Let’s face it, families are not perfect. At times our families can seem more like Animal Kingdom than the Cleavers.
Conflict within family is inevitable. Our family members have a unique way of “pressing our buttons” better than anyone in this world. Family strife is difficult and hurtful. They know us best. They know our weaknesses and insecurities and at times words can fly like daggers and cut our very being.
Hurtful or sarcastic comments said in anger can be a catalyst for a family feud. Past resentments can creep in and further erode an already deteriorating relationship. While the desire to have a loving family relationship with your loved ones is a long held hope, the reality is that some people just don’t know how to move past the conflict.
Forgiveness, insight and good communication are key in unraveling the root of family conflict.
Forgiveness: When thinking about forgiveness, some may feel when we choose to forgive we are indicating the action taken against us is acceptable. That is simply not the case. Forgiveness is a choice and is continuous. Forgiveness releases you from being held in bondage to the situation. When we hold on to anger, it affects every part of us. It produces roots of bitterness that affects our minds, bodies, and current and future relationships.
Insight: Often times, we see ourselves as victims and fail to recognize how we contribute to conflict. Honesty hurts at times, but is necessary. Being true to ourselves and understanding the underlying motivations behind our actions is key in developing self awareness. This is a difficult process. Many never achieve it, but once we are willing to take a hard look in the mirror and identify some of our own failures and possible selfish ambitions, we are better able to understand how our interactions affect others.
Good Communication: We have developed communication patterns over the years which can either help or hinder interactions with our family members. Communication between family members can be complicated. Relatives can have difficulty listening and understanding each other because of the burden of long existing preconceived notions. Communication breakdowns are the root cause of so many conflicts. In order to communicate effectively one must enter the conversation without the cloud of preconceived notions. We must be actively engaged in the conversation and truly listen and understand what the other person is saying before responding. Responding based on preconceived notions and without truly listening is a recipe for misunderstanding and conflict.