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How to Handle Your Family Conflicts and Stress

How to Handle Your Family Conflicts and Stress

Spending time with your family can be relaxing and soothing, especially when you go through difficult times. At the same time, some people feel more stressed than relaxed when they think about spending time with their families. And this is mostly because there are a lot of past conflicts that have not been addressed yet. Or because at every family gathering conflicts arise and things can get nasty. 

Going through this constantly can turn to be quite stressful. It is your own family, so they are important to you. Seeing them fighting, not agreeing on simple things, and always blaming others is distressing. 

Relationships can thus be compromised, trust lost, and never will be the same again. There will be tension and the elephant in the room no one wants to talk about. Handling family conflicts is a challenge you need to face to make family visits and gatherings more pleasant and positive. 

  1. Set Clear Expectations 

One of the reasons most conflicts arise is because one party or both have expectations from the other party that has not made public to them. And so, everyone expects the other to do something and when the other one has not fulfilled their expectations, frustration and anger appear. They can be latent or expressed, but they are the root of all conflicts. 

One healthy way to handle family conflicts, that come with stress as they happen, is to set clear expectations and rules and to make them public. Do not assume that your family knows what you want. They have their own problems to bother about. But for sure they will be open to listen to your expectations and try to fulfill them, only if they know about them. 

Take the time to communicate openly with your family and agree on plans and activities by taking all your expectations and wishes into consideration. Like this, you prevent that tension that can ruin relationships to appear. 

  1. Cool Down First 

However, sometimes it does not matter how much you communicate. You also depend on your family to listen to you attentively and consider your opinion. Besides, conflicts are not a bad thing, as if they happen, it means that both parties care. They simply do not know how to communicate assertively and mistakes happen on the way. 

So, conflicts will arise from time to time, no matter how much you try to prevent them. There might be reasons such as burnout, depression, or fatigue that can make someone itchy, cranky, and fastidious. The first step you need to make to handle family conflicts in a healthy way is to choose to cool down first. 

Leaving yourself prey to negative intense feelings might cause you to say or behave in a way you might regret later. Anger and frustration should be first accepted and handled. Because if you react impulsively and out of anger, you can ruin your family relationships. 

As you cool down, you get a wider perspective on the problem, the conflict, and you will be able to handle it calmly and healthily. 

  1. Find Strategies to Solve the Conflict 

One important thing to keep in mind when you find yourself in the middle of family conflicts is that you should aim to solve the conflict. People often forget that they are arguing with their family and are led by their desire to win the argument. This is wrong as it clouds your cognition and you will solely focus on proving yourself right. 

Keep in mind that there should be respect among family members and that you do not have to agree on everything. People are different and have different opinions on the same things, which is another common source of conflict. Instead, try to understand the other’s point of view and respect it, while trying to reach a common point. 

Many strategies can help you handle family conflicts, which can turn out to be quite stressful, healthily, and successfully. All parties need to be open to discussing and not to avoid it. Conflicts are not bad things. Not talking about them, avoiding, and behaving as nothing has happened is bad. 

So, take the time to discuss with your family what bothers you and share your opinion on the conflicts that have aroused. Do this after you cool down, as anger is not a good counselor. Listen attentively, put yourself in other’s shoes, and find agreement. 

  1. Choose Flexibility 

No one says that you should always do what your family wants to. But an inflexibility that characterizes all parties can lead to even more conflicts. Knowing and learning how to handle last-minute changes is important, as you keep stress away. 

If you think about it, maybe you have found yourself stressing about things you cannot control or change. This comes with stress, and stress makes you more prone to feeling intense negative feelings. As some things already happened, you cannot control or change them anymore. But you can change the way you react to these and you can express new expectations and agree on new rules. 

Flexibility allows you to handle conflicts and stress in a good way. It teaches you how to prepare a better future by learning from the present mistakes. All you must do is communicate openly and collaborate, not to avoid conflicts. Compromise is helpful, but be sure that others understand the efforts you make for them. 


Family conflicts come with a lot of stress, which can have negative effects both on your physical and mental health. On top of this, unsolved family conflicts can ruin relationships and erode trust, which is so hard to be won back. Knowing from the start how to handle conflicts when they appear, as they will surely do, can help all your family members learn conflict resolution techniques. Set clear expectations and communicate them openly.

Find strategies to solve the conflict and always take your time to cool down before you engage in a conversation. Be flexible, open to compromise, and set rules for the future. Do not bother with things you can no longer change, but use them to build a better future. 

Author Bio:

Thomas Lanigan has working experience for 4 years at dissertation writing services as a marketing specialist, social media manager, writer, journalist, and editor. Also, he is a professional content writer in such topics as social support, social skills, conflict resolution, communication. 

This article was submitted exclusively to CrystalWind.ca by Thomas Lanigan.

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