Family arguments are horrible, whether you are involved or someone looking in. Disagreements in families often last for years. Grudges stick, communication suffers, and family events can become filled with tension. Some members of your family might try to avoid others, making events like weddings particularly tricky, and these arguments can cause hurt for far more than the people that are involved.
Photo credit Helena Lopes
To an extent, these arguments and disagreements can’t be prevented. Families are close, they all want the best for each other, but they don’t always agree on what that is. These arguments can become passionate, and it can be challenging to move forward. Most of us would be lying if we said we’d never had at least a minor row with a family member. But, sometimes, it’s so much worse than this. If a family argument has started to upset the entire family, or affect family events, whether you are directly part of it or not, here are some things that you can do to deal with it.
Some family arguments can’t simply be brushed under the rug or forgotten. They need resolution. You need to come up with a solution to a problem that is best for the parties involved and that everyone can live with. If your family is struggling to find resolution alone, you might want to talk to a family lawyer who may be able to help. This can seem extreme, but it’s often easier to get an outsider in to calm the water.
Be the Bigger Person
Sometimes, in life, and family, we have to be the bigger person. Instead of holding a grudge, let things go and move on. Be the person that says sorry and let things go, even if you don’t want to. Ask yourself if it’s worth being proud, or if you’d be better off being the bigger person and letting it go.
It’s also vital that you know how to pick your battles. So many family disagreements have grown from something small. Know what is worth arguing about, and what isn’t and only fight for what is worth it.
Try Not to Take Sides
If you aren’t directly involved in a family argument, try your best not to take sides. It can be hard not to get pulled in, but if no one else took a side, either way, the people involved are much more likely to move on and let things go. This can stop an argument dragging on for years.
Don’t Get Pulled into Gossip
Gossip is another significant factor in family feuds. People take sides. They talk behind each other’s backs, they gossip and share stories. This inevitably only makes things worse. Refuse to gossip. Don’t talk to other family members about what is going on, and take a step back if you need to.
Forgive and Forget
Being the bigger person to someone’s face is one thing. Forgiving and forgetting is quite another. But, if you don’t, things will drag on even if you’ve said sorry and agreed to move forward. Learn to forgive, or at the very least, forget.
Sometimes, there’s no resolution or way forward. Things are too hard to forgive, or you can’t agree. Sometimes our relationships with family members are harmful and will always be so. If you reach this point, giving up on that relationship and reducing contact is the best thing that you can do. Remembered you forgive them, and let go so, You can move on.