When you think about buying a product or service, your preference is the work with someone that you know, like and trust. It is a basic tenet of business and it takes time. When you think about businesses that you frequent, how long did it take you to know, like and trust that person? Tell me if I am wrong, but I will bet that it has taken some time.
It is the same for your stepfamily. Your new family members need time to get to know you, decide if they like you and learn to trust you. That is a tall order. As much as we would love for people to know, like and trust us right away, life just does not work that way. Just because you married your children’s parent or someone’s son or daughter does not give you a pass. Sorry.
What if your new family members decide that they do not like you? It happens. It is not the end of the world. But, it hurts. When you think about it, do you like everyone you have ever met on the planet? Here are some tips to help you overcome the hurt feelings:
1. Keep going. Be yourself. No lecturing. Smile and stay positive.
2. Have faith that the bio parents know their children and can manage them. Stay out of it.
3. Remember that we are the ones that put meaning into hurtful events. If you find yourself telling the same stories over and over again. Stop. How is that story serving you? Are you looking for recruits to back your stance?
4. Reward hurtful behavior and have fun. Every time you feel that you have been hurt, reward yourself. You will start to look forward to another sly remark. Think about it. Every time you get ‘dissed’, you get a massage!
5. Choose a confidante who does not have a connection to your family. If you are like me and need to talk things out, choose friends or professionals who have your complete trust and will not talk to others.
It is a funny thing. When you mentally disconnect from any attachment to the outcome, you will find that more people are attracted to you. Who knows? Over time, you may find that more members of your new family decide to know, like and trust you.