Family problems can be very painful. However, there are ways to solve family problems and restore peace.
Here are some ways to handle family problems:
1. Wait until you’re not angry to discuss this problem
Family problems can be very painful, especially around family-centered times, like holidays. If your family members are arguing, waiting until everyone is calm can help keep the argument from escalating into a full-blown feud.
2. Deal with family problems in person
Trying to address an argument or family problem by instant messenger or email is the worst possible choice. In-person discussions improve your ability, awareness and inclination to filter.
3. Accept everyone’s faults, including your own
Understanding that family members have faults, but you can still love them, is the first step toward addressing longstanding problems. Try to understand why they might act or think the way they do, as it can be a reflection of themselves rather than you.
Accept your own faults, too. Accept blame when you deserve it. It can do wonders to be the first person to apologize even if you really, don’t think you did anything wrong.
4. Avoid the blame game
Keep your language positive when you talk to your family. Avoid using language that puts blame on any of your family members or that feels negative. Negativity is a vicious cycle.
5. Forgive any family members that have wronged you
This can be a very difficult thing to achieve. It is very hard to forgive a person, family member or not, whom we think has wronged us. With family members, such feelings can run even deeper.
However, ultimately forgiveness is about freeing yourself from the corrosive nature of the dispute. Forgiving the family member is about letting go of the past so you can build a healthier future that is free of tension and stress.
Remember that every human being is imperfect and needing of forgiveness at one time or another on life’s journey. That’s including you, probably, at some point.
6. Identify the real problem
Try to figure out what is really going on. Perhaps you are struggling with health problems or personal problems that you have been hiding from your family. Or maybe you are all grieving over a loved one who has passed away. Consider the real issue at hand, as this will allow you to then better address it.
7. Ask questions to draw out the family member
A good technique for digging out the root causes of family problems is to ask questions rather than making statements. Statements can feel judging to people, putting them on the defensive.
8. Open a line of communication
Poor communication is involved in many, if not most, family problems. Shutting out the family member in question or shutting down can be a big problem. It is hard to solve a family problem if you’re not talking. Be the person who reaches out first, no matter how hard that is.
9. Try to reach a compromise
Compromising means that you come up with a solution that both people can feel okay about even if neither gets exactly what he or she wants. A compromise is a good way to defuse a dispute or to address a family problem.
10. Talk to family members one-on-one
Instead of broaching painful family problems at holiday gatherings or a big family dinner, try to figure out who the conflict is really between. If it’s between you and one other family member, the rest of the family may feel very uncomfortable being dragged into it, because no one likes to be forced to take a side.
11. Call a family council
Although a lot of disputes can be handled best one-on-one, there can be times where you would want to get the entire family together to address a problem. This approach is best if the problem affects the entire family, rather than stemming from an interpersonal conflict with a few family members.
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