Solve your family problems
11:34:1 2024-05-13 203

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.

  • Don't discuss the family problem when you're still feeling upset or emotional. If you wait even a single night, the intensity of the emotion is likely to subside somewhat, even if you're still unhappy.
  • Waiting allows you to approach the issue logically, rather than emotionally. If you take a step back and give yourself some time to think before dealing with the issue, you won’t deal with it so reactively.
  • Approaching someone when you are angry will heighten the intensity around an already tough situation. There's no reason you can't wait to make your point tomorrow, so control your instant impulse.


2- Deal with family problems in person. We've all been there; we've all sent off a text or email that we wish we could take back. 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.

  • That's because tone can too easily be misperceived by electronic communication. You might not think you sound angry, but you might sound angry by text to the person receiving it.
  • Instead of sending off a text, pick up the telephone or, better yet, arrange an in-person meeting. Electronic communication means people lose the touchstones of body language, which can convey empathy and reduce the sting of a painful conversation.
  • People say things by electronic communication that they would never say to another person's face, which is another reason to avoid it.


3- Accept everyone’s faults, including your own. They say that blood is thicker than water, and that you can choose your friends, but not your family. You might be able to cut people out, but it could cause you more pain down the road.

  • 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. Try not to see family issues as all or nothing equations where someone is wrong and someone else (perhaps you) is right. Instead, try to perceive the gray areas. Nuances are exciting!
  • It can do wonders to be the first person to apologize even if you really, truly, don’t think you did anything wrong. Say something like, “I can see you’re upset, and although this has been hard for me too, I am sorry. I really want to fix this, so let me know how I can do that.” That way if the family member continues the feud, at least you can say you took the high road.


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.

  • That means avoiding judgment words or name calling of the family member. It means avoiding accusatory words that are said in an angry tone. Blaming other people will make them defensive and prone to counter attacking, which will make the argument worse.
  • Avoid the need to “win” the argument about the family problem. Instead, try to accept that there are two, or more, ways to see the point. Develop a plan for solving the problem together. Then, focus on organizing activities where you can have fun together, avoiding anything that could serve as a “trigger,” reigniting the problem. Explore new sides of your family members and new ways of relating to them.
  • Keep your tone and voice calm and modulated, not raised and upset. Calmly and methodically explain your points, but with empathy for the other person. Always try to put yourself in the family member’s shoes. Make attempts to cool down the argument by throwing out conciliatory comments, like, “I see your point.”


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.
  • Tell the family member you forgive him or her if the family member has readily admitted blame for whatever is causing the problem. Say this with empathy. It will go a long way.
  • 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.


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