Repair A Messed Up Relationship With This Six Part Plan

Repair a Messed Up Relationship Over the Holidays with This Six Part Plan

Mending relationships is tough work, but it's not an impossible task. To help you figure out where to start, The Wall Street Journal's put together a six step outline. Photo by Brad Fults.

Everyone runs into a relationship they need to fix at some point in their life. Whether it's with an old friend, family member, or whoever else, trying to fix those relationships often feels impossible. Thankfully, The Wall Street Journal at least provides you a place to get started:

  1. Send a card: start the whole thing off with a compliment in the form of a handwritten note or some other means of "hands off" communication.
  2. Meet somewhere: get together at a neutral location for some one on one time.
  3. Start with small talk: catch up on all the nonsense you would anyway. Talk about children, family, jobs, the weather, or whatever else.
  4. Apologise: you don't have to accept blame, but apologise for the whole thing — whatever that may be — so you can move onto patching your relationship.
  5. Ask for their view: now's the time to see how they viewed the issue the whole time. Ask about their side of the story.
  6. Come up with a plan: figure out where you go from here to keep mending the relationship. Do you forget about the whole thing? Go to a family gathering? Plan out the next step to help deal with the inevitable bit of awkwardness.

Everyone's trying to mend different types of messed up relationships, so take the above steps as suggestions instead of cardinal rules. Still, if you have no idea where to start or where to go with the conversation, it's better than nothing.

How to Repair Family Relations During the Holidays [The Wall Street Journal]


    "5. Ask for their view: now’s the time to see how they viewed the issue the whole time. Ask about their side of the story"

    This one sounds like trouble unless it's combined with:

    "Listen without judging, and don't argue about whether they're right or wrong. Pretend you are on a fact-finding mission."

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