How To Foster a Relationship With Long-Lost Family Members

Posted 2 years ago in LIFESTYLE.

Reuniting with family members you’ve lost touch with can be an exciting and fulfilling experience.

How To Foster a Relationship With Long-Lost Family Members

Reuniting with family members you’ve lost touch with can be an exciting and fulfilling experience. You can learn more about your family and where you come from, or just fill in gaps in your life story that seemed impossible to ever see completed before now. The first step in fostering a relationship with long-lost family members, however, is reaching out to them and communicating what it is you want from the relationship moving forward. Once you do this, there are some other things you can do to foster the relationship and make it last longer than just one meeting or conversation between the two of you.

Protect yourself.

There are different ways to learn more about your relatives and their history, but you can also protect yourself by doing a background check. Most people share information on social media that allows you to get an idea of who they are and what they're all about. By searching on these networks and talking with their family members, you should be able to collect enough details about your relatives to do a fast people lookup. That way, you'll have more information about the person you're dealing with. Whether they're actually family or not, it's always possible that they are dangerous and don't have the right motives for entering your life. Protecting yourself before developing ties could protect you from a lot of pain.

Make kind gestures.

Small gestures of kindness can go a long way toward fostering goodwill, and houseplants are a great gift for anyone. Consider setting up plants delivery for your long-lost family members and give them a gift they can keep and nurture for years to come. But they're not just nice to look at, as live plants help purify the air and improve the environment. You'll be making a personal connection with a gift that's good for their health and beautifies their life.

The purpose of a gesture like flowers or plants is to show your long-distance relative how much you care while giving something that they're interested in. This can also be as simple as delivering their favorite candy bar for no reason other than to make them smile or sending them a funny cat video because it makes you both laugh. Do little things like that often, and then when something big happens in their life like getting married or having children of their own, drop whatever you’re doing and go see them.

Get involved in their lives.

While you may be eager to see your long-lost family members, it can be intimidating to meet someone from your family after all these years. Don’t pressure them into doing anything. Instead, make an effort to show up for their life events as often as they extend an invitation. Whether it’s Christmas or birthdays or just family game night, these are the activities that bind family. And take an interest in what they are doing now and how they are living their lives. Most importantly, ask questions. Give them space and grace as they navigate these relationships, but don’t let that space be filled by painful distance or awkwardness.

Take things slowly.

Yes, you want to ease yourself into their lives so you don't overwhelm them, but you also need to make sure the relationship will be a healthy one for you. Bad relationships can have a profound effect on your mental health, and there's no need to add that to your life. If you’re ready to reach out to a long-lost relative, don’t be too eager to jump into it. Take time to reflect on why you left, as well as what drew you back. This can help you maintain an emotional distance and protect yourself from getting hurt when things don’t go your way. If one family member reaches out first, acknowledge their effort by saying something like "I appreciate that, thank you!" Then, try to ease yourself into a relationship while setting clear boundaries for how close you're willing to get to them.

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