No relationship is perfect, and that includes the family. There are times when family feuds drag on for years without getting fixed. It hurts more to know that you can’t speak to someone whom you’ve known all your life because of a disagreement in the past. You may cut ties with them, but they’ll always be a part of you. If you’re given the opportunity to rebuild those relationships, wouldn’t you grab on to it? If you’re ready to take a step closer to reconciliation, these tips may help:
- Know what caused the rift Set aside time to do introspection. Try to set the bitterness aside for a moment and think clearly about the root cause of the argument. Many times, knowing the cause of the problem is the key to fixing it. Here’s some questions to ask yourself:
- Was it because of a petty reason or does it have another deeper cause?
- Have you been keeping a feeling of resentment towards each other for years?
- Do you really hate the person or have you just been directing your anger for someone else to your family?
Questions like this can help you sort out and pinpoint the root cause of the disagreement.
- See it from a different perspective Anger can blind a person. It’s an overwhelming feeling that can prevent you from thinking rationally and prevent you from considering another person’s perspective. But there’s always two sides of the same coin. Try to put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Ask yourself:
- Would you have acted the same way?
- Did you say something to this person that could have been potentially hurtful?
- Have you considered how the person’s day was?
By taking the time to answer these questions you’re on your way to mending the family rift.
- Take responsibility Once you’ve figured out your contribution to the feud. Be responsible enough to admit your mistakes. Keep it in mind and add it on your list of things to change and improve about yourself. Do your best not to do it again to the best of your ability. And then, be forgiving. Forgive the person and forgive yourself. Don’t hold on to the bitterness or it’ll eat you up inside. Also, consider the rest of the family who had to stand in between and receive a share of the stress.
- Take small steps Do make an effort to reach out and communicate. Maybe send cards or a casual “hi” on social media. But don’t overdo it. You have to test the waters first. Your estranged sibling or spouse may still be cradling feelings of bitterness. Any gesture of closeness might be taken as being insensitive. Keep the distance but slowly, through small talk, reconnect broken bridges.
- Try to reach for a compromise Show the person that you’re willing to meet halfway. Express your deepest and sincerest apology. Don’t do a rehash of the past. Focus instead on committing yourself to become a better person and that you’re ready to move forward.
- Begin the healing process When both sides have finally decided to forgive and start rebuilding the relationship, start to spend more time together. It doesn’t have to be the same as before, but you’ll get there later on. Avoid bringing up the past and do your best only to bring positive things to the table. Also, let other family members help you in making each step of the process easier and filled with love.
It takes humility, courage, and commitment to make the reconciliation process a success. If you’re not able to mend broken bridges on your own, don’t be afraid to ask for help from professionals. Are you ready to mend your broken relationship?