Do You Struggle with Family Rejection?
Family rejection is a very common problem across the world. Many kids don’t talk to their parents and don’t even want to maintain any contact. Many of my listeners have the same problem and have estranged daughter or son living in other countries.
In this episode, our guest Tina Gilbertson provides helpful insights on how to deal with family rejection. She is a Colorado-based psychotherapist who helps repair estranged relationships between parents and their children. Gilbertson found the problem so common among her clients that she wrote three books and a ton of articles on the subject.
She will be giving out important tips on how to deal with family rejection and get talking with your estranged children.
Every relationship has a chance
Tina believes that every relationship has a potential to be repaired but for that, parents need to take both emotional and strategic steps.
The first thing to do is to understand that your children may not be hurting you or avoiding you intentionally – it is because they have been hurt by something and hurting you back in the process.
You have to develop a sense of self-compassion along with compassion for your children. You have to accept your mistakes and understand the grievances of your kids.
Also, you may not always be at fault. Sometimes kids have a different experience because of their personality and perception without you having done anything wrong. Everybody has their temperament and you cannot do anything about it. Whatever be the case get over the parental shame and develop a mindset of compassion.
Only then you will be able to get to apologize to repair the relationship.
Give a good apology
An apology is a gift and best tool to mend broken relationships suggests Tina. She lists out several factors that make up a good apology and open the doors of communication.
To render a good and effective apology you must let all your guards down and become defenseless. Even if you are one percent defensive it will seep into your apology and make it ineffective.
Tina tells us three unique factors that make up a good apology
First, you need to be specific and say what you are sorry for; you should specifically speak out what you might have done wrong to hurt the person. If you are at fault, accept and clearly say you had done that.
The second factor is to understand and relay back why it was hurtful to the person. For example, you can say “I’m, sorry, you didn’t deserve that” or “I’m sorry that my tone was harsh,” instead of saying that you were just sorry!
The third factor is regret – you have to show that you are really sorry and regret the fact that your hurt them or did something wrong. You can add things like “if only I could take it back,” or “If I could change things..” to make your apology emotional and sincere.
A good apology will break the ice and can get your children talking to you.
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