Don’t be too proud – Pride has a place in life because it helps us to avoid being walked all over. However, there is such a thing as being too proud and this can stand in the way of our ability to ‘let go’. If you have a long-standing rift with a family member, don’t sit and think that they should be the one to make the first move – if you want to make things better you need to learn to park your pride and move past it.
Don’t confuse winning with reconciliation – In your mind you may believe that continuing an argument or waiting for an apology to come your way is helping. If this is the case consider what you really want – is your objective to make things better or to win?
Try to stop thinking about the situation as two-sided and reposition yourself so that you are trying to find a remedy. This is your family remember, it isn’t a competition.
What’s the problem, do you really know? – Sounds like we might be stating the obvious, but sometimes, if a problem started many years ago it can be difficult to even recall what the issue was in the first place. Try to establish the root of the issue and why it troubled you so much. If you were the perpetrator on the other hand, what has prevented you from righting your wrong? Giving this some consideration may help you to explain your side of things without you becoming frustrated.
Speak to a family member you trust – If you are considering making contact with a family member you haven’t spoken to in a while, float the idea out there with a trusted family member to get their perspective on the situation. Making your intentions clear is especially important if you know your family can gossip and take sides, as conveying your peaceful intentions will hopefully encourage them to adopt this goal as well.
Speak honestly but be respectful – If you believe you have been wronged, explain how the situation made you feel but without making accusations. You should also acknowledge their feelings at the same time. If they become defensive, reiterate that your goal is to reconcile and make it clear you want to move on from this.