Every family will experience conflicts at some time or another throughout a life time. Special occasions, events, and holidays can be difficult when family members are at odds with each other due to unresolved issues. Attempting to resolve problems within a family always leads to a happier and healthier family dynamic. The next time you are facing an issue in your family – try following these 5 Tips.
1. Remind Yourself…The Problem is the Problem, Not the Person: When we are at odds with a family member, just hearing their name can make us have feelings of anger and distress. We can lose sight of what the problem is and begin to hate the person. Anxiety and anger can cloud our judgment and ability to reason. Stay focused on what the problem is and what specifically happened. Remember, we are all capable as human beings to hurt others in some way. Take a minute and imagine if you were the one who did the wrong and how that may feel. The person you are in conflict with will be in your family forever, the problem causing the conflict only exists as long as the family allows it to.
2. Own Up to Your Part: Take some time to think about how you may be contributing to the problem. Sometimes the pain is so overwhelming that we can’t see where we may be contributing to the problem, or our part in the problem may not be clear to us. Perhaps your part is that you feel stuck and can’t forgive and move forward. Perhaps you are avoiding addressing the issue because you prefer not to engage in drama, or maybe you simply hate conflict.
3. Have a Resolution Idea Before the Confrontation: Think of at least two ideas of how you think the problem can be resolved. Next, schedule a meeting with the family member or members and state the problem, own your part, listen to what they have to say, and offer your ideas for resolution. Be willing to hear their ideas and work together to come to an agreement. If the entire issue can’t be resolved in one meeting, set a time to meet again and continue the process of working toward complete resolution and restoration of the relationship. Let the other person know that restoration is important to you.
4. Realize It Takes Two: A relationship does not exist without more than one person. It takes two to fight and two to make up. Sometime we simply can’t resolve an issue no matter how hard we try. We have to accept the fact that at least for the present time, the relationship is over. This is challenging in a family because you may be forced to spend time with them at family functions throughout your life time. When this happens, make sure you have peace that you have tried your best and then work toward managing your emotions at family events so can enjoy yourself. Remember…the only person you can control is You!
5. Seek Counseling When Needed: Sometimes, people are so emotionally hurt or the issue is so complex that an objective third party is necessary to help both family members have a voice and work together to resolve issues and restore the relationship. When you feel like you have tried to mend the relationship with no success, try suggesting that you and the other family member or members schedule a counseling session together. Remember, the bottom line is restoring the relationship and enjoying peace and harmony in the family. Healthy relationships are part your overall mental and emotional well-being and learning to resolve conflict is a life skill we all need to develop.
There is Hope for Healing that leads to Harmony in Life through Counseling!