Family always comes first, yet familial relationships are always the most complicated. This peculiar connection has the power to either leave an intact inner peace that cannot be shaken regardless of what happens or leave us broken for life. Regardless of one’s nature, it’s not uncommon for individuals to be super sensitive when it comes to their connection with their parents and relatives. As much as these emotions can move mountains for the ones they hold dear, they can also easily leave them hurt and in pain. This is why there are many family members that drift apart. Sometimes, people mistakenly think that running away and building walls are the only ways to protect themselves. However, there is always room for understanding, care, and love to crack through in order to bring families together again. Trying to reconnect with your family after some time has passed is one of the hardest situations one can find themselves in. To make this process easier, here are some tips you might need to consider.
Address the Pain
Years of evolution have shaped our brains to deflect from pain. Our brains are wired to protect us. We constantly need to work on facing our problems instead of resorting to the easy solution and running away. Before rekindling your relationship with an estranged family member, make sure to sit for a moment and address the issue that has forced you to steer away. If the family member you are trying to get in touch with is the ones who drifted apart, you still need to make peace with their reason. Try your best to understand their motive by putting yourself in their shoes.
Build Genuine Connections
The road to forgiveness and understanding is long and bumpy. You might think you got it all covered because you are driven by your longing for the love of your family. However, love is not enough to build a true connection. Love, sometimes, can be too intense and hurt more than heal. You must create genuine connections with your estranged family members founded on understanding, love, and communication. There is no shame in admitting that we need more knowledge in order to get better at communicating with each other.
Take the Time to Heal
When you are rekindling the sparks of a close relationship to your heart, there is a thrill and excitement that might push you to accelerate the healing process. Make sure to give yourself and your family some time from one interaction to the other to be able to get used to the process without overwhelming anyone. Trying to reconnect with your family doesn’t happen instantly, and you need to keep that in mind when you’re beginning this process. You can always opt for emails and texts as a first step because they are famous for their ability to give others some space and time to react. Make the very first interactions short and sweet; avoid dragging them out as much as possible.
Use Neutral Territory
When you’re trying to rekindle a relationship, it’s best to meet in a neutral place that doesn’t involve any hosting responsibility on either party. The last thing you want to do is make the other feel uncomfortable because they are in your house and have to act accordingly to the setting. A café or a restaurant is often the ideal choice. You can also go for a place that can offer things to talk about through its distractions.
Using a Mediator
A lot of people are under the wrong impression that using a mediator means that the relationship is not working properly in the first place. There is nothing more adult and logical than using a professional third-party who can walk you through a healthy discussion without being biased to any party. Mediators don’t have to necessarily be therapists; they can also be a loving parent or a common friend that wants to help you fix the relationship.
Love is not enough to keep a relationship going. Addressing the past, building bridges between you and your loved ones, and educating yourself on better ways of communication, takes courage, effort, and time. After pouring all of this into your relationship, there is always a chance that you will get disappointed. To avoid being left down in the dumps, make sure to prepare yourself for all possible outcomes. Understand that it might not be a lack of love or a fault of your own. Sometimes, when you reconnect with family members they might not be ready to open old wounds. It’s always a smart move to plan all your reactions for any possible outcome. What if they get angry? Aggressive? What if they try to guilt-trip you? You should always prepare yourself for any possible outcome.