The pandemic didn’t only affect businesses and schools and force the shift to the remote working setup, but it also affected the different family models. For instance, older children moved back to their parents to save money and recover from financial losses. So, many families found themselves in each other’s presence for long periods again during quarantine.
Although this can be a time to reunite and revisit old joyful memories, it may also bring up arguments themselves. Family conflicts are okay – every family goes through them. But each member should recover from it. They can’t let the harsh situations get the best of them and destroy their family.
Luckily, by adopting these helpful tools and tips, you will be able to navigate family conflicts better. You will also value the reconciliation process and see how essential healing is for everyone. To successfully navigate a family conflict, consider the following:
- Go To Family Counseling When You Need It
By going to counseling as a family, you will learn the tools and methods that can improve the quality of your family relationships. It can also help family members who haven’t seen each other for a long time and re-establish their bonds. If you plan to consider this option, you can find many organizations that offer counseling services, such as Insight Northwest Counseling Bend Oregon, and similar ones.
Counseling sessions will allow your family to readjust their expectations of each other and bond in a safe, healthy familial relationship. Members will be able to grasp tools that will help them see each other for who they are and not what the family expects from them.
It also offers the family an unbiased third-party perspective on situations they struggle with. So, if you do not know where to begin when it comes to solving family conflicts, then consulting a professional is the best idea.
- Do Not Let Your Emotions Control You
Conflict can arise from a disagreement between two people because of poor communication. Each side firmly believes that they have been wronged and may even feel hurt – so they may feel enraged. But, it is vital not to let your emotions control you, even during an argument. You can do this by not throwing insults or degrading each other. Choose to calmly explain your side and allow them to speak theirs also. This way, you get to hear both sides of the story and hopefully provide a solution without throwing unnecessary hurtful words against each other.
If the argument gets too heated, it is also best to let the situation pacify and postpone talking about the conflict until both parties are calm. Otherwise, the chaos will only worsen.
Be the better person. Remember that arguments within the family isn’t about winning but being heard and understood. If everyone is heated and throws insults at each other, neither will be achieved.
- Make Sure Everyone’s Boundaries Are Clear
Each family member has their boundaries for all cases, including family conflicts. Actions such as not raising voices, insulting each other, or movements resulting in physical violence can be some boundaries that are unknown to some members of the family. Even younger members of the family can have theirs, too. That is why it’s crucial to make everyone feel heard and comfortable enough to express their feelings in a safe environment.
You can explain the concept of setting boundaries to your younger family members and then find out what makes them feel uncomfortable during arguments and everyday family interactions. This way, you encourage them to become vocal about themselves so the rest of the family can learn to become sensitive concerning it.
- Remain Calm
It is crucial to remain calm during family arguments because if you don’t, it can become an obstacle in the conflict. By remaining calm, you will stop the tension from escalating into a more uncomfortable situation for everyone involved. The point is to come to a peaceful resolution that can appease both parties or resolve the issues at hand.
If you feel you are not calm enough to navigate the conflict calmly, you can be honest about it and communicate that to the other party. You can say: ‘I’m not in the right mindset to have this argument. Can we talk about it later when I am calm?’ – by being honest about your feelings, you can hopefully mitigate the situation.
- Schedule Regular Family Meetings And Spend Quality Time Together
Spending quality time together as a family is an essential aspect of bonding. Schedule some quality time every week for the whole family to catch up with how each member is doing. Family time can also be crucial for some tabled arguments to resolve. The presence of the rest of the family can over the conflict from a third objective perspective.
Family time can also be a way to discuss each member’s boundaries and how the family can work together to make sure that everyone feels safe and respected. Spending quality time together also builds confidence in family members who may be shy to express themselves. You want them to communicate their needs and boundaries, and family time is a great way to cultivate that.
Doing this intention also let your younger family members see a healthy dynamic way to make your priorities heard within the family. They will, in turn, also learn how to communicate effectively with others.
- Listen Carefully To Each Other
Sometimes during arguments, things can get heated because one party assumes what the other person’s intentions were. One can conclude that the other person’s actions were made out of malice when it could be from a simple accident or misunderstanding. So, it is vital to listen to what the other person needs to say instead of attaching your assumptions.
If you need clarity on something, you can ask them outright. By doing this, each party gets the opportunity to clearly state how they feel and what steps can help to come to a peaceful resolution. To actively listen during an argument, remember to:
- Encourage the other person to let their emotions and thoughts be known.
- Reflect on what is being said. You need to understand where your family is coming from and how they feel about the situation.
- Validate the other person’s feelings. Know that this is their experience of the event.
- Summarize what they have told you back to them to see if you have understood them correctly.
- Take accountability and recognize the role you played in the conflict. Apologize if you are in the wrong. Humble yourself.
With this, you will be actively listening to everything the other person is saying and will, in turn, earn the same respect. There will be fewer misunderstandings, and peaceful resolutions to your conflicts are within reach.
- Think About The Future Of Your Relationship
Some arguments can arise from a simple misunderstanding and may not be worth fighting over. You can always think about the future if you sense that a conflict will occur. Ask yourself if what you are arguing over will matter the next day or next month. If the answer is no, then perhaps a simple discussion will suffice.
Your family will stay with you for a long time and are the people who know you best. It’s important to cultivate that relationship, and if the fight is senseless in the long run, you can even let the other person have their say. Just remember to listen to what they need to say and be honest about how you are all feeling without blaming and raising voices.
- State Clear Priorities
Establishing priorities can sometimes stop a rising conflict dead in its tracks. When everyone makes their priorities clear, sometimes the source of the issue can become a non-issue and can be resolved in a timely peaceful manner. You can set up some family priorities and individual priorities during a family meeting session.
Younger family members also have a voice, so make sure you also give them a chance to highlight what priorities they have. They will actively participate in the healthy family dynamic that they will, in turn, adopt with others. This way, everyone will be able to identify if a situation really is a conflict and work perfectly to resolve the issue.
- Focus On The Issue At Hand
During an argument, family members may attempt to bring up past issues. It is never a good idea because it only makes the conflict worse. You also shift focus away from the actual problem and make it hard to come to a peaceful resolution. If other issues get brought into the argument, address the most difficult first.
The most challenging issue is probably the root of the conflict, and by resolving it, you can prevent future arguments and misunderstandings. You can say, “You have brought up this issue. It has affected you. Would you like to set time aside to discuss it?” If the argument gets too heated, you can always pen it for another time when both parties have regained composure.
By following these methods, you will be able to navigate conflict within your family successfully and peacefully. You will create a safe space where members can express themselves openly and without judgment. Respect everyone’s boundaries, and if emotions get too heated, you can always pause the conflict and discuss it at a later time.
If everyone in the conflict is heated, no real peaceful resolution can be established. If you feel your family has a problem navigating sensitive issues within the household, you can always consult a professional and start going to family therapy.