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Why Reconnecting with Family is Now more Important than ever

In all honesty, 2020 has been a very troublesome year, and due to travel restrictions and lockdowns, it would seem that seeing our loved ones is still going to be nearly impossible in 2021.

But don’t despair. You can still communicate with them and even track down some of your long-lost relatives so that you get to reconnect with them during these harsh times. It is the one good thing that has come out of the COVID 19 situation. We are all realizing how many family matters and how important it is to maintain a good connection with the people you care about. 

But just to explain it a bit further, here are some of the main reasons you should start connecting with your loved ones. 

The first step is to “Listen Up”

We don’t have the privilege of meeting up with our family on a regular basis due to this awful virus. But it can teach us to take the time and learn to listen more—sort of getting acquainted with our family members a bit better. You can even try to find members that you have lost touch with. If you know where they live, for example, Texas, you can quickly find them by searching the Texas white pages and discovering their contact information. 

Estrangement from children can hit the elderly especially hard. It’s in the last decades of life when one needs support the most. Illness, loss of income, loss of mobility – all of these things are stressful on their own and even more stressful when you don’t have children to help you sort them out. For adult children, there can be regrets if a parent dies before peace has been made and past issues resolved. This is why it is important to act sooner rather than later.

 Some things are time-sensitive, and if we miss our window of opportunity, they could be gone forever. 

Don’t be afraid to reach out

It’s more than likely that initiating contact could be entirely up to you. The only question is how best to make the first move, now that we have so many options. Social media. An email. A text message. A phone call. A letter, mailed with an actual stamp. Viable possibilities, all. Choosing the right option for reaching out could depend on how the relationship left off before.

The silver lining is that you now have the best excuse to restart the conversation - ask how they are bearing in these hard times. Has the pandemic affected them in any way, or do they need any kind of help. There will never be a better excuse to reestablish communication. 

Once you have established the line of communication, it is time for the next step. Understanding what happened to cause distance. Was there a big fight, and no one apologized? Was it a series of small slights over time that built up until someone erupted? Perhaps it was a single act of betrayal that simply hasn’t been forgiven.

You can work together to improve your relationship through a series of communications. That way, your relationship will be completely mended by the time you get to see each other again in person. What could be better. 

Make sure that you honor their boundaries

People create boundaries as a way of protecting themselves from pain and others who they see as the ones causing it. It’s important to honor those boundaries even if you don’t agree with them. 

For example, if your child is not willing to meet in person, but is open to a phone conversation, accept it. If your child has invited you to attend the wedding of a family member but doesn’t want you included in pictures, accept it. It might not feel right to you, or you might not understand their reasons, but it is important that you respect them completely and make an effort to help them find their way back to you.

Whit the current pandemic, it is more important than ever to open the lines of communication and to be understanding of their needs so that you get to be a part of their lives and to ensure that they have everything they could possibly need in these difficult times. 

If necessary, make the first step and apologize, that can go a long way - “Although an apology is not always the golden key to reunification, without one it is nearly impossible for two people to come back together,” Susanne Babbel, Ph.D., Psychology Today.

Don’t waste any more precious time

Once you’ve re-established even a small connection with your long-lost family member, the awkwardness will begin to melt away, and you’ll soon be back on the road to the closeness you once shared, but don’t force it. These things can take time. Once you feel the timing is right, make a pact to stay in touch together. It takes effort from both sides to make a relationship last.

You have that opportunity today. It is the biggest gift that the COVID 19 pandemic has brought us. And it is easier than ever to reconnect from using white pages to email and even social media. You can have a great relationship with your entire family if you take the time to reach out and just listen. The conversation can change your whole family dynamic for the better. It is not something you should miss out on.

In case you haven’t done it over the holidays, 2021 is a new year and a new start, so use it as your new year’s resolution and start dialing. You will be surprised how big of a piece of mind you will get from mending old bonds and establishing new ones. What a great opportunity this truly is. 

How did you reconnect with family who had drifted away? We’d like to hear your stories and if our phone lookup has a role to play in you finding some long lost family members that you wanted to connect to. 

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