Despite what people tell you, burning bridges is a great way to keep pace in the rat race – dancing in the flames of a burnt bridge is great motivation to work faster and keep pushing forward. Unfortunately, sometimes you have to go back and rebuild a broken bridge for the sake of the better good. Here are a few ways to rebuild a broken relationship.

1. Initiate a Friendly and Polite Dialogue.

When you initiate a conversation, a simple “Hi” or quick invite is enough. Just the fact that you sent them a message may be enough, but, depending on how they’ve blocked you, you may need to also mention who you are. This is all that needs to be said, and do not say anything else (or send more than one total message) until he or she responds, or you will come off as annoying.

2. Be Clear About Your Intentions.

Once there’s a dialogue open, utilize it for what it’s worth; be open, up front, and honest about what you want. This will signal to the other party that you respect him or her and help rebuild the trust that was previously broken. Never expect anyone to read your mind, because the fact of the matter is, nobody can, no matter how much you focus on transmitting thoughts.

3. Love is All You Need.

The reason you’re rebuilding a broken relationship is because you either need something or care about the person. Even if you need something, focus on the other person, not what you want. If you show that you care about him or her, he or she will be more receptive to helping you.

4. Build a Bridge, and Get Over It.

Drop whatever issues you used to have in the past – it’s not the past anymore. You can discuss the issues you had in your previous attempt at a relationship, but dwelling will only make things worse. Bridge the gap between the two of you, and get over your rift with a quickness.

5. Be Honest (In a Nice Way).

Always be honest, even when you disagree. Deceit may not have broken your relationship, but it’s certainly not going to fix it. Just make sure you’re neither defensive nor offensive, and if you can’t keep it civil, shut up.

6. Brainstorming

Involve the other person in your attempts to rebuild your relationship. If he or she is talking, he or she is at least interested in hearing what you have to say, put the onus on them and ask for their contribution.

7. Release Control.

Always remember to detach yourself from the results in life. If you put all your eggs into this person’s basket, his or her rejection will shatter you. Instead, define yourself and how you react, but don’t expect your ideal result.

8. Apologize.

There are few conflicts in life that can’t be resolved with an apology. At the very least, it’ll give you an opportunity to forgive yourself and move on, even if the other party isn’t interested.

9. Take Responsibility.

Always accept responsibility, even if you don’t believe you were at fault. The other person clearly believes you are, and accepting responsibility will help you bridge the gap between your perceptions.

10. Avoid Pushing Buttons.

Remember that both you and the other party have animosity toward each other (or at least used to). You know there are certain triggers that get to that person – be an adult and avoid pushing those buttons, no matter how badly you’re tempted.

11. Think Positive.

It’s always a good idea to think positive in life. Even if things don’t work out, you can think positively about the next experience. Keep looking forward, and you’ll exude confidence, which is attractive to other people. This will draw the other person to wonder why he or she doesn’t have a relationship with you.

12. Be Genuine.

Always be the real you, no matter what happens. You’d rather fail your way than succeed as someone else. Don’t bother pretending to be what the other person wants – it’s not a competition, and you’d be surprised at how much honesty will open doors for you in life.

13. Enforce Your Boundaries.

You have personal boundaries, and you’re going out of your way to not overstep other peoples’ boundaries so you deserve respect as well. Be sure to politely and gently remind the other person whenever they’ve overstepped a boundary you established. But be sure it’s one you’ve both acknowledged exists so you’re not falsely accusing anyone of crossing a line he or she didn’t know was there.

14. Keep Steering the Conversation.

No matter where the conversation goes, try to keep it moving toward your goals. If the conversation is going well, invite the other party to another conversation or meeting in the future. Otherwise, ask him or her for whatever it was you contacted him or her for in the first place.

15. Sometimes You Have to Let Go.

Despite your best intentions, there’s a chance the other person simply doesn’t want to reconnect. If he or she doesn’t respond or seem aggressive, forget about it. There are billions of people in the world, and there’s absolutely no reason to waste your time on one who doesn’t like you.

Rebuilding a broken relationship is difficult – both parties have to face the animosity and distrust that drove you apart in the first place. If you’re looking to rebuild a broken relationship from your past, reconnect with the person through text, email, or online. If he or she responds, there may be interest. If not, you have the closure you need to move on.

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