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Sibling Slander

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I recently found my relatives I haven’t seen in over 30 yrs and I figure I would get to know them. I talked to them for awhile and now they stopped talking to me after they talked to my siblings and other relations,which they look at me like I am the bad seed who caused the stress and problems in the family. Granted, my life hasn’t been great and I never gotten along with my siblings, since my mothers passing, I’ve been trying to reconnect with my family but it seems like they do not want nothing to do with me and it is hurting me inside. I want to bury the hatchet more than anything, but they are not willing to. What makes this difficult, is the fact they keep dragging my name through the mud and I want it to stop.

A: Whenever there is such a group reaction from a family I think the best strategy is to make personal contact with the most willing person and nurture this one relationship. Don’t try to ingratiate yourself with the whole family. Work to build one relationship at a time. Make the effort to develop brief contact first. The idea here is to build on success—so the goal of a brief meeting is to have it go well and to set up another opportunity to connect again. Don’t try to solve everything all at once. If you have been out of the loop for 30 years it may take some time to reintroduce yourself to your family. Let them know who you are now, and strive to develop a positive connection.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

Sibling Slander

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Sibling Slander

Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2018). Sibling Slander. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 22, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.