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5 ways to build bridges with an estranged sibling

Dr Jason Robinson, clinical chair at charity Stand Alone, who runs workshops on reconciliation, gives us some pointers

by Psychologies

estranged sibling

2 minute read

Look at your own role in the rift as honestly as you can. Then try and get an understanding of your sibling’s perspective.

Remember that just because you’re siblings, it doesn’t mean you have to agree on everything. Also, remember neither of you has to be the ‘perfect’ brother or sister. You just need to be good enough.

Avoid meeting at emotionally loaded times when there is pressure to be the perfect family, such as Christmas. Instead, do something low-key and informal, like go for coffee together, alone, in a quiet place.

Normalise your situation; remember many siblings do not get on, so don’t stigmatise yourself by self-judging negatively in your internal dialogue.

Weigh up how the reconciliation is going based only on direct communication with your sibling, rather than second-hand reports. Families can be very political and different members can have different agendas.

For more on Stand Alone, head to standalone.org.uk

Photograph: Getty

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