Dealing with problems and crises is more common than most people realize–especially in the family environment. After all, while strangers are often on their best behavior in front of company, family is where we let our guard down and reveal our faults. Furthermore, we feel more at liberty to criticize a family member than a stranger. These two factors together can create an environment conducive to contention.
That is precisely why we must learn to deal with familial problems effectively and appropriately, for the family is one of the most valuable treasures we have.
Learn how to dialogue and resolve family conflicts
Establishing a dialogue involves listening. Communication is always done in partnership (all individuals are active in the process). Communication is not a monolog; it requires listening and feedback. This is a very difficult point because whenever we enter into conflict we want to speak and demonstrate our point of view. However, for efficient results to be reached and for further contention to be avoided, both sides ought to speak and everyone must learn to listen.
Check the best time to speak
Talking is very important, but timing is always key. Learning to read the room and choosing a suitable time to begin a conversation is critical for successful dialogue. When one party is stressed or tired, it may signal that this is not a good time for a calm and honest conversation, especially if what you need to say directly affects the person. The ideal time is a moment of calm when the person will not be overwhelmed. Of course, putting off the conversation because "it just isn't the right time" is not advisable either.
Share your emotions
When the time is right, develop a frank conversation and reveal your emotions, open your heart. State the motives behind the conflict, how you feel about it, and how you felt during the time you were fighting.
By "fighting clean" and speaking frankly, it is easier to demonstrate how difficult this situation is for both sides, which leads to the restoration of bridges.
During the conversation (and after it), keep in mind that an argument is unpleasant for everyone, but it can be even more arduous if no one gives in. This can be a good time to exercise empathy and feel the pain of the other person.
Put yourself in your loved one's place, think of everything she or he heard and what he or she had to deal with. Try to rethink and see the situation from another perspective.
Recognize when you are wrong
Normally, we enter into an argument believing we are right, but that might not be an absolute truth–is there no possibility you might have been mistaken? Whenever you notice a mistake, do not hesitate to acknowledge it, for confessing a wrong can help you achieve forgiveness. This is an admirable attitude!
Do not be petty
At the time of the conflict (or when we are deeply irritated), we have a great tendency to throw mistakes and flaws in the face of the other person. It is at this time that we resurrect old mistakes, we put more emphasis on defects and everything else that can hurt the person. This is a bad attitude and can destroy relationships through hurt or unforgiveness. Control yourself and think well before you speak.
We are constantly erring or dealing with someone who has made mistakes toward us. The exercise of forgiveness makes life much lighter and has the power to unite the family, while the lack of forgiveness has the opposite effect: it leads to disunity and estrangement. Let us learn from Jesus and strive to exercise forgiveness as this can save the family!
Trust your Father
When put into practice, these tips can make a significant difference in your family relationships. However, of our own power, we can do very little to change our bad habits concerning problem resolution. The most important step towards conflict resolution is prayer—ask God to help you approach the conflict from a place of love, understanding, and forgiveness. Of ourselves, forgiveness is extremely difficult, but with the Father's help and with the remembrance of His love we can forgive as He has forgiven us.
Now that you know how to better resolve family conflicts, be sure to put these tips into practice and bring peace to your family. Do not let love grow cold and let us not give up on each other!