Relationships–one word that brings to mind love, laughter, tears, fun and jeers. But where there’s love, there’s also conflict. Conflict is almost intrinsic to relationships. Despite all the love, we find ourselves struggling in several of our relationships–especially those within our families. Even the art of storytelling uses it as a central motif. Fairy tales and mythologies have time and again demonstrated this recurring theme. For instance, Cinderella and Snow White had evil stepmothers, the Hindu epic Mahabharata saw the great war between Kauravas and Pandavas, and the Norse gods Loki and Thor could never see eye to eye.
However, renouncing a legacy or setting up a huge war might not be the wisest thing to do today. Having a straightforward dialogue would be more like it. So how do we diffuse tense family conflicts? Let’s find out.
Lend an ear
Imagine this: At a family gathering, skeletons get dragged out of the closet. Issues that were considered insignificant before, suddenly stare you in the face.
This can happen when people carry baggage from before. Maybe, if we let each other vent out our feelings–hopefully privately–an impending scene might be avoided. Initiate a dialogue and nip all misunderstandings in the bud before things get out of hand.
Sometimes, an altercation or dragging a conversation can actually blow things out of proportion.