When should estranged relatives stay that way?
Too many people dismiss family estrangements without a thought in their head about why the family members stay away from each other. Some would have people interacting with relatives who would do great harm. Where is the cutoff point for reconciling with troubled or harmful relatives?
This is a tough question. First off, I think it would seriously depend on the circumstances as to why the people are estranged from the family in the first place. If it was over a minor disagreement, then maybe attempts to be nice might eventually work. However, if after 4-5 times of trying, nothing seems to be working, I would just give up and try again a few years later.
If it was over a serious disagreement, to which no compromise has been reached and nothing you try to say or do sways the family/person, then I would just drop it for a few years and try again.
That's a great thought provoking question!
Technically, you should always forgive. Sometimes, even when you do forgive, the estrangement continues. It is unilateral. Love can't stop a heavy hand, a mean, haughty spirit, or a big mouth from doing their evil work. In military terms, "If a position us untenable, abandon it for a more secure, and advantageous, position."
Some times it is prudent to have the engineers build fortifications to make your position unassailable. It is good to stall your adversary until you can sustain the inevitable attack, When our adversary sees your strength, they may suspend hostilities, and seek terms.
I agree that every effort needs to be made to work out family rifts. At least try to be civil towards one another w/o causing a situation that is clearly uncomfortable.
Too often the death of parents and the fights over inheritance issues get between siblings. These situations should be reconcilable with a little work.
Irreconcilable estrangements would include situations of physical or serious mental abuse, drug or alcohol addictions, felonious behavior, or mental illness that might prompt violent or abusive outbursts. Even if anger toward a family member can't be worked out completely, one should be able to exercise enough self-control to be able to attend milestone family gatherings w/o incident by staying out of the way of the offending party as much as possible.
The truth is that we did not choose the family we were born into. Ultimately this means that we may love our family members but unfortunately that does not mean that we are required to like them. Human beings are highly flawed individuals, and that is ok. No one is perfect, so at the end of the day all we can do is let the other person know what they mean to us and then step back. Forcing interactions with individuals when the relationship has gone sour is one sure fire way to maintain friction or worse escalate it to the breaking point. Let it be and then if desired by both parties, attempt an open dialog when cooler heads prevail. Good question.
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