3 Essential Techniques to Resolve Family Disputes

Is your family constantly revolving around fights and quarrels? Conflicts are an inevitable part of a family. If you wish to put a halt to the perpetuating family disputes and are looking for ways to repair your relationship, here you go with three techniques that you might find useful.

Initiate the Confrontation and Frame Your Language Positively

How an issue is raised is the key to whether the conflict can be effectively resolved. The ever-accumulating negative feelings in constant arguments may cause people to react in a manner that manifests anger, defensiveness, or aggressiveness in the first place. Although often unintentionally done, this is detrimental to family relationships.

A rule of thumb is to act oppositely to what you would normally do when you are provoked. If you are annoyed with someone’s behavior, instead of blaming them, try to frame your words in positive languages to request a change. In other words, you can tell them what you want them to do or behave instead of commanding them to stop doing something. Meanwhile, try to keep the conversation more neutral which helps each other stay engaged rather than getting defensive.

If you are being blamed for something, instead of reacting with an attack or firing back, try to respond by directing the focus of the conversation back to your discussion, tell them you understand their point of view, and kindly ask them to hear you out first.

Such gesture allows the other person to have a calm moment and rethink whether they want to go on with the argument. This usually turns out well by providing the conversation with a “choice point”.

Define the Problem Mutually and Make Joint Decision

We all understand that the best way to resolve a conflict is to get to the root of the issue. What do we do exactly to arrive at the root? Polishing several communication skills might come in handy in negotiation.

● Do not feel ashamed to acknowledge and admit your fault, it is an act of bravery.

● A sincere apology is always appreciated.

● Do not be afraid to raise your concerns and state your needs, encourage your family members to share their opinions and feelings openly as well.

● Show the others that you are a good and active listener with empathy.

● Acknowledge others’ position and value their needs and point of view as much as your own.

● Understand the hurt that is previously caused to each other and promise to prevent it from happening again.

● Talk things thoroughly, examine each other’s role in the conflicts and brainstorm together for possible solutions and alternatives.

Remember, the generosity shown in our interaction will always see its return.

Move On and Heal

Conflicts could be heartbroken sometimes and repairing a damaged relationship could be the hardest step in dealing with family conflicts. Define what you can and can’t control, focus on strengthening the relationship and stop the vicious cycle.

● Do not drown in your sorrows. Forgiving is always an option.

● Allow time for change and growth, set up a time frame and evaluate the compromises and solutions from time to time.

● Keep expectations authentic and realistic, small actions can lead to big changes.

● Appreciate each other’s commitment and effort.

● Find common ground and shared interests for strengthening family bonding instead of focusing on the past.

No family is perfect. We argue, we fight, but at the end of the day. Love is still there.

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