Managing family conflicts: 3 essential rules

Lately I have heard the same complaint in which people report having family conflicts and do not know what to do to resolve them.

Given the recurring complaint, I associate the increase in these conflicts with the quarantine period, where people have adapted their lives at home and for this reason are having closer contact with their children, spouse or close relatives. Given this, there has been a significant increase in complaints of disagreements and disagreements, including psychological and even physical attacks.

From the speech of the people, I have the impression that they are “discovering” themselves in this period, since even aspects, characteristics and habits of the other seem strange, unknown and even absurd. People seem to be “by a thread”, in the maximum load of stress, demonstrating a lack of management in family relationships. In this scenario, the cases of domestic violence, spousal separation and conflicts with one’s own family members, including those of the spouse, also increased.

The question that does not want to remain silent is: did people get along but did not know each other?

We all know that relationships are complex and present constant difficulties and challenges.

However, I have observed that people rarely take responsibility for accepting their part in the sick dynamic, always being the other person who is difficult to relate to. To contextualize this theme, I make a metaphor of a difficult relationship like driving a car on a busy avenue at 7:00 p.m.

All kinds of means of transport travel through there and it is not uncommon for some of them not to respect essential rules for the good locomotion of all, such as increased speed, dangerous maneuvers and crossing limits. There is even a popular saying that in some situations we must drive for ourselves and for others so as not to put our own lives at risk. So are dysfunctional relationships, where one party is “passive” and the other “aggressive.”

At times, we need to be sufficiently mature in the relational system as a whole so that from there there is awareness and possible learning through practical example.

What is missing in relationships is the training of relational skills and the development of emotional competencies so that there is a balance. This is because in some relationships we can get rid of it, if it is an abusive relationship, but in other relationships we need to invest in education and the classic example is the bond with children.

As I said before, we can get rid of abusive relationships, such as the husband or wife, the family member who doesn’t leave their house and who meddles in everything, even imposing rules in a place that is not theirs.

Who never had?

The fact is that when we decide to share life with someone and especially if this relationship develops in marriage, we will have to relate to a greater or lesser degree with the family of the wife or husband. The package always comes with it and that’s why I’m very insistent that people get to know not only their future spouse, but also their family model, how they behave, how they relate to each other. It is necessary to know what ground we are treading on and who will be the extension of our family.

Yes, many times having a relationship is driving along an avenue at rush hour, where your favorite is yours, but the other person overtakes you as fast as possible and still honks in your ear (says the wrong thing) or makes some weird gesture. (dysfunctional behavior).

But, be it a son, friend, mother-in-law, brother, brother-in-law, relative or adherent of 1st, 2nd or 3rd grade, there will always be someone who does not respect the rules of good coexistence. What to do in these cases? I made 3 essential rules.

1. Cultivate dialogue

Talk, respectfully and empathetically showing that the rules of your house are established by you and that it is necessary to define and respect them. As I mentioned in a previous article, dialogue is so important that it can resolve a misunderstanding while assertively delimiting through nonviolent communication what needs to be defined. Unfortunately, there are people with little emotional and relational education who only see their “point of view” and who are not capable of putting themselves in another’s place. Even so, do your part, maintaining your emotional balance and keeping a healthy and respectful distance from the “incomprehensible” person. She still has a lot to learn.

2. Assertiveness training

This is an underutilized emotional and relational competence. In general, people are passive, aggressive, or passive-aggressive. Assertiveness can be trained and is directly related to the ability to communicate efficiently, to express clearly, authentically, resolutely, proactively, safely, directly and peacefully what is intended to be transmitted to the other.

3. Be tolerant, we are all learning

Do not make a storm in a glass of water, see if you are being intolerant or catastrophizing the situation. The slogan is to have common sense, to be tolerant, flexible to make agreements that can benefit everyone, making environmental readings in a more rational way and respecting the limits and space of the other. Tolerance is the ability to recognize in the other an equally legitimate otherness, where from those differences we have the unique opportunity to look at the world through the lens of the other.