As a parent, you may have acted as a referee. When your children fought, you let them have it out or sent them to their respective corners to calm down until they could play again. Now, they are older, but they are still getting into it. They may have other family members involved making arguments a bit more difficult to control.
As much as you want to stay out of it, you can’t do it. It’s been your job to intervene for so many years, and now, it just seems like second nature. However, when you do butt in, it ends up consuming you. You’re left feeling horrible over the entire situation. Even worse, you may end up being the one that everyone becomes upset with when everything is said and done. It’s not fair, but it’s what happens.
Knowing what to do when there’s a family conflict is always hard. You want to help, but you’re not sure how. As a personal consultant, I hope that I’m able to help you so you can not only help, but come out of it without the damage you’ve experienced in previous situations.
Don’t Take Sides
There’s always someone who is wrong and someone who is right. Sometimes, both people have done something wrong and something right. It’s best to not join the conflict in a way that you’re taking sides. Just as you separated your children when they fought without taking sides, you will do that now. Instead of making them separate though, you’ll listen. Listen without judging. It’s hard, but possible, and if you can do it, that’s usually the best way to handle family conflict.
Come Out Sane
Getting out of family conflict without feeling mad, depressed and anxious can be almost a miracle, but you can do it. It’s important to remind yourself that this is not your fight to fight. It’s between the family and as much as you hate to see them argue, it’s still with them. Don’t allow yourself to be consumed by the turmoil. How do you do that? Once you are done talking to your family, do something else to occupy your mind. Get busy and stay that way, so you don’t dwell on what they are doing. By doing this, you’ll be able to get through the time they are arguing without boosting your own anxiety in the process.
Do What’s Right and Leave the Rest
Don’t waste your days dealing with the tragedy of others. Say what you need to and then step out of it. Just be sure that what you say you are proud of, so you don’t walk away with sad feelings that you shouldn’t have done what you did.
Apologize and Forgive to Move On
If you find yourself stuck in the moment, stop and apologize or forgive. This will make it much easier to move on. Remember, just because you forgive doesn’t mean you have forgotten, so you can protect yourself in the future.
How Personal Consulting Can Help
Not sure you’re getting the help you need from this blog post? Contact me for more help with a personal consulting session. With many years of experience as a marriage and family therapist, I can help you navigate this time in your life much more peacefully than you have in the past.