Do you remember any family conflicts when you were a child? They were pretty scary things. Much of that has to do with the fact that you didn’t really have much control in these matters when you were younger.
But you’re an adult now. You can have much more sway if there are any problems in your family. If there are any family conflicts, the pressure is on to do something to get rid of them. Here are some of the things you should keep in mind if this is happening to you.
Remember the children
Think back to the first passage of this blog post. Family conflict is a scary thing for a child. Whatever action you’re taking, try to remember the child who are involved. Of course, the need to think about this deeply depends on the specific situation. If you’ve got a conflict, say, with your aunt, then children are less likely to be affected. But just because a given family conflict isn’t a divorce, it doesn’t mean that it will have no effect on a young mind.
Take a deep breath. Remember the importance of keeping a family strong, especially if you’re all close or in frequent contact. Are you sure this issue can’t be resolved by simply calming down and reaching out? If you haven’t spoken to this family member for a while, try saying hey. See if you can all have a discussion about matters other than the conflict. How are they doing? How are the kids? Otherwise, try your best to see their side of the disagreement. Empathy is key, here.
Consider a mediator – or legal help
Believe it or not, there are actually professional mediators out there! These “family dispute professionals” can be vital bridges when it comes to finding peace and resolution in such matters. Of course, a mediator may not always be who you need. If you’re dealing with more serious issues, such as divorce, child support and visitation, or violence, then you may need legal help. You’ll want to go to a firm who specialize in family law. Gillespie, Shields, Durrant & Goldfarb are an example.
“Triangulate”? Sounds a bit like a military tactic, no? Well, it applies to family conflict too. To “triangulate” is to turn the nature of something into something like a triangle – that is to say, introduce a third side. In other words, it’s getting more people involved, perhaps to get them to see both points of view. The problem is that people usually do this in an effort to get someone else on their side. This just risks spreading the conflict further. Don’t do it! This is important to remember in family matters because it can be easy (and tempting) to do.
Having a break
Like many conflicts that you have faced and will face in life, a cooling-off period may be all you need. It will help you think clearer. It will let anger dissipate. It’s better to start taking a break from communication before anyone in your family says or does something they regret. So consider taking some time out. If you can, find a way to make sure they know that you’ll still be there for them if something urgent happens.