Reconnecting with someone from your past can be exciting, nostalgic, poignant and heartwarming all at the same time. If you decide to take the plunge and reconnect with old friends, you'll save time knowing where to find them and how to address them, and you'll also decrease the chances of an embarrassing reunion.
Part 1 of 3: Find old friends
Step 1. Find a friend using social media
The easiest and fastest way to find someone these days is to use social media. Almost all social networking sites have a search engine by name. If you find your friend and they have a public profile, it's very easy to reconnect. All you have to do in this case is send him a message through the messaging of the social network in question. You can start with the most popular social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+, and Ello. In 2013, almost one in four people used a social network, so you have a good chance to find your friend on one of them.
If you can't find your friend by name, go to your old school or former workplace page and check out the list of people who have posted comments or "liked" them.. You might find a connection to your friend's profile through this kind of page
Step 2. Try a search engine
If you can't find your old friend on social media, try a search engine. You may find links to web pages where your friend's name appears.
- A good tip is to put your friend's name in quotation marks when you type it into the search engine, like this: "Pierre Dupont". Usually, by doing this, the search engine will display pages where the last name and first name are appended rather than pages where they appear separately, without any link between them.
- You can also add the names of places or people with which your friend has links, in order to narrow the search results, like this: "Pierre Dupont Lycée Corneille, Lyon".
Step 3. Reconnect with common acquaintances
If you can't find your friend, try going through someone else. Try calling someone who also knows your friend. It could be a common acquaintance, a former boss or former teacher, a colleague or even an ex, if you know how to be tactful. Even if these people won't allow you to reconnect with your friend directly, they may be able to put you on their trail by giving you the latest news they've heard from your friend.
Step 4. Contact your school or alumni association
Most high schools and universities have an alumni association. Some keep the contact details of former students to keep them informed of organized events. Try to contact your friend's old school, especially if your friend was very involved in the life of the school. Be aware, however, that it is not always possible to have access to precise information for confidentiality reasons.
Step 5. Use a specialized site
There are sites specializing in finding people lost to follow-up, for example Jeterecherche.com.
- Another fast and efficient way to search for someone through the databases available online is to use the Pipl.com site. It is a very easy to use site. Just enter your friend's name and location, and results are displayed in seconds.
- Try variations of its name. For example, your friend Alex may be listed as Alexander. Her name can be a nickname in some cultures, for example Sasha is a nickname for someone named Alexander.
Step 6. Go to a meeting
Most schools hold alumni reunions on a regular basis, at least every five years and usually much more often. If a school you and your friend have attended is having a reunion like this, don't miss it. Even if your friend is not present, you will probably meet someone who can give you clues to find him.
You can also try participating in other events organized by your old school, such as sporting events or parties. These events are usually open to alumni, so you can take a friend or two and go to one of them
Step 7. Optionally use a paid service to find your friend
If all else has failed, you may want to consider spending some extra cash to find an old lost friend. You can hire a private investigator or use a specialized service like viadeo.com. The services of a private investigator can be quite expensive, so make sure that you have exhausted all the free possibilities before incurring any costs of this kind.
Step 8. Remember that sometimes women change their names after they get married
When doing your research, keep in mind that it is very common for women to take their husbands' last name after marriage. Although many women today choose to keep their last name, most do not. Be aware of this.
Although the figures on the matter are debated, there is no doubt that a majority of women continue to take their husbands' last name in our time. It is estimated that today, 60% of women who marry between the ages of twenty and thirty take their husband's surname. This figure is higher in the previous age groups
Part 2 of 3: Resurrecting an Old Friendship
Step 1. Send a warm and engaging first message
Once you've found your friend, take the first step to reconnect. Give them a call, text or email them, or write them a letter. Don't put it off all the time, as you might miss the opportunity to reconnect if your friend moves or changes their life after you track them down.
- If you are using a social network, send it a short message like: “Hi! It's been a while since we last saw each other. Hope you remember me, we were in science school together. I'm in town these days and wanted to see you again. Tell me if you fancy a coffee! Goodbye. "
If, on the other hand, you have found your friend in the real world, you can send a message a little more personal. Here is a sample letter that you can use for inspiration, whether you choose to send a letter or an email. Note the instructions given in parentheses. Dear (his / her first name), it has been a long time since I saw you. How are you ? I hope all is well with you. The last time I saw you was on exam results day. Do you remember how hot we were? (to be replaced by the anecdote of your choice). My life was very busy at that time and I didn't have the chance to say goodbye to you even though I knew I was going to miss you. So I decided to fix it! I'm back in town and would like to get in touch again. Call me at (give your phone number) if you want us to go have some coffee one of these days! It would make me really happy. Hope to see you soon, (your name).
