Today, while looking through a magazine, I saw a segment on ‘family portraits”. These photos reminded me that summertime is quickly approaching, and family reunions will be taking place. I thought about how a friend recently told me that she wasn’t attending her family reunion because she “can’t stand her cousin because she slept with her ex-boyfriend” and doesn’t want to have anything to do with her. As I begin to encourage her to forgive and forget, she expressed that her anger won’t let her.
It is disheartening when you learn of family disagreements. Relatives not speaking to one another, or holding grudges for generations. Time is lost, fond memories fade, and relationships end. With family reunions right around the corner; now is the time to make amends before the big event.
Here are my tips for “Re-Uniting before the Family Reunion”:
- Pray: (This is optional, but it’s just something that I naturally do before deciding how to proceed.)
- Be the bigger person: Extend the olive branch. Reach out either with a phone call or a text message to express your excitement about the upcoming reunion and seeing them, and would like for the two of you to talk about the issue. This way it is worked out beforehand; and does not cause any disruption at the event.
- Reminiscence about fun times: When talking, bring up mutually fond memories of the childhood escapades, or family members who made a difference in your life. Focus on the commonality of your relationship.
- Join Forces: Volunteer to pick them up from the airport, or to share a room, etc. This creates an additional opportunity to bond and reflects other family members that the relationship has been restored.
- Make a pact to move forward: There’s nothing worse than having relatives bring up past bad blood during a reunion.
- Keep the issue off social media: Whatever you do; don’t put on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, a post that reads “Should I forgive my cousin for sleeping with the ex?” This only fuels the situation, and you’ll be bombarded with bad advice from total strangers!
- Attend the reunion regardless of the outcome: Even if the relative refuses to accept your invitation to resolve the issue; still, go to the reunion and enjoy yourself and get to know your other family members!