The article is developed in partnership with BetterHelp.
No matter the size of your home, however, we can pretty much all improve our family relations in one way or another. If you’re in crisis mode, don’t worry—you can find your way to a happier, more stable situation. If you’re just looking for ways to improve, then there’s plenty here for you, too.
The famous Russian novelist Tolstoy once wrote that “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” This makes it hard to give generalized advice about overcoming family problems. Nevertheless, there are many universal aspects of family issues that tend to derive from the same problems and can be fixed in similar ways.
While finding a sense of peace in your family may be a real challenge, it is certainly worth the effort. Too many families have unresolved conflict that has only gotten worse over time. The last thing anyone wants is to not be able to reconcile before it’s too late—and we never know what life will throw at us.
So, read on to learn how you can achieve a healthier family dynamic by understanding the source of your issues, as well as four ways that you can work to improve them.
Your very first step before you can make true progress with your family issues is to understand where exactly they are coming from. Did someone wrong someone else? Has there been some kind of trauma? Is a teenager simply being a hormonal, moody teenager?
It’s vital to take the time to consider what is the true source of the issue. If you don’t know why the issue is ongoing, it’s much harder to properly address it.
This article will give you four useful ways of resolving your family issues, but if you need more guidance don’t hesitate to check out the helpful resources on family relations available online through BetterHelp.
There are many ways that you might work on overcoming your family problems, but these are four tried and true methods that you can put to work right away.
A common issue with families is passive aggressive behavior, which is ultimately a communication issue. When people aren’t communicating properly, issues are bound to crop up. One way to work on opening up with one another and being more transparent is by holding a family meeting.
No, family meetings aren’t only the domain of TV sitcoms. These can—and probably should—become part of your regular family routine. By opening things up and giving everyone a platform, you can nip potential problems in the bud and address ongoing ones.
One important aspect is to ensure that everyone has the chance to speak their mind. It doesn’t matter if it’s the youngest or a grandparent—everyone needs to feel heard otherwise the meetings will backfire.
Talking about issues is absolutely essential, making family meetings a great first step. That said, there are other, more fun methods. For example, doing something fun together can help diminish any ongoing conflict and will work to help solidify your family bond.
As with the family meeting, it’s vital to ensure that everyone is included. This means that you need to pick an activity that everyone can get onboard with. If just one person has no interest or feels excluded, you risk exacerbating any problems that may already be present.
It doesn’t matter if it’s something as simple as a pizza and movie night, by spending some quality time together and letting loose, you’re more likely to forget about the conflict and, hopefully, move on from it. This can be an especially good tactic for less severe family issues.
Sometimes we may get so caught up in wanting to “fix” our family that we may be overly focused on everyone else. It’s extremely important to be self-aware, however. Consider taking some time to reflect on your own baggage and how you may yourself be contributing to any tension or problems in the family.
This isn’t to say things are necessarily your fault! But as a member of the family, it helps to take a step back and assess your own role in the family. What in particular can you contribute? How can you help de-escalate conflict?
By taking the time to think about your own role in the family, you might have some important realizations that can better help you to improve your family relations.
Ultimately, you may get to a point where you should seek external help with your family issues. This could be a religious advisor, a trusted family member or friend—it doesn’t really matter so long as their guidance is good.
But if your issues are severe, it’s probably best to seek the help of a professional. Couple’s counseling and family counseling have helped countless families over the years. That said, everyone needs to be onboard with the idea. If just one person doesn’t want to participate in the group counseling, it may derail the entire process.
Whether you’re living in a tiny home or a mansion, you may experience family problems. It’s normal! That doesn’t mean that you have to accept them, however.
If left untreated, family disputes can lead to total heartbreak, like when parents and children are no longer on speaking terms. If you want to avoid this kind of situation, you’ll need to be productive.
So, whether you start holding family meetings, do something fun together, take time to self-assess, or seek external help (or some combination thereof), you can achieve a stronger family dynamic. It will take time and effort, but it will be well worth it to be able to look back on your family issues as a past problem and not a perpetually ongoing one.
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