Learn how to resolve conflict peacefully.
Family matters; it is important to resolve conflict. From birth, they are our foundation. They are our support system. They are our community. Each member gives and sacrifices for one another in some shape or form. Whether it is a mother carrying and growing a child for 9 months followed by eternal love and support or a sister or brother assisting a sibling with homework. Our family provides a helping hand, a conversation or a tough lesson learned. Again, family matters.
When we grow up into functioning adults, family get-togethers and holidays can be difficult. We are fully independent, yet perhaps everyone falls back into their childhood roles. One plays the bully, another goes along with everything, someone else is the victim and maybe one doesn’t even show up at all.
Often times, we decide to go along with it and just deal internally to keep the peace. It may only be two or three times a year we see these them but if we are in a stressful family situation, we probably know by now that “dealing with it” actually creates more stress. The holidays do not feel like PTO or vacation; they end up being more stressful than tight deadlines at work or an overwhelming pile of debt.
A time may come when we decide to no longer just “deal with it” and would like to address the issue(s) directly. Before doing so, read these tips and tricks to assist in having that tough conversation with loved ones and resolve conflict peacefully.
- Have the conversation privately.
- Keep emotions at bay; be logical and express how you felt due rather than reacting.
- Do not name call, judge or accuse. Seek to understand their perspective and motivations.
- Let’s be honest; some holidays have the wine pouring. Remain silent until alcohol cleared from everyone’s systems.
- Prior to the conversation, write and re-write a letter to them at least three times. Do not give the letter to the other party; throw it out.
- Last and most importantly, remember their humanness. Our mother and father are not just a mother and father. They are people and they do make mistakes. They are people trying to live their lives the best way they know how with the current information they have.
The other party of the conversation may not be ready to hear what we have to say. Give them the space to react, be angry or to fight. If they choose to be closed indefinitely, spend time remembering what you love about them and focusing on good memories. This may not be the resolution, but it will make it easier to visit home and spend time with the ones you love.
In the end, our family is our family. Under it all and through it all, we do love them. Although our family dynamics transform as we transition into adults, still, the family matters. They will always be a part of us and we a part of them. They are the original unit and the basic training grounds of our life and they contributed to who we are and we to them; find gratitude in this. Learn to resolve conflict and create relationship.