Family Fights: How to Solve Disputes in Your Family

There are lots of expressions about family, including that you can't choose yours and that blood is thicker than water. But, while it would be wonderful if we could get on with our families all the time, sometimes you have disputes and disagreements. Even if you love each other very much, you can find yourself having huge rows with your family members that lead to falling out, and sometimes even losing touch. Some family members decide that they're better off having minimal contact with each other. But others want to fix their relationships and not allow their disagreements to come between them. If you ever need to solve a family dispute, try some of the advice below, which could help you navigate a sensitive issue.


Take a Break to Think

Whether you're arguing with your child or an adult in your family, it can help to take a step back and think about everything. You, or whoever is having the dispute, should spend some time considering their thoughts and actions, as well as those of the other party. Sometimes, merely reflecting on the issue will cause you to change your mind. You can see things from the other person's perspective or even just cool off and realize that the argument isn't worth having. You can try to identify any wider issues and examine your thoughts and feelings before you address them with the other person.

Open Communication Channels

If you want to resolve conflicts within your family, everyone needs to be willing to communicate and work towards a solution. The first thing you need to do is get all parties involved to agree to talk and try to work out their problems. If you're not one of the people participating in the argument, you could offer to act as a mediator who helps them to talk to each other while remaining independent. However, if you don't think that you can take this role without picking someone's side, it's best that you stay out of it. If people want to communicate to resolve their differences, it's important that they listen and try to empathize and understand, as well as getting to have their say.

Talking isn't the only way of communicating, however. If your family don't feel like they're ready to have a face-to-face conversation, they could also write to each other. Writing down your feelings can be easier than saying them out loud, and you can take your time to express yourself more openly. Writing can give you time to think, and stop you from saying hurtful things in the heat of the moment that you might later regret.


Consider Professional Help

If your family are finding it impossible to reconcile alone, you could consider seeking professional help. This help could come in several forms, from talking to Birmingham, Manchester or London family lawyers to going to family counseling. Sometimes you need an outsider, and especially someone with experience, who can mediate between you. A counselor will ask the right questions and get everyone to open up about their feelings. They can help people work through their issues, both as individuals and in relation to each other. Someone who isn't a member of your family and is qualified to mediate between you is in a better position to point out things you might not have considered. They can suggest ways to fix things too.

Don't Get Everyone Involved

When two or more family members are arguing, it can be beneficial to talk to others and ask them for advice. They can help to give a sense of perspective and suggest solutions for resolution. They may even be able to help you see the other person's side and assist you to forgive and forget. However, make it clear that you want to make things better, and be wary of people who might gossip. And although you can ask for advice, don't get everyone else involved in the argument. You don't want everyone to take sides and to blow the disagreement up into an even bigger thing, with warring factions of the family. It can be easier to see each other's positions if you don't have other people making it "us against them".

Forgive and Forget

There are many cases where it might be best for both people, or even just one person, to agree to forgive and move on. If the argument is about something that has already happened and can't be changed, falling out over it will only ruin your relationship. Of course, forgiveness doesn't always happen automatically, and it might take some work. You might decide to step back and take some time to work through your feelings, allowing you to reconnect more slowly. The parties could try laying out their feelings and opinions, but rather than arguing about them, move on and agree to disagree. However, this isn't always an option, and there are many problems that should be resolved instead of being allowed to fester.

Go Your Separate Ways

On rare occasions, it's not possible to resolve a family dispute and family members should consider cutting off contact from each other. These are likely to be extreme situations, such as when one party feels that the other has put them in an abusive situation. If someone feels that their relationship is physically or emotionally abusive, the best option is often to end the relationship.

People are often disapproving of cutting family ties, particularly when children and parents are no longer in touch, but sometimes it can be the only option left. Families can be beautiful, but being related by blood or even choosing your family doesn't guarantee a healthy relationship. Although no one wants to consider it, sometimes family members must go their separate ways so they can have happier lives as individuals. However, this is a drastic option that you should only consider in situations where the relationship can't be repaired. If you find yourself in such a situation, remember to seek support so that you don't have to go through it alone.

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