We all want a perfect family but the reality is there is no such thing as a perfect family. There will be plenty of moments where the strength of your family will be tested. It’s moments like these where you have to have a softer and a much gentler approach. It’s bad enough that your family is going through a hard time, don’t make it worse by being rude.
It’s amazing how words can either make or break relationships so be careful with what you say and how you say certain when dealing with a family crisis. Your family needs your support and words of encouragement rather than criticism.
If there ever comes a time when your family is in shambles, remember that kindness and love will go a much longer way than bitterness and resentment. If your family members see that you are open to compromise and find solutions to problems, then they will get the assurance that you are willing to stick by them in their hard times. The strongest bonds can be broken with a few words so choose them carefully! Sometimes we say things out of anger and later go on to regret it. Your family is your blood but that doesn’t mean they won’t shut you out if you can’t see eye to eye whenever a problem arises.
Even a small issue can break families apart if both parties aren’t willing to sit down, communicate and come to a conclusion.
For example, suppose you want to move out of your parents’ house to live with your boyfriend and they disagree because you are not old enough and they believe you shouldn’t be living with a guy until your married. Situations like this is where you have to sit down and convince your parents that you are old enough and that waiting till marriage is unrealistic for you because you are not sure whether you want to marry this guy or not. During this time, you have to show your parents your point of you and your beliefs but in a calm manner. Yelling and shouting won’t go a long way at all, depending on the tone you are using they might ask you to leave.
Small issues like doing the dishes, raking the leaves or even doing the laundry can shatter a household. But why is that we take something so small and make a big issue out of it when it comes to our relatives? Well we take it personally because it’s coming from your loved ones. You paint this image in your head of your family that they are supposed to be supportive and always there for you no matter, but the truth is you’re not always going to agree on the same things. So rather than pushing them away here are a few tips for you and your family to through this bump in the road.
It’s Okay to Have Different Opinions in a Family
If you ever feel the need to confront a family member about an issue because it’s making you angry, hurt, and you just can’t keep it lingering inside anymore. You need to ask yourself a few questions,” is it worth bring up to them”, “is it any of my business”, and “ will it affect the family in the long run”? Everybody has different ways to go about things, that means they might not agree with you. For example, you might not agree with the way your brother parents their children. However this is also none of your business. It’s statements like this that cause huge misunderstandings. Telling someone you don’t like how they raise their child is the most offensive thing you can say to a parent. More so they know their kids better than you do so it’s not your place to be making such comments. You should respect their parenting skills nonetheless.
Another thing to remember is that your family members may not have the same traditions and practices as you. For example, just because your brother takes his wife and children to go spend Christmas at your parents’ house, does not mean you have to do the same. You can go see them on Christmas morning and be back in your home by the evening. You might also find that some of your relatives practice other religions or are atheists. Again, it is not your place to say anything! You can’t force your traditions, religion, and beliefs on others and you just embrace the diversity in your family that you are blessed with.
Think of Their Perspective Before You Even Broach the Subject
Try putting yourself in their shoes before even bringing up the subject of conflict. If you go into a situation without looking at it through the other person’s eyes, you won’t be open to having a discussion about it and trying to come to a common ground. You must give your family member a fair chance and try to understand where they’re coming from. Only in this way, will you truly understand the mindset of your loved ones. Walking a mile in other people’s shoes might even give you enlightenment about how to deal with this situation so that no feelings get hurt.
Use Kindness and Softness in Your Approach
Using soft and comforting words in a time of grief is always the way to go. While addressing a problem you must remember that in order for you and your loved one to have a conversation you must speak to them in a soft and calm manner. If they feel like you won’t attack them verbally, then it will put them at ease. You will be closer to solving the problem in no time.
Be kind in not only your words but also your actions. Nobody deserves to be spoken to in a rude and judgmental behavior. If you see your relative is going through a hard time than instead of making them more miserable, why not try comforting them instead? Offer them words of advice and support so that they don’t feel helpless and alone.
We must remember to treat other like the way we would like to be treated. If you want love and respect from your family then you must do the same in return. Remember, before you can make a change in this world you must first change yourself.
