Many of us are now feeling a pull to connect with someone from our past. After all, you can be around people all day — children, spouses, roommates — and still feel lonely. You might be missing your most intimate relationships, your fun acquaintances and the communities you belong to that bring out certain sides of your personality.
We’re especially vulnerable right now. Because when we feel lonely, studies show we also tend to be more impulsive. It’s harder to think clearly when loneliness is draining our psychological resources. Therefore, we might be more open to revisiting relationships that aren’t good for us.
You might also be feeling bolder because of the pandemic. Studies show that being aware of our own mortality — a psychological concept called mortality salience — makes us want to pull our friendships close. In this new light, rejection isn’t as scary. It’s like, why not reach out? What’s there to lose?
If you’re hoping to repair a rift, show you’re in it for the long haul. “There’s a higher bar set if there was acrimony or things didn’t end well,” said Dr. Oscar Ybarra, a psychology professor at the University of Michigan. Not only do you have to do the work to repair the hurt feelings, but “that kind of situation usually requires even more commitment and investment afterward so that you can genuinely show that you’re interested in the relationship.”
Read the full article at The New York Times.