Seeing people in your family fight can be really tough. Whether you’re involved or not, you might be feeling sad, angry, or even ashamed when your loved ones yell and scream at each other. There are a few techniques you can use to have a calm, civilized discussion with your family about your issues. If you need extra help, consider calling in a mental health professional for guidance.
Here are 10 tips for navigating family fights and ending them in a healthy way.
1. Keep your cool.
If you feel like you might yell or explode instead of talking calmly, take a walk around the block to calm down first. No matter who you are talking to, doing it in a calm manner will go much better than yelling or screaming.
You can also try breathing deeply or counting to 10 anytime you feel yourself getting stressed.
Getting physical is never a good idea either. Try punching your pillow or hitting a baseball a few times to work out some of your aggression before you talk with your family members.
2.Call a family meeting.
See if there’s a good time and day that works for everyone in your family to get together. Then, you can all meet up and talk about your issues.If you are younger, try asking your parents to call a family meeting and invite all your siblings.If the problem is with your extended family, consider asking them to talk over video chat or on the phone.
3.Listen to everyone.
That way, everyone feels like they get a say in what’s going on. Don’t interrupt, even if it seems like someone is lying or being dramatic—when it’s your turn to talk, you can bring up the stuff that’s bothering you.
4. Maintain neutral body language.
As you listen to other people talk, try to keep your face neutral and don’t let your emotions show. When you talk, keep your tone of voice light and try not to yell or lash out in anger.
5. Communicate your needs.
Express what’s going on with you so your family knows how to move forward. If anyone tries to interrupt, calmly remind them that you let them talk, so they need to do the same for you.
6. Use “I” language.
Instead of blaming your family members or calling them out, try to use “I” statements as much as possible. This can help people feel less defensive and more able to work through issues with you.
7.Try not to take sides.
Picking sides between parents, siblings, or extended family members will only make the problem worse. Listen to what everyone has to say, and try to offer unbiased advice.
8. Come up with a resolution.
Try to come up with something that everyone in the family is okay with. If you can’t come up with a perfect solution, pick something that everyone can compromise on, even if it’s a little bit inconvenient.
9. Leave the area if things get heated.
If anyone starts to yell, scream, or get physical with each other, take that as your cue to get out of there. Let everyone know that you can reconvene when they all agree to be civil and polite with each other.
10. Talk with a mental health professional if you need to.
If youare an adult in the household, consider talking to a family therapist. They can help you work through your issues in a calm, civilized manner to reach a solution that works for everyone.
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