Step 2. Plan an informal reunion
If you haven't seen your friend for a long time, there is always a chance that you won't get along like in the past. You may have developed opinions and personalities that are different from those you had when you were friends, which can make it difficult to reconnect with you. As this kind of scenario is always possible, organize your first meeting informally. Go have a coffee or a drink together or meet up for lunch. By organizing a no-obligation meeting, you can either have a great time together or leave each other after an hour without creating an embarrassing situation.
- You can also plan a "plan B" in case your reunion goes especially well. For example, you can find the address of the bowling alley where you used to hang out in the past and decide to go there together if things are going particularly well between you.
- Do not invite anyone else for their reunion, to reconnect, you must be between yourselves.
Step 3. Invite your friend to upcoming events
If your first reunion is going well, you can probably consider sharing things with your friend again. A very simple way to do this is to invite them to come with you to an event that you were planning to attend anyway. This way you are almost certain to have a good time, because you would have had fun at the event in question, no matter who is with you. As you will feel more comfortable in your usual environment, it will be easier for you to strike up a conversation with your friend.
Step 4. Introduce your old friend to your new friends
As you start inviting your old friend to do things with you, they will inevitably meet your new friends. This should not scare you! Let it happen naturally. Make neither your old friend nor the new ones feel left out. Don't exclude anyone from the conversation.
- In this kind of situation, it's a good idea to talk to each about the other's interests. This way your old and new friends will easily find things to talk about when they meet. "So like that, it seems you make pottery?" "
- Be aware that your new friends may not like your old friend right away. Since they don't have a common past, they won't have the same connection as you. It's okay: your friends don't have to be friends with each other to be friends with each other.
- If your friend is married or has children, invite their family as well. In this case, you can organize a couples dinner or a family outing.
Step 5. Don't indulge in nostalgia
As the great James Gandolfini said so well, “You remember when is the lowest form of conversation. It's only natural to remember the good old days when you reconnect with an old friend. However, after a while, it's important to plan new things to do together in the future. Don't let the past define your entire relationship with your friend. You might end up getting bored together and feeling frustrated that you have nothing else to say.
Part 3 of 3: Avoiding Embarrassing Situations
Step 1. Chat quietly
You definitely want to know everything that has happened in your friend's life since you haven't seen them, but be careful not to ask too many questions and don't knock them out in them telling about all the amazing adventures you have had. Speak quietly as you gradually share your personal information.
- You don't have to tell him very personal things.
- Alternate questions with information about yourself.
Step 2. Address any possible old conflicts in a straightforward but polite manner
If you and your friend haven't split under the best of circumstances, it's probably best to bring it up without too much delay. It would be best to do this the first time you meet. Pretending to ignore bad memories is a bad idea. You might seem like you don't care about what may have hurt your friend, or worse, ignore them altogether. Better to swallow your pride and talk about it once and for all.
If after spending time away from your friend it seems to you that you were partially or even totally responsible for your painful separation, just show your desire to move on with a few words like: "I know that last time. that we saw each other we weren't on the best terms, but I would really like us to leave that behind and start over. "
Step 3. Do not have excessive hopes
Do not expect to immediately regain the degree of intimacy you had with your friend. Remember that your old friend may not have the same expectations as you. Perhaps he is only interested in a quick lunch with you while on your side you hope to regain your old friendship. Better not to invest too much in your reunion before it actually takes place. Try to have an optimistic approach while remaining calm. This way, you won't be hurt or too disappointed if everything doesn't go as planned.
Step 4. Don't make assumptions about your friend's opinions
To avoid embarrassing blunders, don't bring up a controversial topic of conversation until you have a better idea of how your friend is thinking. Keep in mind that while you had discussions on these types of topics on a regular basis in the past, you might not agree today. People, even when they are people close to you, can see their opinions evolve according to the vagaries of the life, to the point that it is sometimes difficult to recognize them. Avoid the following conversation topics with your friend until you get a better idea of how they've evolved:
- the latest information;
- negative gossip about mutual friends;
- the opposite sex.
Step 5. If in doubt, ask questions
Struggling to find things to say to your old friend? Just ask him what he's been doing with his life since you last saw him. When he answers, ask questions about his answers. Usually people like to talk about themselves. Studies have shown that people spend most of their communication time talking about themselves rather than others. Here are some sample questions you can ask your friend.
- Where have you worked or studied lately?
- How is it going with men / women?
- How is your family ?
- Could you help me solve this problem that I have been thinking about for a while?
- Have you read any books recently?
Step 6. If you are old enough, have a drink to lighten up the mood
A small amount of alcohol usually helps put people at ease. If you and your friend are old enough to drink alcohol, you may want to have a drink or two to get over the awkward moment you sometimes feel when meeting someone you haven't seen. since a long time. With any luck, after a drink or two you will be relaxed and ready to share a great, friendly evening!
As soon as there is alcohol, it is important to exercise moderation. See our guide to responsible drinking for more information on this topic. Remember that between drinking and driving, you have to choose
- Don't be pushy with friends you've just found.
- Be nice and friendly!
- Introduce them to your new friends.