Addressing and Managing the Effects of Family Stress

Home is where the heart is. Most of the time, the atmosphere you wake up in dictates how you go on and about with your day. Waking up to a quiet and peaceful home wherein everyone is happy and enthusiastic about starting their day makes you feel pumped to start your day with a positive outlook. But there are gloomier days, such as when you’ve just gotten in a fight with your partner. Things can get pretty heavy at home, which in turn primarily affects how you interact with your peers at work or in your outer social group.

A stressful home environment does not only affect you, but it affects all the others who live with you as well. Whether the conflict exists between you and a member, or it happened because some external problem got carried back home, managing family stress is a team effort.

However, judgment often gets clouded because of the immense anxiety you feel, and families usually avoid dealing with problems like this which leads it to be swept under the rug. But hold the broom; that’s not the best way to go on if you want to promote a healthy relationship at home. Take a breather and look at what you can do. For starters, here are some things that you could do to get your conflict resolution skills going:

Start with your well-being before you fix someone else’s

It holds a certain truth when people say that before you fix someone else, you have to be sure that you are able to fix yourself. Being in a family is a lot of work. You sometimes get very invested in every member’s life that you end up forgetting to ask yourself how you have been doing. With that said, there a lot of ways to take care of yourself! Physically, you could always go to the gym or even have some Botox treatment done on those wrinkles that you’ve been accumulating after years of family life. Mentally, you can choose to meditate or read a book for leisure. Do everything you can to prepare your overall well-being for a serious talk with the family.

Inform your members that you’re going to be having ‘the talk’

Everyone must come prepared for the dreaded confrontation that you’re going to be having. Informing people of when this will happen and what the talk will be about will allow them to think about what they want to say to everyone else when the time comes. Having everyone prepared to talk to each other encourages everyone to convey their ideas freely. It makes everyone more willing to engage with each other, which is the very goal of wanting to’talk it out in the first place.

During the confrontation, respect is vital

Support group

When things get heated, the tendency is people always tend to get defensive. Sometimes, the main topic even gets diverted to past issues that no longer hold relevance to the subject. The first key towards respecting your other members is to listen to them without interrupting. You don’t just listen; you have to actively listen to what the current speaker is talking about to form your thoughts and opinions that are more direct to solving the conflict.

Moving forward, effective listening must also include affirmation. It may be challenging, but sometimes you have to swallow your pride and admit that you were wrong at some point. Validating someone’s point of view gives them a sense of being seen, that their input mattered, which is something that everyone wants to feel in a time of emotional distress.

Decide on a resolution as a team

After everything, you now have to decide on a compromise that is good for everybody. Of course, not everyone gets everything they want, but you can always strike a balance between the members’ interests as a family. Once you get to do so, before ending the talk, you must get a verbal affirmation that everybody is happy with the decision. In doing so, you are more assured that they will actively work towards whatever goal was agreed upon.

Check up on your family

Managing stress is a constant activity, and it does not stop at the moment it is addressed. After talking, find time to sit down with everybody. You can have a family dinner or do activities together to casually monitor how everyone has been doing.

Conflict Resolved (?)

Everyone’s family life differs. Some may have it worse than others, and methods may be different for every family. What matters the most is that you are willing to face it head-on. Practicing a healthy conflict resolution process in your family allows every member to become more transparent. Thus, you leave less avenue for ill feelings.

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