Avoid Harshness When Negotiating with Family
Negotiating with your family member might be tougher than negotiating in the United Nations! But there are certain things we have to remember when we are trying to come to an understanding.
Blaming and Finger Pointing
It’s always easier to point the finger at the other person and put the blame on them, rather than taking responsibility for your own actions. Instead of humiliating the other person, tell them how their behavior made you feel and what you can to do so that it is avoided in the future. You more like to get an apology as well if you go with this method. Expressing your concerns in a calm environment will help you get to the root of the problem or else it might just blow up all in your face.
Sometimes your family can’t help but to make remarks when they see something wrong. They only do this because they want to help you fix it and although they have good intentions at heart, it’s just not translating in their words. So we get upset because the last thing we want to hear is our relatives telling us what is right and what is wrong. You start to feel attacked and resentful towards the people that are criticizing you. There is no win, win situation here so it’s best to avoid criticism all together.
Nobody wants to hear advice they didn’t ask for in the first place. Giving advice and opinion on matters that are of not your concerns comes off as controlling, or an attempt to imping their freedom. If they didn’t ask for it, don’t give it!
Ultimatums only drive people further apart. When an ultimatum is used, it makes the recipient feel as though they have been forced to agree with their terms of negotiations because they consequence are so severe that they don’t really have a choice. This is an act of bullying! If you are going to twist your family member’s arm to the point where they can’t help but yes to all your terms and conditions then you can expect nothing but hate and resentment.
Gossiping to Others About the Issue
If you have a problem with one of your relatives, then go straight to them to discuss the matter at hand. There is no need to go around, or your friends and other family members and gossiping about your problems. To make matters worse if your relative catches wind about you talking behind their back they might feel betrayed. So, if you have an issue with a family member, go to them first before you go to anyone else.
No one likes to admit when they’re wrong, but if you enter into a discussion with the end goal of proving you are always right, let me tell you, it’s not going to end well! What you need to be concerned with is coming to place of common ground and mutual understanding. This involves being compassionate, humble, sympathetic and flexible when dealing with family issues. You have to let your vulnerability seep through and embrace the fact that it is okay to be wrong, it happens to all of us. Only in this way, you will find room to compromise and reach a solution.
Steps to Negotiate with Family and Maintain Healthy Relationships
There are a few steps you should take into consideration if you are on the outs with your family in order to avoid further aggravating the situation.
Decide what to discuss beforehand and how to phrase things in the kindest, most compassionate manner.
It’s better to go to into a battle full prepared then just showing up and seeing how it goes. Although this isn’t an actual battle, it might as well be called just that! It is important for you to sit down and dig deep and try to find the root of the problem. Once you have that figured out, note down how you’re going to express it, how this whole situation has affected you and how it made you feel. Remember you are going there to solve things not to make matters worse. Keep an open mind and try not to point fingers or put the blame on anybody.
Ask for a good time and location to have the discussion.
Ask for a time and place to meet and make sure all members that are involved in this fuss are going to show up, don’t leave anyone out so the matter can be right there and then without any future mess. The meeting should take place where there are no distraction and is a safe environment. Everyone present should put down their phones until the issue is resolved.
Talk, but listen more.
It’s important that you get your point across but it’s also necessary that you listen to what everyone else has to say. Everyone should get a chance to speak without being interrupted and all concerns are to be acknowledged and respected.
Seek to understand their side of things.
Put yourself in their shoes and see where they are coming from. You have to look at the problem through their eyes and understand why they can’t agree with you. When your relatives see that you are willing to put your ego aside then they too will try to compromise with you.
Walk away if things get too heated
Sometimes things don’t go as we hope. You go in with the intention of fixing things but it gets to heated for you to handle. In these situations, it’s better if you walk away from the toxic environment and hope for a better outcome the next time.
Find a compromise that appeases both parties
The only way a conflict can be put to rest, is if the solution to the problem appeases to both parties. That way everyone can move on from this nightmare and go back to being a happy family, not perfect but definitely happy.