Ninety-nine percent of the time, letting someone toxic back into your world is a dangerous idea. You don’t want to get back with your nasty ex. You don’t want to forgive the friend who crossed an unforgivable line. However, sometime you’ll want to make amends with a parent or sibling (even though you have no obligation to do so). If you have your heart set on allowing this person back into your life and no one is going to change your mind, you should at least do it in a smart, cautious way.
1. Take things one step at a time. Don’t feel pressured to invite them over to your house for a one-on-one conversation. Start small. Send them a letter. Text them. Call them. Ease back into your relationship with them. That way, if there are any red flags, it will be slightly easier to take a step back. Remember, you don’t have to do anything that makes you uncomfortable. If this person really wants you back in their life, if they really are sorry about what they’ve done to you, they won’t mind taking baby steps.
2. Set ground rules. Make it abundantly clear to them what you expect out of your arrangement. If you only want to talk over the phone but aren’t ready to meet up in person, let them know. If you are comfortable seeing them in public places but don’t want them to know where you live, let them know. Set strict boundaries. It’s a good way to show them (and yourself) how you feel.
3. Be honest with them about where you stand. If you’ve cut them out of your life for treating you horribly, you don’t want to jump right back into the relationship you used to have with them. You don’t want to pretend everything is fine and ignore your shared history. If there are old things still bothering you, you should discuss them. Don’t let them linger. Get everything out in the open.
4. Don’t get too emotionally invested. This person has hurt you before. There is a chance they haven’t changed one bit. There is a chance they will hurt you again. If you aren’t able to handle getting torn apart by them again, then you shouldn’t risk allowing them back into your life. You don’t want to put yourself in a situation where you are insecure and miserable. You need to put your mental health first and your relationship with them second.
5. Be ready to cut ties again at any time. You’ve already given this person a chance and they blew it. If they mess up again, you can’t hesitate to walk away. You’ve done it once. You can do it again. Of course, it won’t be as easy as you think, so make sure you are prepared emotionally. Make sure this person isn’t going to be impossible for you to walk away from once they get their hands on your heart again.
6. Make sure this is really what you want. You don’t owe them your time or your attention. Don’t let guilt trick you into talking to them again. Don’t let your loneliness convince you they’re the bet you’re going to get. Only do this if you’re one-hundred percent sure it will make you happier.