People come and go—that’s just a fact of life.
And whether it was because you two just drifted apart or because you got into a big fight with them, it can be hard to even try speaking to them… much less get them to talk to you again.
But take heart! There are psychologically-backed techniques you can do to make it easier for the two of you to reconnect.
Here in this article, I will give you 14 practical tips you can rely on to get someone to talk to you again.
1) First things first—give them time to sort things out.
If you haven’t been talking because of a big argument or some other random disagreement, the last thing you want is to try reaching out before they’re ready. Doing so will only annoy them and make them resent you.
So sit back and give them the time and space to process the argument.
You know them well so you have a good estimate of the time they need to truly process things and recover.
Perhaps, in the process, they might even end up understanding you a bit more when all is said and done and their head is cooler.
But that doesn’t mean you should do nothing either. There are a lot of things you can do while they cool off and think, like the things listed below.
2) Think about where you went wrong.
One of the most important things you can do is to think about where you went wrong.
This is most relevant if you drifted apart because of an argument but still applies even if you had simply drifted apart.
Did you perhaps throw some especially harsh words at them? Were you perhaps less than supportive of their interests? Did you keep on putting them to the side until both of you eventually forgot one another?
Dig the answers within yourself.
And don’t stop at a single answer. Relationships don’t end simply because of a single reason.
Even if a single argument undid your relationship, there are other reasons that led to that one argument, and why it did so much damage.
This is quite tough because we’re all wired to defend ourselves, but ask yourself about your contributions to your fallout. Even the way you look at them or the heavy sighs you made could have pushed their buttons.
The things you’ve reflected on and realized will be useful later when you finally get to talk.
3) Learn how to be genuine.
A very important thing to keep in mind is that you should do your best to be unconditionally genuine.
This makes you trustworthy, and people generally like to talk with people they consider trustworthy.
Don’t try to fake your personality or get carried away with your flattery. People can generally tell when someone is just trying to pander to them and immediately get suspicious.
Don’t try to act “nice” just so they’ll talk to you, wait until you’ll be able to be sincerely nice to them before you approach them.
Being genuine might be hard at first, especially if you’re used to giving little white lies here and there. But thankfully, it’s a habit that you can cultivate with enough effort.
4) Manage your emotions.
When you’re talking to someone you had a fight with or haven’t talked to in a long while, it’s not unusual for strong emotions to manifest.
It could be due to longing, anger, or even possessiveness.
If you aren’t paying attention to your own emotions, you might just find yourself getting carried away.
You might justify it as just you “being real.”
And that’s not necessarily a good thing. Oftentimes it can be quite bad, either by alienating them or just simply pissing them off again.
Look, your goal was to reconnect with them and the way to do that is with grace.
That’s why you should try to pick up some emotional management skills and at least try to pay attention to how you’re feeling while you’re talking to them.
5) Keep it light and simple (but not too simple).
It might be tempting to write a huge wall of text to someone you want to reconnect to.
You would want to reminisce about the good old times and try to remind them of that. You would want to offer your apologies, and maybe ask them questions or share news about yourself. Or, on the other hand, you might be tempted to simply send a “hi.”
Neither of these is going to help you out.
The issue with big walls of text is that they’re absolutely daunting. Seemingly impenetrable, even. People, in general, aren’t going to bother reading all those words and instead tune you out.
On the other hand, super curt greetings such as “hi” or “hello” are hard to react to, and can even seem incredibly low-effort.
You want to go for something in between instead. Send them a greeting, followed by a few questions expressing your interest in them.
Something like “Hey! How have you been?” should work.
6) Don’t flood them if they don’t respond.
So, you sent them a message and now you’re waiting for them to message you back. You keep staring at your phone and get anxious when you see that they haven’t sent you a reply yet.
You might then be tempted to send them another message, in case they haven’t seen your message or had seen it, and then forgotten to respond for some reason.
Don’t do that.
Give them a day or two. It could be that they are busy in life, or they’re still trying to think about how to respond to you. They might also be trying to figure out what your motivations are.
Bombarding them with responses is going to do little but annoy them, and maybe even kill any chances you might have had at reconnecting.
Doing so makes you appear desperate and that can turn off anyone, especially if they already have negative feelings towards you.
7) Own up to your mistakes.
Everyone makes mistakes. What matters is that you own up to them.
The introspection you did as well as your attempts to become genuine will give this a higher success rate.
Give them your sincere apologies. Make it come from the heart.
If they’re your ex, it can be quite tricky because you’ve been through a lot of arguments and fights in the past, making them “immune” to your apologies.
So instead of doing it the usual way, find a better way to get through to your ex so your apologies would really go straight to their heart.
8) Show interest in them and in what they’re doing.
Reconnecting with someone doesn’t end at finally being able to send texts to one another again.
If you truly want to get them wanting to talk to you again, then you better make your company worth their time.
And one of the most important things you can do is to show interest in them, as well as the things they’re doing.
Ask questions—the right questions—to learn and understand, rather than to confront or challenge. Keep an open mind. Maybe even ask them to teach you about whatever it is they’re up to.
