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Rekindling a Relationship That Has Gone Cold
Unless you have a considerable history with a person, rekindling a relationship that has gone cold is no easy task.
Attempting to resurrect a conversation that has been ignored or forgotten can be awkward. Making the bid to reestablish ties can be met by silence or outright rejection, so the easiest course is to let fate guide matters and hope your paths cross again.
New acquaintances, prospective clients, newfound friends, and others who fall away from our everyday activities suffer the consequences of this choice.
Relationships die without a conversation. The better path is to be vulnerable enough to restart the conversation so as to preserve the opportunity, learning, and richness a genuine relationship has to offer.
Saying hello out of the blue after a chasm of no contact feels weird. To surface after a lengthy silence is usually interpreted as, “You must want something.” Failure to respond to your “hello” is a self-defense against a potential request.
A better idea is to find something that reminds you of this person and tell them so. A book you’ve read, a wine you’ve tasted, a show you’ve watched, a song you’ve heard, a quote you’ve read. You get the idea. When someone else mentions them, you have both an acknowledgment and a reminder.
Sending a photo of the reminder is a nice touch. So is a thanks connected to the reminder when appropriate. The key is to be specific about why the triggering device was such a powerful reminder about them or your relationship. The message need not be lengthy or flowery, just heartfelt.
Such a reminder message opens the door. Whether the other person walks through the door and responds is still a gamble, but the communication gives the conversation a fighting chance to be restarted.
Leaders who value relationships find the courage to push past the discomfort of vulnerability and use this simple opening to rekindle a relationship that has gone cold. Busy leaders often let valued relationships slip away unintentionally. Taking the chance to restart a dead conversation is a selfishly selfless thing to do.