You know this situation – you’re not speaking to your grandmother because she told you that you need to get married before it’s “too late”; your brother wants to strangle you because you broke his iPhone; Uncle Junebug borrowed $1,000 for medication, and you haven’t seen or heard from him in a month of Sundays. Falling out with family happens, so here are some useful tips for how to survive breakups and makeups with relatives:
- Do take a step back and evaluate – sometimes falling back and analyzing the situation can help you determine what the appropriate course of action should be, whether it is talking it over with a trusted friend or writing down your feelings.
- Don’t write off what the other person has to say – Don’t just blow off how your kin feels. If that relative has the space to tell their side of the story, then it can give the situation a bit more clarity. Give him or her the opportunity to open up.
- Do cop to your sh*t if you’re wrong – this can be hard for a lot of people, but sometimes you have to admit when you are not right, especially if it means salvaging valuable family bonds. This may mean extending olive branches (i.e. flowers or a heartfelt, handwritten note) to soften any hardened feelings that may have developed over the point of contention.
- Don’t deal with foolishness – if you’ve done all you can to apologize, or if you have been hurt by your family and nothing has been done to rectify the situation, there’s no shame in walking away from the issue. Sometimes stepping away helps them realize that you should be taken seriously and may prompt them to come correct.
A few weeks ago my younger sister was hot with me because I wasn’t investing as much into our friendship as she was. Even though I initially felt she was coming from left field, I had to concede that on a few key issues she was right. Since I was in the wrong, I had to show her that I valued her as a friend, and stop treating her like a pesky kid sister. In the end we made up (it took a lot of phone calls and a floral bouquet), but it was definitely worth it.
What say you Clutchettes and Gents? Have you ever gone toe-to-toe with a family member? How did you handle the situation?