How to Handle Family Conflicts Without Stress
23 Nov 2021
Family conflicts are usually very disruptive, and they can even affect people who aren’t directly involved. What’s more, they’re unpredictable, and they can happen to anyone. However, most conflicts occur when significant changes strike all family members, such as a death of a loved one, divorce, or moving out of the family home.
Whatever the reason may be, family conflicts are undoubtedly unpleasant. So, if you’re having trouble dealing with family drama, here are some tips you can use to handle family conflict better.
Never express your anger
When conflict arises, so does the temper, which often makes the situation a lot worse. Arguing with your family members won’t get you anywhere, so be sure to lower your tone and find other ways to communicate your feelings. Although you can’t change the way someone reacts to your emotions, you can at least manage your anger and calmly express your worries or dissatisfaction.
Respect differing opinions
Empathy is key to solving family conflicts. If you want to maintain healthy relationships with other family members, be sure to show empathy and respect their opinion, even if you disagree or want to find another way to solve the problem. Once you learn how to listen to the other parties involved, it will be easier to compromise, frame the problem and find the best solution.
Make your expectations clear
Conflicts can arise when family members don’t understand each other’s boundaries, rules, or expectations. For example, when your child wants to watch TV, but you say no because they haven’t finished their homework yet, did you inform them about your new rule before turning off the TV?
If not, you might want to clarify your expectations and find other ways to communicate that will help you raise emotionally intelligent children. The same technique applies when discussing boundaries, chores or plans with your partner or other family members.
Minimise or cut off contact
If you can’t find the middle ground or don’t want to spend time around disrespectful family members, it would be best to minimise or cut off contact until you find a different approach. Although there’s a chance that you won’t be able to resolve your conflicts in the future, it’s a good idea to surround yourself with supportive people and live a stress-free life, even if that means you have to cut off contact with a loved one.
Couples counselling or family group therapy can help you and your family find the middle ground and show compassion to one another. Luckily, there are many counsellors or family therapy centres in Australia where you can find a licensed therapist who can help you handle the stress and avoid family drama.
Set your boundaries
Setting boundaries is a great way to practice self-care and handle family conflicts. As mentioned earlier, you can’t possibly predict what the other person will say or do, but you can dictate how you respond to their words and actions. By creating safe boundaries, you will allow yourself to leave the conversation when needed or even cut off the contact if necessary.
Hire a lawyer
If you didn’t find the solution to your problem, it would be best to have a licenced lawyer by your side. Experienced family lawyers in North Sydney can act as a neutral party to a couple considering a divorce or help you resolve other family conflicts. They will make sure that each person involved gets heard and gets what they need to move on after a divorce. If you and your partner are considering a divorce, a family lawyer can make the divorce less painful and more manageable.
Never add fuel to the fire
As mentioned earlier, expressing your anger is not the best way to handle a family conflict. Instead, try to be polite and respectful whenever possible. For example, a family gathering is not the time to get back to the problem or start an argument with other parties involved. Instead, you can be polite during family conversations or minimise contact if all of you have to be in the same room.
What’s more, arguing in front of the children or other family members can do more harm than good. Instead, offer to talk about the issues when the kids are in school or give yourself time to cool off before reassessing the problem.
Healthy conflict resolution skills can help you handle family conflicts better and find new ways to minimise the stress. So, once you learn how to change your approach and surround yourself with understanding and supportive people, there’s a chance you’ll manage to repair the relationship or find the best solution that doesn’t affect anyone. However, keep in mind that minor conflicts can lead to mental or physical abuse. If that happens, seek out help and cut off contact as soon as possible.