What to do when you want to rebuild a bridge you've burnt

You can never tell if today’s triumphs will be tomorrow’s regrets. For example, sometimes we let go of relationships and then later feel the loss of them stronger than we expected.

Previously we have addressed the necessity of cutting hazardous people out of your life, but what of those situations where your desire to reconnect is greater than the unhappiness you once felt? 

Sometimes it is a mistake when we let people go, but there are ways to rebuild that bridge after we’ve burnt it down.

How do you go about doing that? The first step is to understand that reconciliation with a person is not the same as forgiving that person.

Forgiveness takes only one person to achieve but reconciliation requires two.

If the other person does not feel the same need to be in your life, mending that fracture is not going to happen. You need to come to terms with that possibility.

You now need to figure out why a rift occurred in your relationship to begin with. This, however, does not mean to assign blame for the separation. You’ll often find that blame is ambiguous and, if you want to restore your friendship, you need to leave the blame game out of it.

Instead, focus on tangible instances and issues that caused problems between you and the other and focus on overcoming them this time around. 

Once you accomplish this, you are ready for possibly the most difficult part of reconciliation. You must embrace vulnerability and reach out to make first contact with your former friend.

As anxiety inducing as this can be, there are ways to make it easier and more effective.

Try to break the ice by sharing pleasant times from your pasts or use a mutual friend as a buffer during a first meeting. Social media is also a fantastic way to reach out, with many stories of reunion coming from sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

In fact, surveys show that 67% of users view the ability to connect with friends and family over the sites as a major reason they are active on social media so it may be easiest option for mending.

Your personal connections do not have to be a source for regrets. Though takes lots of craftsmanship on both sides, from the ashes you can rebuild burnt bridges stronger than before.


T.D. Jakes is a charismatic leader, visionary, provocative thinking, entrepreneur and compassion humanitarian with a voice that has reverberated from the world's most prominent stages. His look at life comes from the perspective of a father, a student, a pastor and a friend. His daytime talk show will be premiering this fall across the nation.

Follow @tdjakesshow on Twitter!


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