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Navigating Conflict in Family Relationships

Updated: Dec 27, 2022


Getting together with family during the holidays can be a blessing and a curse. Conversations about politics and religion can really drive a wedge within a family circle.

Conflict within our closest relationships can be difficult to navigate. When it comes to family members, these issues can become even more complex. Conflict between family members can lead to a whole range of emotions, from anger and frustration to sadness and guilt. While navigating these conflicts may seem daunting, there are several steps you can take to ensure that the resolution process is peaceful and positive.


Acknowledge Everyone’s Feelings

First and foremost, it is important to recognize everyone's feelings involved in the conflict. This means attempting to understand how each party feels about the situation. Even if you do not agree with their perspective or opinion, it is essential that you show empathy towards them. This will allow everyone involved to feel heard and respected before moving onto the next step of resolving the conflict.


Focus on Solutions Instead of Blame

When addressing a particular issue or disagreement, focus on finding solutions instead of pointing fingers or assigning blame. This will help move past any negative feelings or resentments that have built up between family members over time. It also allows for a more productive conversation by focusing on what needs to be done in order to reach an amicable resolution. Additionally, it is important to remember that while one person may have started this conflict, all parties must be willing to come together in order for any solution or compromise to be reached successfully.


Set Boundaries

One key aspect of resolving conflict with family members is setting boundaries around topics that are off limits as well as expectations for future conversations or interactions between those involved. This means establishing ground rules such as no name-calling or personal insults when discussing disagreements in order to keep conversations civil and respectful at all times. Additionally, setting boundaries around future conversations can help provide a sense of security for everyone involved if certain topics are avoided altogether unless absolutely necessary.

Resolving conflicts with family members requires patience and understanding from both sides in order for any solution or compromise to be reached successfully. By recognizing everyone's feelings involved in the situation, focusing on solutions instead of blame, and setting boundaries around topics that are off limits as well as expectations for future conversations, you can ensure that the resolution process is peaceful and positive for all parties involved. With some effort and dedication from everyone, you can find ways of navigating through familial conflicts without compromising your relationship with your loved ones!


Get help from Dr. Jennifer Blacksmith, Behavioral Director, Behavioral Health Services a service of Northeast Missouri Health Council. 1410 Crown Drive, Kirksville, Missouri, 63501. Schedule an appointment by calling 660-627-3621.

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