Meaning and Concept
Family conflicts refers to any conflict or clash that occurs within a family i.e. between husband and wife, children and parents, between siblings or with extended families such as grandparents, uncle, aunt, cousin etc. that adversely affects their relationship or bonding.
Conflict refers to a struggle or a disagreement with another individual’s thought process or work or lifestyle.
Conflict derived from a Latin word, the literal meaning of which is ‘striking’, but it does not always signify ‘violence’. Conflict arises from conflicting ideas.
Family Conflict can occur when family members have dissimilar views or beliefs that collide. Occasionally family conflict can take place when family members misinterpret each other and jump to the incorrect conclusion. Issues of family conflict that are not resolved quietly or peacefully can lead to disagreement and antipathy.
It is quite usual to deviate with each other at some point of time. Occasional family conflict is part of life. However, constant family conflict can be traumatic and harmful even to bonded relationships. Some people find it complicated to manage their feelings and become deliberately hurtful, hostile or even aggressive.
Communicating in an affirmative way can help reduce family conflict so that members of the family can reach a nonviolent and peaceful resolution. This generally means that everyone agrees for a negotiation or agrees to disagree.
Reasons of Family Conflicts
No matter how affectionate and caring a family is, all families go through conflict. Family conflict is different from other types of conflict for numerous reasons.
- Firstly, family members are already very much emotionally involved. These emotions can quickly exaggerate family conflict.
- Secondly, family members are involved in long-term relationships and often are requisite to intermingle with each other on a daily basis.
- Finally, families are often inward-looking, obeying their own rules and regulations and resisting external hindrance or interference. These characteristics can lead to long, jumbled, hurting and painful family conflicts.
At one extreme, family conflict can lead to things like divorce or domestic violence. On the other hand, families try to suppress disagreement, avoiding problems and detaching or splitting-off from each other. This result into adverse mental health and all the family members suffers some or the other psychological issues.
Signs and Symptoms of Family conflicts
- Angry outbursts
- Gambling problems
- Issues relating to sexuality
- Difference in opinions, personalities, beliefs, values or goals
- Physical conflict
- Frequent arguing
- Anxiety or anxious behavior
- Alcohol or drug use
- Breakdown in communication
- Financial problems
- Lack of sleep or Insomnia
- Change in family circumstances e.g. new baby, divorce/separation, blending families
- Natural disasters
- Emotional trauma
- The onset of mental health problems
- Lack of trust/respect in a relationship
Causes of Family conflicts
Here are the some of the major causes of family conflicts:
- Child’s Upbringing- the way to discipline a child is also a cause of family conflict. Some parents are disciplinarian or authoritarian and some might be in opposition to it.
- Rivalry among Siblings – this is also a basic cause of family conflict, the rivalry of sibling for attention or parent’s approval and appreciation.
- Financial conditions – scarcity or lack of money to pay bills, grocery, rent and others can be cause for family conflict. Being away from home because of the overtime at work or work stress will also result for miscommunication and family conflict.
- Relationship with In-Laws – Having disagreements with in-laws may result to family conflicts.
Resolving family conflicts
Here are some of the common suggestions in order to resolve family conflicts are as follows:
- Try to stay calm.
- Try to separate the problem from the person.
- Don’t interrupt the other person while they are speaking.
- Try to find points of common ground.
- Respect the other person’s point of view by paying attention and listening.
- Be willing to compromise.
- Be patient.
- Actively listen to what they are saying and what they mean.
- Try to put emotions aside.
- Work out if the issue is worth fighting over.
- Come up with as many possible solutions as you can.
- Define the problem and stick to the topic.
- Keep in mind that the idea is to resolve the conflict, not win the argument.
- Check that you understand them by asking questions.
- Once the solution is decided on, stick to it.
- Resist the urge to bring up other unresolved but unrelated issues.
- Talk clearly and reasonably.
- Agree to disagree.
- Communicate your side of the story clearly and honestly.
- Try to cool off first if you feel too angry to talk calmly.
- Remember that the other party isn’t obliged to always agree with you on everything.
- Make sure everyone clearly understands the chosen solution.
Psychological therapies for Family conflicts
Family therapy: Family therapy or family counseling is designed to deal with explicit mental issues that affect the psychological health of the family members such as major life alteration or mental health conditions.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: This therapy provides a rational insight to both the individuals in a conflict to twist or replaces their irrational thought process with rational ones in order to get a common resolution of such conflict.
Mirroring technique: It is a fun technique in which family members are asked to imitate and relate with each other and also work together to know each other’s viewpoint and perspectives and ultimately resolve conflicts.
Self control: Self control is another effective technique in which one individual is asked to control their momentary urges or feelings or emotions and not to get burst off over small issues, rather just control them within oneself in order to solve their family conflicts or problems with other family members.
Trust building: Maximum conflicts within a family are due to lack of trust between family members. In this technique, people are indulged into a game play in which they are in the same time and asked to coordinate to win the game. This exercise helps them to build trust and play collectively and ultimately it also resolve their trust issues as well as family conflicts.
Conclusively, this was a brief understanding, meaning, concept, signs and symptoms, causes and psychological help regarding family conflicts.
Hope you find the above information beneficial.
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