Family disagreements are not exactly rare, let´s face it – and that´s no surprise really. Just because you are related to someone does not automatically mean that you get on with them. The problem is when family disagreements escalate and things turn really nasty, and even if you´re not directly involved you can get dragged in. So here are some tips that can help you handle family conflict.
1. Stand Firm
Often one person in the family finds themselves cast in the role of mediator, and spends their time trying to pacify others. This can mean that you end up supporting a position that you don´t believe. Sometimes it´s better to handle family conflict by refusing to be the diplomat, as otherwise you may keep covering the same old ground. Standing firm means that others have to acknowledge your opinion on the matter.
2. Tailor Your Approach
If ever it were true that a one-size-fits-all approach doesn´t work, this may well be the case when it comes to family disagreements. What works with your sister may fail miserably with your mother. Sometimes the best option is to adopt a different method for each person.
3. State Your Position
Do you have a relative who is free with their opinions, but never even stops to think that yours may differ? If your viewpoint on something is not the same, then don´t be afraid to state your position, whatever it is. We shouldn´t have to hide what we really think, and doing so can actually be counterproductive, leading to resentment on your part.
4. Don´t Be Bullied
Family members often employ emotional blackmail when disagreements occur, and try to get you on side, even if you´re not directly involved. Don´t allow them to intimidate you in any way, as they´ll think they can do that again. And they´ll probably be right.
There are some situations where the best option is to be totally honest, and say so if you don´t agree with someone. Honesty may not be appreciated, but can save you an awful lot of stress in hiding your feelings! However, this approach may be best employed if you are able to agree to disagree on the subject.
However, sometimes the opposite is true, and taking a diplomatic approach is the best method of dealing with family disagreements. Not everyone appreciates honesty, and can take it as personal criticism. With sensitive people and situations, your opinions may be best presented as diplomatically as possible.
7. Offer Solutions
If your family are prepared to be reasonable, then offering suggestions as to how the conflict can be resolved can be productive. Often we get so caught up in the emotional side of the issue that we can´t see how to resolve it. However, maybe someone else can offer a solution that will keep everyone happy.
However hard you try, there are times when it´s just best to walk away from the problem, for your own sake. Some family problems cannot be resolved, and people can be very stubborn about insisting that they are in the right. Putting some distance between a difficult relative can be the only practical way of dealing with them.
Knowing how to handle family conflict is a tricky matter, and the methods have to be carefully chosen. None of us want to deal with family arguments, but unfortunately it´s bound to happen – no family is completely harmonious! Have you ever experienced family disagreements that just couldn´t be mended?
Top Image Source: Drama Queen NYC