A Guide to Reconnecting with an Estranged Family Member
Family is an incredibly important part of most people’s lives. A healthy familial relationship is fulfilling, and many people find comfort in their family long after they’ve struck out on their own. However, that’s not always the case. Whether because of personal differences, neglect, or just a lack of communication, some people become estranged from their family and don’t continue that relationship. Not only is that hard on the estranged members of the family, but it can also be hard on everyone else.
If someone in your family tree has become estranged from the rest of your family–and you have reason to believe that the other person would be interested in reconnecting–you may want to reach out. Here are some ways to find them and get in touch.
Determine Your Chances of Reconnecting
The first thing you need to know before you start searching is why the family member is estranged in the first place. If he or she was the victim of abuse or neglect by someone in your family, that person will likely be much more resistant to reconnecting than if it was just a small personal quarrel that got out of hand. If your family shunned the family member, he or she may be willing to connect with anyone willing to reach out. Plenty of factors could be at play, and you’ll have to evaluate the evidence to come to a conclusion.
While doing this research, remember that your family may be biased in the recollection of events. Always try to think about how else stories could be perceived. If they insist that the estranged family member was being unreasonable, see if you can uncover the initial source of the conflict. If different family members present wildly differing explanations, see if there’s a common thread that ties them all together. No matter what it was, trying to get to the bottom of things could at least make it easier to handle if you don’t get the response you want.
Ask Anyone Who Knew the Family Member
Your first questions should be directed toward the people that the estranged family member knew best. Focus your questions toward people that you also know well, those who’d likely be more accepting of your attempts to reconnect. If they have any information about the estranged family member, they may be willing to tell you about it, especially if they can tell that you mean well.
Remember to keep a record of everything you’re being told. True, the jackpot would be finding out that someone has actually kept in touch with your estranged family member. But it’s unlikely that you’ll actually end up finding that. Instead, you’ll have to piece together things from your various family members’ recollection of events. Someone may be able to give you pseudonyms that the person used to use, while another person may tell you about a state the family member was planning to move to. It’s up to you to put all these pieces together and come up with a solution.
Use a People Search Engine
Once you have all the facts, you’ll want to consolidate them all. Build a profile of the estranged family member that you’re looking for. What name might he or she be using? Where could the person have gone to live? Could the family member be living with someone you know? These are all important questions that you should try to answer when creating a profile. Then, you can use a people search engine like PeopleFinders to put that profile into action in an attempt to find contact information.
With PeopleFinders, you can perform a public records search with just a first name, last name, city, and state. Try a number of combinations based on the profile you’ve built; you may be able to find the person under a different name. Lists of relatives and associates are also included with a search, so you can try looking up closely related family members to see if the person shows up there.
It can be very saddening to have an estranged family member in your family tree, whether you knew the person as you were growing up or not. If you try to reconnect, it’s likely to involve a number of steps and a lot of legwork. Cut down on the work you have to do personally by using PeopleFinders.
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Categorized in: People Search