t in our best interest to begin with. One of these ways is by saying and doing things that we don’t fully believe in.
When you check in with yourself this allows you to make more conscious decisions about interacting with this individual.
Facebook is wonderful for sharing your everyday thoughts and feelings and yet, it can lead to a false sense of intimacy with others because of this way of sharing. If you are interested in establishing a relationship of depth set aside some one-on-one time whether it is by phone or in-person.
I think Facebook is an amazing tool to get started in reconnecting with people that are longer part of your intimate circle. It also gives you a chance to create a new, stronger relationship with that person.
Learn more about Know Soul’s Language at https://www.soullanguage.us/.