Nothing good ever came out of avoiding a conflict. All it does is prolong the inevitable, and often, the outcome is a lot worse than it could have been. There are two types of families: those that avoid conflict and just fight all of the time; and those that find ways to deal with conflicts that don’t involve yelling and fighting.
Why are Family Conflicts so Difficult to Resolve?
There are several reasons why family conflicts can be so difficult to resolve. For starters, you all love each other, and you really don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. Also, you don’t want to say things that you can’t take back later. Unfortunately, the longer conflicts are left unresolved, the harder they are going to be to resolve later on. But, it can be difficult when you are so close to the situation.
It may be that you will have to bring in some sort of mediator in order to keep conflicts from getting out of hand. You want to resolve them, not make things worse and have a family full of people who don’t speak to each other. Family counseling is often the best way to resolve conflicts within the family.
The following are some of the things you can do to improve your family’s relationship with one another, and maintain a family that is emotionally healthy and happy.
- Think before You Speak – Words can really hurt, and once they are out there, you can’t take them back. Think carefully before you say something that might hurt someone, and that you might regret later on. Yes, it is only natural to be defensive during an argument, and a lot of things are said in the heat of the moment. If you feel yourself about to say something that shouldn’t be said, take a step back. If necessary, walk away from the argument until everyone involved has had time to calm down and think about things in a different light.
- Get Out of the House – Sometimes, you need to get away from your regular environment in order to settle conflicts. “Get everyone together in an area where they all feel comfortable, and where they are not all likely to start yelling and throwing things. Talking over a meal is a great way to settle disputes, and you get to enjoy some delicious treats while you are at it,” suggests Lisa Cathey, manager at The International House of Pancakes.
- Open Your Ears and Your Mind – It is important to learn how to hear what others are saying. You need to actually listen with both your mind and your ears. It is one thing to hear what someone is saying. It is another to actually listen and understand. Stay calm, keep your emotions in check, don’t interrupt, ask questions to show that you are listening, and don’t bring up other issues that may be unresolved, but also unrelated to the current issue.
- Look at the Problem – A lot of the time, we tend to be hard on others when it is the actual problem we should be dealing with. Don’t use guilt, blame, or shame to get your point across. All this does is create hard feelings, and then you will have even more problems to deal with. Take a step back and look long and hard at what is causing the problem, and then try to come up with solutions that will work for all involved. Arguments should not end up tearing relationships apart. Instead, look for ways to figure out the problem and tackle it together as a family.