Relationships with family are some of the most important and impactful ones we’ll ever experience as humans. Family bonds are strong and this is clearly evident when you attend a family reunion or a nephew’s first birthday. The moment a mother becomes a grandmother as well is something she’ll never forget.
However, sometimes rifts occur despite the very ties that bind families so tightly. Relationships become strained and volatile. While many of these issues between family members tend to work themselves out, in some cases they don’t. People might go years or even decades without speaking.
No matter the reason, when family members disconnect it affects far more people than just those involved. Unresolved issues affect everyone in the family especially when people feel as if they’re caught in the middle.
However, all is not lost. In today’s digital age it’s easier than ever find someone so if you have a family member you’d like to reconnect with these are a few simple ways to get a couple of steps closer to mending that relationship.
Talk With Other Family Members
In many cases the family member in question might only be avoiding you. They may have perfectly normal relationships with other members of your family and see them on a regular basis.
Obviously, the easiest way to find out is to simply ask someone in your family.
However, if tension is high that family member might not want to divulge that information out of respect for the other’s privacy. So if this happens in your case it’s better not to press the issue. After all you don’t want to put someone you’re close to into an uncomfortable situation.
Public Records Search
In today’s digital world almost everyone has some record on the internet. Addresses, phone numbers, places of employment, education history, and more can easily be found with a comprehensive search of public records.
This can take some digging, especially if the person you’re searching for has a common name or you’re not sure what state they live in. Having information such as date of birth and full name can help narrow your search so be prepared with that information to make your search more fruitful.
More than 80 percent of people living in the United States have one or more social media accounts. Finding a long lost family member via social media is something that happens every day and it makes it even easier if the person you’re searching for is already connected with the people you are.
However, if the situation is very tense, the person you’re looking for may have blocked you or has an incomplete profile that doesn’t offer enough information to be certain they’re the one.
Send a friend request or a private message anyway. You never know what might happen.
What to Do When You Make Contact
In many cases finding your family member through public records or social media is the easy part. Repairing the relationship is when the real work begins. This can be a touchy situation and one that must be handled with care, especially if the falling out was particularly bad and you bear the brunt of the fault.
Try not to be offended or hurt if your family member isn’t quite as eager to reconnect as you are. Keep their feelings in mind as much as possible; they’re probably wary and might not have completely forgotten the reason you’re estranged in the first place. Be patient and honest, and if an apology is necessary do it quickly in a heartfelt manner. After all, if you’ve gone this far to reconnect be prepared to assure this person that your intentions are true. And if they’re not receptive to your reunion then be prepared to expect that. It is their choice after all.
We all want to keep in touch with family and friends and this is easier now than ever before. It’s also much easier to locate a long lost relative, for whatever reason, and if that relationship needs work then there’s no better time than now. But if you’ve simply lost touch and find each other through a public records search or other means then what a sweet reunion that will be.