I have a relative, with whom I had bad behaviour. Not rude, not mean, just that I had not the good words, I did not send much text messages, and thus I was not there when this relative needed me (no big issues were faced, though).

Now, I have an awkward relationship with this relative: I usually meet as a tradition between relatives, but not face-to-face, and we have not that much to say to each other.


  • I still don't have the "good word at the right time"
  • I am scared of what I could say because it will be badly perceived

While I'm trying to act better now, it is not that efficient, so I'm considering apologizing clearly about the past. I am not sure I could find the words, and I am not sure that relative will let me explain clearly before reacting.

How could I communicate clearly my feelings about past and present situations? I want to minimize the possible risks of misunderstanding.

  • Hi there, and welcome to IPS. As it stands, your post is off-topic, but can, with the help of a small edit, fit within the guidelines of this stack (How to Ask). Once you've made a choice, we may help you interact with this person ;) but we can't decide for you or let opinion based OP gather answers missing the target...
    – OldPadawan
    Feb 29, 2020 at 19:52
  • Hi, thanks for the feed back: I am not sure to understand, but I understand as: I should tell which solution you choose (acting or apologize) and ask about which words to use in the apology? If this is that, I'll edit, otherwise could you please explain to me again? Feb 29, 2020 at 22:47
  • 1
    Hello and welcome! I made an edit based on what I think you're asking which should be on-topic now, but if I got it wrong please feel free to edit again to clarify :)
    – Em C
    Mar 1, 2020 at 1:46
  • 1
    @EmC Thanks, that is exactly what I meant. And thanks for the greetings as well :) Mar 1, 2020 at 8:42
  • What kind of relative? A third cousin once removed? Your brother? The answer would be different between the two.
    – Stian
    Mar 5, 2020 at 11:37

1 Answer 1


I have personally had difficulties with relatives in the past, and I have found the best way is to try and not repeat past mistakes, which you seem to be working on already, and also to "clear the air" about an old situation you may think to still be affecting your relationship. If possible, try and make plans with the person for coffee or lunch. I find that a shorter time is better in case things go poorly, you're not trapped in a long time commitment. Then, try starting with something like:

Family is important to me. I know that in the past I have had some issues expressing that to people, especially you, and I want you to know I'm really working on changing that.

It seems that this is true for you based on your statements, and then allowing the person to respond will be the next step.

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