Whether something has just happened to cause a family rift or there’s a long history of problems, broken family relationships can seem impossible to mend. The good news is if you really want to heal, there are steps you can take to help you get there. Start with these six tips from a family therapist:
Check In With Yourself
Before you can reconcile with your family members, you’ll need to check in with yourself, and make sure you’re ready. If you’re not mentally in a place where you feel like you can move on, don’t push it. Trying to force things too soon will often lead to failed attempts and disappointment. If you go through this exercise and decide you’re not ready, don’t beat yourself up over it. Simply decide to table it for a while, and check in again later.
Let Go of Your Anger
Holding onto anger and grudges robs you of your inner peace. Decide to let it go, whether the person who has upset you has made amends of not. Forgiveness is the first step toward healing, and doing so allows you to give yourself the gift of happiness.
Set Realistic Expectations
Our state of mind often influences the outcome of a situation, whether we intend it to or not. When you reach out to reconnect, a healthy perspective is important. Staying optimistic with minimal expectations is the best way to keep from getting frustrated or disappointed and takes the pressure off of the person you’re trying to reconnect with.
Take It Slowly
Remember, the person you’re reaching out to might also need time to decide whether they’re ready to move forward. Think about sending a letter, sending a private message on social media or simply making small talk at your next family function. This allows both of you to ease into interactions without feeling forced or obligated.
Decide If You Need to Get Closure From the Past
Some people can make amends by agreeing to let the past go. Others won’t get the closure they need until they hash things out. If you decide you need to revisit previous issues, do your best to come from a place of peace. Listen to the other person’s side with an open mind, and calmly express your feelings. Be willing to agree to disagree for the sake of family harmony.
Seek Professional Help
If you and your family member aren’t able to resolve your conflict, don’t give up. A qualified family therapist can help you work through your issues and find a resolution that works for all parties involved. Agreeing to go to therapy together is a huge first step because it shows you’re both committed to working on repairing your relationship.
To learn more about what to expect during a therapy session, connect with a family therapist in your area today.