Are they into chess now? Then perhaps you can ask to have them teach you how to play so that you can play a game or two with them.
Are they traveling now? Say something about it. Comment on their stories and posts.
These are simply attempting to warm things up before you can actually have a more serious talk.
9) Make them feel you’re always there.
People often like to say “I want nothing but your company”, and this is true whether you take it to mean your companionship or the corporation you run.
Levity aside, people often underestimate just how important it can be just to have someone be present and reliable—someone they can turn to and talk to when the going gets rough, or simply to share their day with.
Your absence, on the other hand, is likely to cause people to drift away slowly.
Your ex might not be talking to you because they’re angry at you, but it’s possible that they still love you and need you.
Be there. Let them know you’re just there anytime they need you.
10) Learn how to tickle their funny bones.
Humor, when done properly, goes a long way to making you likable and making people want to keep talking with you—including your ex.
You don’t have to crack jokes every other second, or turn half of your sentences into puns—even if doing so would admittedly be quite funny—to wield humor. Knowing when to drop jokes, and what kind can get them laughing so that you can say what you need to at the right time makes you immediately likable.
And of course, one cannot discount the power that humor has at diffusing tense situations and getting the conversation flowing freely again.
If you’re serious and you take offense easily, they’d get scared. They’re scared that if they approach you, you’d lash out and say painful things.
On the other hand, being funny and lighthearted will make it much easier for them to talk to you.
How do you show this to someone you’re not talking to exactly? Well, you can try by showing it to other people when they’re around, posting cute things on social media, or giving their posts a laughing emoji.
11) Accept and admit that you don’t know everything.
Something that can make people hard to talk to is that they get the idea that they “know it all”. And, sure, it might make you feel good to acknowledge that you know things, or to have people admire you for knowing things. But it also makes you seem insufferable and hard to be around.
After all, people might then begin to shut their mouths around you, out of fear that you might try to correct them if you just so happen to “know better”. And, if you happen to be wrong, they’re just going to be frustrated with you.
The simple fact is that nobody knows everything there is. If you think someone is wrong, then try to understand what they have to say first before you do anything else.
And in the end, unless it’s something life-threatening, it comes down to one question: would you rather have their company, or be right?
Do this before you approach them in real life or before sending your first message.
12) Improve your aura.
If you have a choice to be alone or to be with someone who’s always feeling down and bitter, which one would you choose?
I’d rather be alone, to be honest. Even if I love the person, if “negativity” has become their personality, I don’t want to be around them.
It’s just exhausting to talk to someone who is always ranting, always negative, that every time their name shows up people would immediately assume that it’s for a vent or a rant.
If this is you, then you gotta change this feature.
Other people aren’t your personal therapist. Don’t spread your negative outlook and mood to them.
Talk about heavy topics here and there, preferably if they engage with it first, but try to maintain an air of levity about you when you can.
Change your perspective, manage your moods—try to become a source of joy. It can save you and your relationships.
13) Respect their choices.
People don’t like it when people get pushy with them. So, if you want them to talk to you again, try to avoid insisting on things, or pushing them into making hard choices.
They don’t even have to say ‘no’—some people just find it hard to do so. These people would happily get along with you until they’ve had enough, and then suddenly disappear from your life.
Just try to be mindful and, when in doubt, ask them for their opinion before asking them to do something or trying to force a response.
This applies to exes, too.
When you want to know why they stopped talking to you and they won’t give you a clear explanation, don’t push them harder. They’re probably still processing things.
If you ask if you can be back together again and they say no, try to ask and understand why instead of trying to weasel your way around it.
This is the basic form of respect and they deserve it as much as you do.
14) Accept that you’re not entitled to anything
Ultimately, there’s one fact that you’ll have to keep in mind through all of this: You are not entitled to anything.
If you parted ways because the two of you got into a big argument, you’re not entitled to their forgiveness simply because you said sorry. You aren’t even entitled to having them listen to your apology in the first place—if they don’t want to hear it, then leave them be.
And if you aren’t talking because you drifted apart, you’re not entitled to them rekindling your friendship or whatever past associations you might have had.
Maybe you weren’t as important to their life as they were to yours, or maybe they simply don’t want you back.
It’s a tough pill to swallow, but no matter how hard you try to change, or how heartfelt your apologies are, you simply are not entitled to how another person decides to treat you.
That doesn’t mean you should try, or that trying to change is in vain. It might not get them back, but it might help you with future friendships and relationships.
So should your attempts at reaching out be rebuffed, then just let them be. But of course, don’t move on without giving it one last try.
Reconnecting with someone you haven’t talked to in a while or who had been refusing to talk to you is hard and nerve-wracking. Getting them to talk to you is even harder.
Your success is not guaranteed.
But should you succeed, and they’re someone who you’re sure is worth the effort, then there are few things more satisfying. You might even find yourself surprised at the new perspectives you’re exposed to after your reunion.
Even failures aren’t wasted effort. All that introspection and attempts at becoming a better person will help you love better, which is what we should all be striving for.