The Stress Of Family Conflicts: How To Resolve Family Disputes Effectively?
Families stand as backbone for most of us and we feel settled in a comfortable cocoon, tied with love, when with the family members. However, every family faces different challenges and one of them is family disputes or conflicts amongst the members. There are disagreements, different lifestyles following, disapproval of elders or modern choices by the young generation that may lead to family conflict.
The conflicts arise much more when there is a transition or change like moving in or out of the house, relationship breakdown, divorce or separation, relocation, joining a new college, birth of a baby, serious illness or death. It is common to see such changes in a family but when there is a stress and fuss about it, arguments are most likely.
Understanding What Can You Control & What You Can’t
Does it happen often with you that you are about to visit your family members and you are already aware about frustrating conversations in advance? It could be a discussion about property, marriage, kids or anything else but you want it to be controlled. Alas, not their actions could be controlled by us. However, our response could be! And it is only our response which can take the dynamics into a positive space.
Professor and author, Dr. Kathleen Kelly Reardon, says that ‘Communication is like chess where every move one person makes influences the choice of the other. A good rule of thumb is not to say what you would normally say in response to any provocation. Try asking a question instead. If you let someone go on and on and that leads to anger, link something you have to say to his or her topic and then change to another.’
The Patterns Followed In A Family
In order to find how to resolve family conflict, you must observe the pattern of conflicts that often see repetition. Sometimes we act proactively and feel that it will resolve the argument, it’s actually more of winning the argument. Some unwanted and repetitive episodes pop up in the conversation that creates stress but we do not even notice because we have been there many more times in the past.
For example, sibling rivalry, similar questions by parents, political problems in family or property and land disputes.
How To Resolve Family Disputes Effectively?
1. Solve problems together instead of being hard on each other
Instead of throwing stones at each other and playing blame game, sit together and have a healthy conversation. The drama cannot sort anything. Things that could be done:
- Biting the tongue as it gives time to think before responding and getting into any trouble,
- Acknowledge that the family problem is mutual and in order to reach a common agreement, it is important to listen to every member.
- Reframe your problem as a family and think of a solution using ‘we’ statements.
- Be direct and set your priorities straight.
2. Giving benefit of doubt
A family has a lot of opportunities to test your ability by giving the members the benefit of the doubt. For example, if your spouse is late for some reason then don’t just take it on yourself telling, ‘She just drives me crazy.’ It is because there are a number of explanations that don’t even concern you. If the behavior is not common then extend them the benefit of doubt and believe them rather than getting annoyed and creating family conflicts.
3. There is a wide difference between person and problem
A lot of family disagreements show up when one cannot look into the problem objectively and take things personally. The sanest solution is to keep the egos aside, separate the problem from the family member and then solve the problem.
4. Calm and even tone
You could be as furious as you want but the family conflict resolution comes only when matters are discussed in a peaceful manner. This could be done only when you have a calm and relaxed tone as shouting or yelling can only increase the stress levels of everyone in the room.
5. Avoid Interruption
The feeling of void appears in a person when they are not properly heard or their views go off the track. In order to avoid conflict in families, it is needed that every person is properly heard without any interruption and given an equal chance to express their views. It is a simple and respectful gesture which shows that your family members matter to you and that they are above all the family disagreements.
6. Confirming The Solution With Everyone
Before finally acting upon the final decision, confirm with everyone and find if they are satisfied with it. It is essential to hold the grip of trust and love amongst the members. If there is a contract then you can involve everyone for a signature.
What If You Can’t Resolve?
Despite searching how to resolve family conflict and finding ways to do so, if the conflicts stand tall then you may look for the help of a professional. Understand the overview of family systems therapy as well as find what is family counseling and why you should consider it. This may motivate you to go for a family counseling session and improve relationships. In case you want us to help, message us at firstname.lastname@example.org today!