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This is going to be complicated... because there's more than one way and there's more than one kind of phonecall or conversation for an ex to want to have...

I could really do with a female collaborator to make this instructable more useful and make sure it is one sided...

*A small addition, some of this advice would probably help with people you don't get along with, thanks to shaunak for that little nugget.

Step 1: They call you...

So say the ex in question calls you up, probably withheld number (it's an ex thing they know you know them but still...) The hello will tell you alot about how the conversation is likely to go.

Your phone rings, you pick up, you say hello and you hear a sad/unhappy hello and you say hello again as you normally would and get back another sad/unhappy hello which has a breath or sigh in between answers and replies. Your call could go a few ways, they may start talking then burst into a slew of painfully accurate abuse, profess their undying love for you or have quite alot of bad news in general that prompted them to call you. It's usually best to start out with something quite innocuous like 'how are you?' or 'what have you been up to?', at this point and at every point try not to be offhand, I don't know why but it makes an ex incredibly angry. However if they sound agitated or very upset it could be worth asking 'is everything alright?' but this could all come back to something like 'NO YOU SON OF A B****, YOU RUINED MY LIFE/BROKE MY HEART/I THOUGHT YOU CARED' Usually if you want to get a real conversation going for whatever reasons with an ex that is angry like this you should try getting them to talk about what's been going on since you broke up or ask them about something that makes them happy, just don't say something stupid like 'So how are you after I dumped your sorry a**?' (not something I've come our with but worth avoiding).

If you do get them talking to you civilly try to keep the conversation a bit lighter, and if you do get on to the topic of your relationship then don't bring up the bad times or ask heavy questions until appropriate, otherwise you run the risk of killing the conversation.

Even if you just want to be friends again or get to a point where you can be in the same room as eachother without everyone else being awkward, it's a good idea to talk in person so if you are getting along well then maybe ask them for coffee or lunch. Best do that at somewhere more neutral, not either person house, but somewhere you used to go could be a nice touch.

If you get this far you're probably into the realms of speaking to them well enough to re-establish a friendship or a relationship.

Look how angry they are...

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Bio: A Northern Ireland based maker with a propensity to cause trouble and freshly constructed family.
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