Whether you’re part of a small or large family, family conflicts are a normal part of life and are bound to arise at some point.
Personalities, beliefs, values, and relationships can cause a great deal of disagreement within a family.
Although family conflict is generally unavoidable, there are ways that conflict can be solved in a mature, respectful, and healthy manner.
After all, it is important to remember that conflict doesn’t define the family, but the way it is resolved does.
Ahead we offer advice on how to work through family differences with maturity and respect in order to foster healthy relationships within your clan!
Tips for Family Conflict Resolution
Listening and Communication
Practicing effective communication techniques is key to solving family conflict, especially being an active listener. Listening allows us to truly understand what the other side of the conflict is feeling, while showing them that we respect and value their thoughts.
It is not uncommon for emotions to be running at an all-time high when in the midst of a family conflict. When emotions are flowing and feelings are hurt, communicating calmly is a very difficult thing to do, but it’s important.
Practice taking deep breaths and evaluating your thoughts before you communicate them out loud to the other party. The goal is to find a solution for everyone involved in the conflict, not to make personal attacks.
Lastly, when communicating your side of the argument, work towards only using “I” statements rather than “You” statements. Starting your sentences with “I” rather than “You” makes you sound less accusatory and focuses on your feelings rather than the other’s shortcomings. There will likely be less defensiveness in the other person if you practice this throughout the family conflict.
Effectively Identifying the Problem
Everyone involved in the family conflict has their own qualms, but there is a root cause of the initial conflict that is affecting everyone and needs to be identified.
By asking genuine questions and providing genuine answers when asked questions, you are more likely to get to the root cause of the problem. This will help the family to reach a solution that will benefit everyone while being more successful in the long run.
If you have done something that’s contributed to or escalated the conflict, owning up to your actions is the best thing you can do. Although it might be difficult at times, recognizing your mistakes and giving sincere apologies shows that you are serious about reaching a solution for everyone.
Additionally, it shows respect to your family members as you demonstrate you care for their feelings.
If Necessary, Seek Outside Help
According to the family law attorneys at Wilson-Goodman Law Group, sometimes families may need to seek counseling if conflicts are consistently left unresolved, which makes for a hostile living environment at times.
It is common that families cannot reach effective solutions on their own, and it is perfectly normal to seek help should that situation arise.
Seeking help may be as simple as talking to friends and other neutral parties, or may mean going to family/group therapy together. Whatever the situation is, do not feel ashamed or embarrassed about getting help.
Family conflict is simply a part of life, and it is bound to happen at some point. In order to effectively solve a family conflict, there needs to be clear and logical communication, active listening, and willingness to accept responsibility in some cases.
Following these tips during your next family conflict can help you to create even stronger relationships with your family members in the future, on the basis of love and respect.