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Tag Archives: Estrangement from adult child

What to Do When Someone Won’t Talk to You

Sad teddy bear estranged from stuffed bunny

Estrangement from important others is a sad fact of life for many people. One of the most painful experiences a parent can have is to be rejected by an adult child who appears to want nothing to do with them. Estrangement between siblings, in-laws, neighbors, even coworkers, is also common.

The reasons for estrangement are as diverse as the parties involved. Sometimes there was a very close relationship in the past, and something happened that created distance.

This may have happened either slowly over time or rather suddenly, but once that distance was created, it solidified into estrangement. Or, the relationship was never as close as it could have been, and the gap just kept getting wider, until there was no relationship at all.

If you're estranged from an adult child, a sibling or someone in your social circle, and the estrangement is their choice rather than yours, you're probably feeling rejected.

Rejection is a powerful emotion that can lead to all sorts of defensive behavior, which in turn can further alienate the rejecting person. If someone has chosen to have little or no contact with you, it's important to acknowledge any softer feelings you may have about that.

“Why Is Estrangement Always the Parent’s Fault?”

I recently received the following feedback about the estrangement article on my website (which is not specifically about parents and children, but rather any estrangement).

It’s so similar to the theme of other comments on that article, and to those posted here in When Adult Children Won’t Talk to Their Parents and Estrangement Takes Two, that I thought I should address it.

A reader wrote:

“I have the same question as I have with all other articles I read:  why is it that the parents have to acknowledge and profess blame for everything?  

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Differentiation: “Normal” Estrangement From Parents?

young woman holding out her handDo you have an adult child under 30 who’s pulling away from you?

It could be part of a normal process of development called differentiation.

We all know that children eventually (or rapidly!) grow into adults, but not without going through some developmental stages.

It’s easy to see these stages in kids’ behavior when they’re young. For example, something they used to love is now boring, or vice versa.

But technically, all of us remain adolescents until we’re 25. Read More