Estrangement is surprisingly common – so how can the injured parties put their differences aside?
Harry and Meghan have apparently severed links with the royal family and moved halfway across the globe. Nicole Kidman has been allegedly snubbed by her two eldest Scientologist children. Angelina Jolie has a difficult relationship with her father Jon Voight – it probably doesn’t help that he’s Donald Trump’s favourite actor… We hear about these high-profile estrangements and assume it’s either media hype or that these family fallouts are unique to the rich and famous. But Karl A Pillemer, a professor of human development at Cornell University, says it’s actually rare to find a family that has never been touched by a deep and painful rift.
“Estrangement is strikingly and surprisingly common,” says Pillemer. He conducted a random survey of 1,340 individuals. He found that “more than a quarter reported that they themselves were estranged from a close family relative”. He defined that as having no contact with the relative whatsoever. The figure was much higher than he had anticipated. “For most of that 27% it was not a case that they had simply drifted apart, it was a significant estrangement about which they felt upset.”
Think of your time as limited and you are more likely to act
Neither of us could apologise. We just started out again