As long as there are families, there will be some kind of family conflict. These can occur between the parents or it can be a sibling rivalry between the children. It is normal and healthy for family members to share a different opinion if it is done with respect.
If someone says their family is drama-free, they are lying or no one in the family can honestly say what they think. Unfortunately, most family conflicts arise regarding financial situations. Others are irritated by small offenses that have long been forgotten.
11 ways to reduce family conflict
The conflict has ruined many family relationships.
Have you ever been a reluctant party to a family disagreement? How can you stay calm, stick to the facts, and find an amicable solution? Here are 11 helpful ways to reduce a family feud and keep your relationships intact.
1. Take a break
When a disagreement within your family heats up, you can often reduce the situation by backing off for a moment. Remember that anger is the most comfortable emotion to display and generally masks insecurity and fear.
If you are caught in the middle of a family dispute and the situation is reaching the boiling point, you should take a break, use deep breathingand count to ten. This short pause can help you catch your breath and get a better view of the conflict.
If you feel like you need more time to collect your thoughts, it’s okay to walk away. When you have improved control of your emotions, you will be able to think and reason better with others.
2. keep calm
It’s not easy to stay calm when everyone around you yells and blames others. When someone is belligerent, human nature reflects their emotions and responds immediately. In these situations, your survival instinct kicks in.
Your body is flooded with stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisone, causing panic and anxiety, among other things. The best tactic to de-escalate a family argument is to stay calm. When you speak in a non-threatening, standard tone, it sets the stage for everyone else.
Avoid telling others to calm down because you will likely come across another series of hurtful words.
3. Choose your battles
You must prioritize things so that you know what is most important in your life. So it’s less difficult to decide when it’s time to get up and fight and when to let something go.
Think about your life and remember the main disputes within your family. Did the problems in question prove crucial to everyone’s life or were they trivial?
You can help reduce a conflict by wondering if this problem will mean something next month or a year from now. Don’t risk losing a precious family bond to meanness.
4. Lower the volume
Why is it when arguments escalate and tempers rage, does everyone seem to have lost their hearing? Raising your voice it is an innate human tactic to dominate others. When you believe that people are not listening and not meeting your demands, yelling can be your go-to force.
A strong voice is not going to convince others of your way of thinking. When misplaced anger and raised voices mix, it creates a hellish whirlwind of hurtful words and potential violence.
To reduce conflict in your family or with others, purposely lower your voice if you feel a flash of anger. It is easier to understand the points of view of others and solve the problem when everyone is not yelling.
5. Listen, listen and listen again
One of the major causes of misunderstandings and pointless arguments is that many people do not listen. Active listening requires you to be part of the conversation by using neutral body language, reflecting on the speaker’s emotion, and repeating what she said for clarification.
The golden rule for resolving a dispute is that each party is heard. Hear what your friend or loved one has to say without interruption. Show mutual respect and listen to each other’s points of view. It is the best way to resolve an argument.
Many buzzwords should be avoided when de-escalating a family feud. “Always” and “never” are indefinite qualifiers that generally make a statement more hostile. “You NEVER do your part and you ALWAYS screw everything up.”
These statements are not helpful and only fan the flames of conflict. If you have to address a problem with a friend or family member, “sometimes” it can make you feel less defensive.
For example: “Sometimes when we don’t divide work between us, I feel overworked and resentful.”
7. Express your feelings with “I”.
When you’re in an argument, the easiest way to put the other person in defensive mode is to start your statements with the word “you.” Saying something like “You are like your mother” can make things worse.
To de-escalate a family argument, be inclusive and make “we” statements. For example, “How can we better plan dinner when one of us is late?” “Can we sit down together and review the bills to create a more workable budget?
These statements show that they are willing to work together to find a solution and will avoid pointing fingers and blame others.
8. Keep complaints from the past off the table
Unless you have dementia or another brain condition, you can forgive, but you can never forget. Forgive someone does not excuse action. Rather, it returns the ball to the offender’s court and gives you the freedom to get on with life. While the offense may still be forever written on your mind, it will never serve as a tool of control or revenge.
During a family conflict, try to stick to the facts by hand. You will only add fuel to the fire if you start digging up problems from the past. It will not help the situation and it will only make you appear bitter and vindictive.
Often times, you can reduce a family argument by giving everyone a break. Take this time to think of ways to resolve the conflict. It may take a couple of hours or days.
The important thing is that they do not join in until the burning emotions have cooled down a bit. Agree in advance that everyone will have a chance to give their opinion without interruption. When everyone has calmed down, it will be easier to see possible solutions that you were unable to see due to the emotional storm.
Write the ideas on paper or on a whiteboard so that they are clear to everyone present. Now, civilly discuss the ideas to come up with a solution.
10. Be able to commit
Is being right more important to you than your family relationships? Many family disputes are never resolved because some people refuse to back down, apologize, or compromise.
You may get closer to a resolution if everyone involved feels that they have been heard and that their feelings have been validated. Of course, audience and validation does not mean they are right.
Listen to others and find ways to compromise. If the conflict is over material goods or money, ask yourself if your relationship is worth it. You can lay your head back on the pillow at night when you’ve done the right thing, even if you had to give in.
11. Bring professional help
Some family disagreements are multi-faceted and involve generations of ill will and miscommunication. These troublesome situations may not be the kind that can be resolved at the family dinner table. Before seeing your precious family, ties destroyed, reduce the situation with professional help.
Family therapists are trained and experienced in family dynamics and family disputes. Find a therapist you trust who makes you and your family feel comfortable. Your therapist is not there to take sides, but can facilitate a respectful conversation between opposing points of view.
Even if you can’t come to a resolution, you can still be courteous to each other.
Whenever there are people in a group, whether they are family, friends or co-workers, there will be conflict. Arguments are a normal part of life. Since they are so common, you must learn effective strategies to solve these problems without turning them into all-out war.
If you find yourself in the middle of a torrential family dispute, do your best to stay calm and work together to find a solution. There is a reason peacemakers consider themselves blessed, as it is not an easy task. Count to ten, think about what you want to say, and remember that you love the person.