How to quickly regain a relationship with your father
This Sunday is Father’s Day and for many it’s the same thing every year, a barbeque, taking dad to dinner, golf, and/or buying a necktie and cologne. However, for many, Father’s Day means something entirely different. Many people are trying to reconnect with their dads.
According to the AARP magazine, reconnecting with Dad is one of the biggest issues members request advise for. Unfortunately, it’s a situation that is all too common and we see celebrities like Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Aniston, and Lindsay Lohan and their estrangement from their fathers.
Steps to reconnect with your father:
- Internal work and programming- release anger, check your internal dialogue, and dislodge guilt that you have been holding on to. Begin with a personal assessment of your feelings involving your anger, resentment, and guilt you have stored inside that coincide with you and your dad. When we release our personal guilt we are able to see more clearly the situation and can leave frustration and personal disappointment behind.
- Open the dialogue with your dad. You open dialogue by picking up the phone, texting, emailing, or going over to his house. You can open the dialogue however is easier and less scary for you. Don’t let sheer stress and personal guilt get in the way of reconnecting. Do it your way and do it as quickly as you think about it. Example: Pulling off a band-aid, you don’t pull off a band-aid slowly, you do it fast because it hurts and stings less.
- Accept your responsibility in the situation and let it go. After the initial call, communicate until you are ready to meet, and then set up a time and place to meet. Again, I stress brevity between the time you initially make contact and the meeting. The quicker you do it, the more likely it will happen and with less personal stress build up. Remember the longer you wait, the older you two get, and the chance that you could remain unconnected. I dislike stressing the obvious but we can’t see into the future and anything can happen. When you do meet up, accept your responsibility in the situation, and visa versa, and get the things off your chest that you need to talk about.
- Keep up the communication: call, text, or email-how ever you and your dad communicate best, keep it up and plan a date every month to spend time together. In the beginning, don’t let it slide, stay on it, and remember that you are creating a lasting relationship that adds to your life in ways you can’t even imagine.
Tips for all parts of the reunion:
- It won’t be stress free, so don’t think it will.
- Realize there is guilt on both sides
- Call the other person out if they are not being truthful-this is a REAL reunion so don’t just agree to anything because you will hold on to more resentment if the other person is not honest.
- Meet at your house-not a public place-you can’t talk in public places to the degree you may talk in this situation.
- If a spouse is present in the house, politely ask them to go to another room-preferably where they can’t hear. You and your Dad need privacy and don’t feel bad about asking for it. Even if it is your spouse, ask them to go outside or in another room where they can’t hear everything.
- Realize that this is a work in progress and accept the progress you have made.
- Cry if you feel like it-no matter if you are male or female, if you feel emotional, let it out, you need to and should.