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Family Conflict: Peace in the Valley

When families come together, we hope for joy, love, and bonding. However, it’s not uncommon to encounter family conflicts during these gatherings. These conflicts can bring stress and tension, but there are strategies to navigate them effectively.

Understanding Family Conflict Patterns

  1. Recognize What You Can Control: While you can’t control others’ actions, you can control your response. Dr. Kathleen Kelley Reardon suggests that 75% of how people treat us is within our control. Instead of reacting predictably, try a different approach. For instance:

  • When someone provokes you, avoid the usual response. Link your comments to their topic and then shift to another subject.

  • If you feel blamed, acknowledge it: “There’s some truth to that” or “I hadn’t thought of it that way, but I see your point.”

  1. Break Negative Patterns: Many conflicts arise from repeated patterns. We unwittingly perpetuate these dynamics. Focus on dissolving or resolving the conflict rather than “winning” the argument.

  2. Alter Your Responses:

  • Use “I” Instead of “You”: Shift from accusatory language to expressing your feelings and needs.

  • Recognize Choice Points: Identify moments when you can choose a different response.

  • Understand the Whole Family Impact: Consider how conflicts affect everyone involved.

  • Reach Out Instead of Withdrawing: Communication matters; don’t isolate yourself.

  • Work as a Team: Collaborate to find solutions.

Practical Tips for Family Conflict Resolution

  1. Accept What You Can and Cannot Control: Focus on your reactions rather than trying to change others.

  2. Allow Anger to Subside: Responding in anger rarely leads to positive outcomes.

  3. Seek to Understand Others’ Perspectives: Empathy fosters better communication.

  4. Use “I” Statements: Express your feelings without blaming.

  5. Prioritize Issues Worth Addressing: Not every disagreement requires a battle.

  6. Choose Your Battles: Some smaller issues can be let go.

  7. Encourage Open Communication: Create a safe space for family members to share their feelings.

At Commitment to Hope, we have experienced clinicians who will provide you with the tools to alleviate family conflict. You are not alone. Please make an appointment, and we will reach out to you to help you find family wholeness. We serve all of Ohio with either in-office or Telehealth appointments.

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