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Resolving Family Conflicts the Positive Way

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Resolving Family Conflicts the Positive Way

 

Families are a wonderful thing. They can be your fountain of selfless and unconditional love, refuge, comfort, support, and inspiration. They can be your greatest ally, even when the whole world seems to turn against you. Having a loving family almost always means having someone to share your feelings, thoughts, dreams and aspirations.

Unfortunately, no relationship, even the ones founded on selfless and unconditional love, can be absolutely free from conflicts. This is because few families seldom meet the ideal requirements for a perfect unit. When unresolved conflicts continue to distress your family, watch out!  These can result in your home being a breeding ground for stress, anxiety, and frustration, as well as misunderstanding, anger, and distressing family dynamics.

Just like the fingers on your hand, family members are different from each other. Despite the commonalities that you may share, there will often be distinct personal traits that can set you apart from one another. With the strong emotions it can stir, conflicts can be a powerful force to face or reckon with, so that hurting words can be hurled without care and actions can be done with total recklessness. 

Thus, individual differences can immensely contribute to a family’s struggle. Know, however, that your family is not helpless against conflicts. There are proactive ways to improve your communication to resolve issues or “nip them in the bud” before they put your precious relationships in a quandary. One positive way is by family therapy or counseling.

 

The Roots of Conflict

 Having individual differences could be the most basic reason why conflicts are bred in a family. Even when the members share a lot of similarities – faith, values, love, experiences, etc. – things can change as each of you evolve into unique individuals. It is important to note, though, that differences can only damage or destabilize relationships when the varying viewpoints are being presented in an unhealthy and/or threatening manner.

For instance, sibling rivalry can ensue between brothers and sisters if they allow their hurt egos to impact their decisions, words and actions. This is because a hurt ego can cause someone to think irrationally – a dangerous ground for the presentation of differences. A family member’s desire to advance their need or interest can breed misunderstanding if this is being done at the expense others or without respect for the rights of the other family members.

Conflicts can also rise when there is a power struggle or there is fear that influence or authority can slip through their fingers.  This can put a wedge between you in these classic scenarios: 1) some members aim to dominate the marriage and/or the whole family: 2) parents interfering in the lives of their once submissive children, who are now gaining independence, especially during adolescence; and 3) mother-in-law and daughter-in-law vying for the attention of the son/husband and validating the security of their roles in his life.   

 

Features of a Family in Conflict

Families held hostage by fear and abuse can cause them to be vulnerable to conflicts. Distressing or intense reactions to changes and challenges, as well as excessive diversity, in terms of not sharing common beliefs and interests, are features that you must not miss. These may indicate an increased risk of misunderstanding and a poor ability to adjust. Also, those that have anger as a family “culture” must not be complacent.  Any of these may lead to emotional stunting.

“Emotional stunting” is unhealthy because it can prevent the weaker members from becoming resilient, from forming their own opinion, or from believing they have options/choices. This could result from the excessive dominance or influence of the alpha member over the weaker ones, such as the youngsters. It may similarly arise from the unrealistic expectations being set by the head of the family or the parents over their children or weaker followers.

Is your family showing the signs that there are conflicts to resolve? There are recognizable signs that say your family relationships are breaking down or there are conflicts that need to be resolved. One of the hallmark signs is poor quality of communication and interaction between members. This can be manifested in relentless arguments and shouting matches, the tendency to avoid talking, and a constant misunderstanding of one another’s intentions.

 

The Positive Way Out of Conflicts

Being exposed to constant family conflict, you and your loved ones can have stressful lives. Unresolved conflicts can push everyone, including the non-conflicting members, deeply into negative emotions as these continue to build up. With tense and shaky relationships, losing sight of your individual and family goals is a real possibility, weakening your drive to pursue life with zest. Family conflict may cause deep pain, and it can similarly compromise everyone’s trust in one another, spawning anger, bitterness, and partisanship within the family.

To keep your family functioning in a more supportive and nourishing way, issues must not be “swept under the rug” and conflicts must not be allowed to become more complicated or exist longer than they should. To save your family from their damaging impact, you must seek ways to proactively address them before they can cause irreparable damage on the family relationships. There are conflicts that could be too complicated for you to resolve on your own. This is when counseling can be most productive.

With a family counselor, you can be helped in regard to conflicts as a basic facet inherent in a typical, evolving, and healthy family system. There should be no shame when you seek out professional help, especially when the issues affecting your home have complicated repercussions on the members’ emotional and physical health. Counseling can provide your family the opportunity to heal, transforming your conflicts and challenges, so you can benefit from them.

 

Resolving Conflicts Now

Despite the love binding families, resolving their conflicts is never easy, considering the sensitivity of the matter and the number of loved ones involved. These can become more intricate by the extra issues that complicate the conflict. When these issues have been brewing or repressed for so long, the damages could be too extensive for you to repair on your own. This is the time to seek the help of a family counselor independently contracted with Carolina Counseling Services – Pinehurst, NC.

Even when things may look too challenging on the outset, you cannot give up. All families deserve more than one chance. Waiting for the emotions to settle down may help, but not permanently. Often, unresolved issues can come back like a boomerang, with as much, if not more energy and ferocity.  The key is to develop the necessary skills to understand the underlying issues and to improve the family’s ability to communicate again effectively. 

It is true that the wholehearted interest in strengthening and reinvigorating the family ties is most important in resolving family conflicts, but so is outside help. If your family is showing signs that it is struggling because of conflicts, counseling can help. Peacefully settling the sources of differences, respecting the differences and being sensitive about each other’s opinions and feelings can address the issues, while reinforcing the relationships, so you grow closer. This is how working with a professional counselor/therapist independently contracted with Carolina Counseling Services – Pinehurst, NC can warrant that the whole process is undertaken with impartiality and success.  Call today to schedule an appointment!

Serving Areas: Carolina Counseling Services

Counties: Moore county, NC, Lee County, Hoke County, Chatham County

Areas: Pinehurst NC, West End NC, Taylortown NC, Seven Lakes NC, Eagle Springs NC, Jackson Springs NC, Foxfire NC, Candor NC, Norman NC, Ellerbe NC, Rockingham NC

Zip Codes: 27281, 27376, 28315, 28347, 28350, 28373, 28374, 28387, 28388, 28394

Kelly ErkenBrack, LCSW

Specializes in: (Ages 3+) Children, Teens, Adults, Couples and Families. Anxiety, Depression, Grief and Loss, Mood Disorders, Trauma, Adjustments and Life Transitions, ADHD, Behavioral Issues, Parenting, Relationship Concerns, Self Esteem
Insurance: BCBSTricare Prime/Select, Medicare and Cash
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Counseling Information

How Do I Set Up my FIRST Appointment?

  • Call: 910-687-5034 (Fastest way to schedule)
  • Text: (910) 308-3291 (Reply will be via phone)
  • Click here and use our Contact Form (You must include your phone number, because replies will only be made by telephone to ensure security/privacy)
  • Call or Text for your New Patient Appointment Anytime!
  • Appointment scheduling for NEW clients: Mon-Fri 8:30am-5pm
  • Established/Standing Appointments are made directly with your therapist!
  • Referrals: MOST beneficiaries do NOT need a Referral!

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Carolina Counseling Services – Pinehurst, NC

45 Dowd Circle Suite 5
PinehurstNC 28374