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Get to know the friends/family
Think of it as an exam to study for. If you have to stop and ask 'Who?' when your step-family talks to you, it will add distance to your relationship. If instead you know the relatives, and their friends and teachers and co-workers, itŽll make a huge difference when you talk. YouŽll already be 'in the circle' and acceptance will be much, much easier. Keep a list somewhere, and add to it every time you hear about a new person. ItŽll make remembering them much easier.