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How do I get my family member to talk to me again?

Question:

I’ve had a falling out with my 17-year-old family member (I’m an adult). She refuses to talk to me, and often when I see her she doesn’t even acknowledge I’m there. It’s been a whole year and a half since this happened. I love her very much and want to make things right. How can I make her see I made a terrible mistake and want to make amends if she won’t even talk to me? I’ve written her a letter and texted, and still nothing. I’m hurting inside just knowing she seems to hate me. Any advice would be helpful.

— Jeannine


Light On Anxiety Answer:

This sounds like an incredibly tough and painful situation, J. 

The first thing that jumped out at me is, though you’ve been patient, we simply can’t put a timeline on another person’s healing. Yes, a year and a half seems like a lot, but we don’t know how deeply she’s been hurt. As desperately as you’re trying to make her see that you’re sorry, it is up to her to be ready to hear it. It seems she is not quite there yet, and unfortunately for you, you have to wait for it. 

Once she does reach out, it may be worth seeking a family therapist in your area. It seems the relationship is in a delicate place, which without a professional, can feel seemingly impossible to navigate. I hope this helps. Wishing you patience from afar. 


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