How To: Mending A Rift In Your Family
One of the most wonderful groups we can be a part of is a family. It can also be one of the worst groups. When families are good, there is love, caring, sharing and happiness. When families are having troubles there can be jealousy, hatred, unhappiness and dysfunction. It can truly be the best and the worst of life – and everything in between.
Sometimes families are pretty close to perfect and almost everyone gets along. Other families aren’t so lucky and they just fight all the time. It’s hard for anyone to get along. When that happens it’s hard to mend the rifts in the family.
Sometimes those rifts are hard to mend because we just don’t know what the underlying problem is. Sometimes that problem happened so long ago that no one can remember what started it – and yet the fights continue. Other times, the problem seems so bad that no one even wants to try to overcome it. In any case, family is family and we should all make every effort to keep our families together.
How To Begin to Solve Those Family Problems
To begin getting to the bottom of the problem and having family come together again, you must first reconnect with any family you have previously lost connection with. Don’t be pushy and annoying, but do let them know that you want to figure out the problem and see how it can be fixed – if it can be fixed. Social media has made this step easier than ever before. If your family won’t answer your calls, you can use Twitter, Facebook, email, texting or any other social media that you are a part of to send a simple message. Something as simple as “I was thinking about you today. I miss you,” would be a great start. Your family could choose to ignore you – or they could choose to respond. If they choose to ignore, repeat similar messages every week or so. This should get them to respond. They might just respond with “just leave me alone!” or you could have a better outcome. If they choose to respond to you keep things light for a couple of conversations. Talk about family things that won’t be sore issues. Talk about the children in the family and how they are doing. Talk about jobs, or school – anything that won’t bring up bad feelings.
Ease Into The Problem
Once you have re-established a conversation, ease into the problem. Maybe tip-toe around the subject – if you know what it is – and see how it is received. If it is received positively, then you can be more direct. Keep assuring your family member that you are not trying to stir up the pot again and that you just want to be close again. Ask them if there is a way that you can help to solve the problem. If you are at fault for doing something that caused the rift – apologize. Own up to it. There is no better feeling than being able to admit that you were wrong. Take the blame if the blame is yours to take. If someone else is to blame, try to find out why they did what they did. Maybe there is a good reason behind it. Maybe the person made an honest mistake and doesn’t know how to undo it without extreme embarrassment. Help them to admit their mistake by listening and trying not to be judgmental. Try to put yourself in their shoes for a moment and treat them how you would want them to treat you.
Did You Forget What Started The Problem?
If the problem happened so long ago that no one really remembers what the problem was or who was at fault – then plan a family meeting and talk about it. If after talking about it, no one still remembers – try to convince the family to get past it. Start anew. Let them know that you want them back in your life and that you are willing to move on and hope they will be willing to, as well.
Sometimes there is a problem that, for whatever reason, can’t be solved. It could be a situation in which abuse of some sort occurred – or abandonment – or anything similar. In this case it might just be best to get used to the idea that this particular person might not ever be a part of your life again. If this issue splits your family – because some of the family doesn’t understand or believe the abuse, neglect or other issue happened – try again to see things from their side. A family member that they have loved and trusted as been accused – maybe even convicted of – a horrible crime. They don’t want to believe that it could have happened, so it’s easier to believe that other family members are making things up or just out and out lying. It doesn’t make it right – and might not help to resolve the family problem – but it might at least make you feel better about the situation.
The best way to overcome any issue in life – with family, on the job or in your community – is to talk about it. Only by talking things out can you truly get things figured out – even if you have to agree to disagree. Just make sure when you talk, you do it in a calm, caring, non-judgmental way. You don’t want to make things worse.
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