What To Do When Your Family Doesn’t Get Along…

Do you have a family member that is just plain negative? Is there an aunt, uncle, sibling or cousin you dread seeing? Difficult relationships like that don’t just affect the two of you – they can impact the whole family.

Unfortunately, some people are just difficult to deal with, and when they are family, you can’t just walk away and never see them again. You might want to, but walking away can mean giving up a lifetime of gatherings, weddings, holidays and celebrations. The person might never change, but you can change how you deal with them, and that can have a positive influence on everyone involved.

Now keep in mind, there are situations where the other person is a danger to you or to others. That’s a whole different story, and it’s probably best to avoid those encounters entirely. I’m talking here about those aunts who just won’t stop complaining or the Uncle who can’t wait to attack your political views or that cousin who keeps holding a grudge because twenty years ago you said her dress makes her look fat or something. These are difficult, negative people who just don’t seem to want to be happy and insist on making everyone around them miserable.

Lessons from Spirit

The one lesson I have learned from Spirit is that life is too short and all we have is each other. You can’t worry about other family members getting along and you shouldn’t have to walk on eggshells during family holidays worrying about relationships within the family. You need to be able to enjoy those times together and not be waiting for someone to say or do something upsetting.  Conflicts may happen, and sometimes there’s nothing you can do about it. And sometimes, you have to step up and be the peacemaker.

When someone has hurt you badly, it can be hard to forgive and move on. It can be especially hard if the other person doesn’t think they’ve done anything wrong and doesn’t take any responsibility for the bad behavior. You cannot change the person, but you can change your thoughts and how you respond. One thing I’ve learned is that often, someone else’s words or actions have nothing to do with how they feel about you. It’s about their “stuff,” insecurity, or internal pain, so remind yourself of that and don’t take it personally.

Setting Aside Differences

In some situations, it can be helpful to air out differences and talk it through with the other person. But some people are never going to apologize or admit they were wrong. Sometimes you need to be the bigger person and reach out. Sometimes you need to let things go and know that the apology you deserve is never going to come. If you let it go, it’s not because you are weak. It’s because you are strong enough to know that family means more.

No matter what the other person does or says and no matter if they apologize or not, you have to forgive them – for your sake, and the sake of the family.  Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself. As hard as it can be to forgive, it’s what you need to do to heal. Forgiving takes a lot of effort sometimes, but it brings so much freedom.

Praying for the person helps a lot. When you’ve tried everything, and you just can’t heal a family relationship, let it go to the universe and let go of any negativity in your heart. Pray for that person and ask Angels to heal the differences between you. If it’s meant to happen, it will!

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