Family conflict is one of the main reasons for relationship breakdown. This can cause too much distance or even years of not talking, because of a bad argument or a mismatch in expectations between relatives.
Talking about familial conflict can bring up uncomfortable memories for anyone. Sometimes, even in a close relationship, there can be a sibling or parent-child differences that make people feel out of place or uncomfortable.
Sometimes the most difficult part is not to reconnect with the relative or talk again, it’s the awkwardness that comes with being in touch again! That’s why today we give you a few steps and rules to follow to make sure that everything falls back into place and to avoid new family conflicts in the future.
Steps to reconnect with a relative after years of conflict:
1- Talk about what happened:
The best way to reconnect with a relative that you didn’t talk to for years because of a conflict is; to get in touch and talk about what happened first. If you feel uncomfortable reopening the topic of conflict, then see if you two can get over it forever and pretend it never happened.
Just in case your relative has something left to say or feels like it weighs heavy on their heart, let them talk and exhaust everything they wanted to say. In the end, you can discuss a few points with them that they raised, but remember that this isn’t about arguing or fighting again.
Try to be the bigger person and to ignore everything they said or to tell them that it’s not about who is to blame but about building a bridge between you two instead. Remind them that what happened doesn’t matter anymore and that you chose to reach out for peace, and not to fight.
2- Understand their character and personality better:
Try to understand that person’s personality, what matters most to them, and why there was a conflict, to begin with. This way, you should have an understanding of each other and the boundaries of each to make sure you don’t cross them again.
Understanding what happened in the past will help to ease any feelings of hostility and in turn create easier communication; between you both in the future when it comes time for tough conversations or another disagreement.
3- Explain that you like your privacy and independency:
Many people have a difficult time adjusting to family dynamics. They feel they have to handle all the details of their relatives’ lives, which can be emotionally draining but also look nosy and annoying to the other person.
For this reason, it is important that you kindly explain whenever necessary that you like your privacy and making your own life decisions. Explain that you’re not a child and that even though you like your relative to be part of your life; it doesn’t mean that you’ll be waiting for their instructions on guidance on how to live your life.
Your life decisions will be yours to make and any expectations that this relative put on you should be dismissed. At first, you should try to clarify gently that you’ll be making your own decisions and life choices then you should understand too that some people cannot change.
Whatever your relative says don’t take it to heart and don’t think it’s personal, maybe it’s just their personality! You don’t have to do everything they say or take it too seriously.
4- Talk calmly, logically, and without name-calling:
In the future when a new conflict arises, try to remember to talk logically and calmly. There’s no need to raise your voice or hurt your relative’s feelings to a non-return point.
By discussing any disagreement with respect, you can find ways to solve it without hurting others’ feelings which may seem like a tough task but is also very rewarding because we feel more positive about ourselves and don’t have guilt or remorse later on that day or week.
This will help us grow as people and become more mature which makes us feel better about ourselves, help us be at peace with everyone, and happier in general. You can slowly learn to manage your anger in an argument and not go off-topic by mentioning the past or the other person’s flaws.
In today’s world, family and related problems are the biggest issues on everyone’s mind. Family conflict arises for many reasons, like differences in age, gender, religion, and culture. It is a part of life, should be temporary, and should not be given more importance than it is.
Most of the time, you can’t just ignore your family and live a life that doesn’t involve them. It can be painful and lonely, that’s why try and reconnect with whoever it is, that you have hurt or hurt you in the past. And, try to move on and to be close again!