If there's someone in your family with whom you have ongoing tension or to whom you haven't spoken in months, try to make amends during the holidays, Rabbi Shmuley says. He offers advice on how to reconcile with family members and strengthen your relationships.
This holiday season, practice four important virtues: having an open heart, forgiveness, being nonjudgmental and being understanding, Rabbi Shmuley says. "Holidays are all about strengthening the family structure and reconnecting," he says. "Try to use the holidays to begin reconciling."
Rabbi Shmuley offers advice on how to get along better with family members with whom you are having problems.
- Invite those you used to be close to back into your life. "If it takes an apology, do it," Rabbi Shmuley says. "The rule of family relations is: 'Lose the argument and win the relationship,' even if you're not wrong. If they reject your apology, you still did the right thing."
- Don't be stubborn. "You lose the possibility of having someone back in your life because you want to be right? Let it go," Rabbi Shmuley says.
- Don't be afraid to be the first to talk. "You must somehow express the things that are bothering you, without creating more friction," he says. The first way to do that is taking responsibility for your actions.
- Talk about "right now" and not the past. If you think its going to elicit another argument, tell the person that the past is the past and you want to move forward, Rabbi Shmuley says.
- Model forgiveness to your children. "Kids see us have family feuds, and they find the license to fight as well," he says. "Always tell your kids to lose the argument and win relationship."
"Holidays are a time for families to gather together, deepen their bonds and reconcile previous tension. Every effort should be made to bring in family members with whom we may have fallen out. The rule of love always is: 'Lose the argument, win the relationship.'"