Some people assume that you just have to get along with your family members because, after all, they are family. But this is not always the case and just because you are related to someone does not mean that you can coexist harmoniously. In fact, according to the Miami counselors at Psych Blossom, family conflict is quite common.
But while some minor disputes within a family are entirely normal and tend to just resolve on their own, other times conflict can become a major issue capable of pulling a family apart.
What is Meant by Family Conflict?
When people live together, there is bound to be conflict sometimes. Not everyone will agree on the same thing and as they try to get their point across, arguments can occur (usually with everyone wanting to be heard at the same time). Although this can often be uncomfortable, upsetting, and frustrating, it is completely normal and is something that happens in every family from time to time.
Sometimes though members of a family will have personalities that just clash, and the conflict occurs on a more regular basis. It commonly occurs among siblings or even between parent and child, particularly when that child reaches adolescence and then becomes a teenager. During the teenage years, there is a growing need for independence and a separation from parents. It can be difficult for some parents to let go, which can result in arguments and negative feelings. So how can you deal with this?
Coping with Ongoing Family Conflict
In the heat of the moment and in the middle of a blazing row, it is hard to see anyone else’s point of view. When both parties are stubbornly refusing to acknowledge how the other person is feeling, it can make it harder to resolve the conflict.
Nonetheless, the best way to deal with ongoing family conflict is to take a step back and think about what the fighting is about. Is it really worth all the tension? Whether you are arguing with a teenage child or another member of your family, you should try to cool off before tackling the issue.
When trying to find a resolution, remind yourself that your goal is not to win the argument. Sometimes people will just disagree and there is nothing that can change that. Agreeing to disagree can bring the issue to a close.
Learn how to listen to each other and do your best not to interrupt when the other person is talking (no matter how much you want to). Taking turns to get your point across and putting your emotions aside while doing so can help. Avoid bringing up other issues that might still be unresolved but that are completely unrelated to this problem.
The best way to deal with family conflict is to be willing to make compromises. You cannot bend everyone to your will. This can be difficult for some people, especially parents who might find it hard to cope with the massive changes in a child who has now become a teenager and wants to be their own person.
Minor family conflict is completely normal and tends to resolve itself, but sometimes it can be an ongoing issue and one of major significance. Unless it is dealt with in the correct manner, it can become a big problem within the family, with some members refusing to even speak to each other. Dealing with family conflict takes time and effort as well as a willingness to compromise on both sides of the argument. Staying calm and listening to each other is therefore especially important.