Are you and members of your family regularly arguing with each other? Is it causing big family conflicts and resulting in a tense atmosphere?
All families will have disagreements at some point. After all, not everyone shares the same interests or views, so clashes are bound to happen. Plus, when you live together, little things can become big issues rather fast.
But, many families can forgive and forget quite easily. As soon as they’ve had time to reflect, they often apologize and move on.
Yet if your family is unable to do this, then it puts a strain on relationships. You’ll find that arguments become more frequent and family gatherings become battlegrounds.
So, it’s important to be able to resolve conflicts effectively so you can still have a strong family bond. If you can’t, it’s likely you’ll all drift apart, which can result in heartbreak.
In this article, we’ll share some effective tips on resolving conflicts and disagreements so you can become a happy family.
1. Don’t Speak Whilst Angry
Let’s be honest, you aren’t going to resolve anything when you are feeling angry.
When you’re angry, it’s hard to rationalize things and speak constructively. Your judgment is impaired, and you start to act on impulses. So, it’s likely you’ll say or do something that you’ll later regret.
When police deal with angry people, they attempt to de-escalate the situation by removing them from the environment. By doing this, the person’s stress levels reduce, and the feeling of anger subsides.
They can then think rationally and start communicating more effectively.
So, if you feel angry with someone in your family, walk away for a while. Go somewhere quiet where you can calm down and assess what’s happened.
Once you feel calm, you can then go back and talk things through peacefully. By doing it this way, you’re less likely to end up in an argument and actually resolve the issue.
Related: 10 Signs You’re a Great Parent
2. Decide if It’s Worth Fighting Over
When you live with people, and the atmosphere is already tense, small issues can start to seem bigger than they really are. As a result, arguments happen over things that aren’t a big deal, and that wouldn’t normally bother you.
So, if you find yourself getting wound up over something, step back and assess the situation. Ask yourself whether it’s actually worth getting upset about and something that needs discussing.
If not, then leave it and move on. This strategy will result in fewer arguments and less stress for all of you.
3. Organize a Discussion
If you’re serious about resolving issues to improve your family relationships, then you need to organize a discussion. This is one of the best ways to work out problems and bring everyone together.
Too often, people bottle up their feelings and don’t express themselves. This can result in a tense atmosphere and even feelings of resentment.
So, identify a suitable time to sit down and have a discussion with your family. Let them know in advance that you want to talk about some issues, and they’re welcome to do the same.
Finally, write down some things you want to talk about beforehand. This will help guide the discussion, especially if things go off track.
4. Let Everyone Speak and Express Their Opinions
It’s important to let everyone be able to express how they feel without interruption.
One of the most frustrating things is when you’re trying to speak your mind and people talk over you. It makes you even angrier and often ends in big arguments.
So when hosting your discussion, make sure you allow everyone the chance to speak.
A simple method is to have a talking pillow. This works in that whoever is holding the pillow is the only person allowed to speak.
5. Actively Listen
When trying to resolve conflicts, it’s important to listen more than you speak.
By listening to each other, you’re able to understand other people’s points of view. This will help in gauging why they feel so upset and how they see the situation.
It may even change how you see things, especially if you misinterpreted their feelings.
When you’re holding a discussion, ensure that you pay attention to what your family member says. It’s important to keep eye contact and nod your head to signify you understand.
If you decide to look away or act uninterested, they’ll lose respect for you. Plus, it will end in another argument, and nothing will get resolved.
6. Remember to Speak Calmly
Even if you feel angry, you need to control your emotions to have a constructive conversation. Once you start to raise your voice, it allows tempers to rise, and the discussion is over.
So, it would help if you spoke in a conversational tone to prevent arguments from happening.
Even if the other person starts to raise their voice, don’t try to mirror them. By staying calm, you help them relax, and you’ll both be able to continue your conversation.
7. Use the Word I and Not You
It’s tempting to list the other person’s faults and what you feel they’ve done wrong, but this isn’t constructive.
If you start sentences with the word ‘you’, then they’ll automatically become defensive. Instead, you should always start with the word ‘I’.
When you do this, it allows you to express your feelings whilst not offending anybody. It’s actually a clever method, and people will start sympathizing with you.
8. Consider Seeing a Therapist
If you find that discussions are not working, then consider going to family therapy.
This is a great way to have constructive conversations in a neutral environment. When you’re at home, it’s too easy for people to walk off. Whereas in therapy, it’s less likely to happen.
Plus, a therapist will lead the sessions and allow everyone to express themselves. They’ll then be able to help resolve issues and share ways of avoiding family conflict in the future.
9. Don’t Allow Family Conflicts to Escalate
It’s important to resolve family conflicts, especially if they’re hurting relationships.
Family is important, and it’s great when you all get along. So, try the techniques we have mentioned, and hopefully, things will improve.
Finally, check out our blog for other great family and relationship advice.