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Caroline Rules

How to Make Up with an Estranged Family Member

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  • If you're at a family gathering, then be cordial and respectful. Your parents, brothers, sisters, etc. don't deserve to have their holiday or family gathering ruined over something that has nothing to do with them. Find a common ground, and work on being positive instead of feeding the negative. In other words, put your big girl (or boy) pants on!

    As far as rebuilding the relationship goes, I think you need to have a realistic view of the situation. Hold the grand expectations, and be happy with baby steps. If you can't agree on the hows and the whys, then maybe you need to wipe the slate clean. This is so much harder than it sounds. Admitting that although there's been hurt, there's room for forgiveness and accountability will take time, effort and maturity.

    However, you also need to accept that people can't be changed. Maybe this person isn't ready. Maybe you're in a different place in your life than he or she is. Maybe you look at the world differently than this person does and there will always be waves in the water. My only advice to that is to keep your front door open. One day, your family member may surprise you and walk in. When he or she does, smile and put on the coffee.


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Caroline Rules
How to Make Up with an Estranged Family Member
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