Perhaps you need some ways to deal with a difficult family member and are just not sure where to start. Boy, have I been there! Difficult family members are something all of us deal with, no matter who we are. Let’s face it, life isn’t like The Brady Bunch and family members aren’t always peaches and rainbows. There are some effective ways to deal with a difficult family member though, that don’t include you getting in a fight and a yelling match. Try some of the suggestions below, and hopefully, you might be able to work through some of your family issues sooner rather than later.
1. Recognize Their Stance
One thing to remember when looking for ways to deal with a difficult family member, is to recognize where they are coming from. If they’re someone older than you, they might simply feel responsible for telling you what to do, or what they think you should do. Or, they might just be rude, who knows? Either way, try to recognize where they are coming from, and if the way they act towards you is a reflection of that. If it’s a younger sibling, then they could simply be unable to understand you or what you’re dealing with. A number of things can cause a family member to act the way they do, but they best way to handle it is to try to see their side, so you will know how to further deal with the issue.
2. Avoid Arguments
I have to be honest, it might not be easy, but I almost find it easier to just talk about the lighthearted stuff with difficult family members instead of my personal life or my struggles, etc. Doing so can lead to arguments quickly if they disagree with you or try to tell you what to do. Another option is to avoid topics that you know tend to upset them. Avoiding arguments is one of the easiest things you can do, and you can do it all by avoiding certain topics of conversation.
3. Avoid Them Directly
If nothing else works, try to avoid difficult family members whenever possible. I know this sounds harsh, but for someone who is always difficult to deal with, it might be the best option..
4. Get Advice
If you’d like to try to work through your issues with a difficult family member, try getting some advice from another family member, or even a friend. Sometimes, another person can shed light on some options, and might be able to help you deal with your family member in an effective way. Others can often offer insight to a situation we’re having a hard time dealing with because their opinions aren’t as biased as ours.
5. Confront Them
Another tip to do if you want to work through the issues with your family member is to confront them. Ask them to sit down and tell you why they’re being rude to you, or why they constantly make things difficult. Sometimes, family members don’t always realize they are hurting us or upsetting us. They might just get into a routine of acting a certain way and aren’t always aware of how it affects us. Try confronting your family member to see if it helps. If not, you can at least say you tried in a rational adult way.
6. No Yelling
Whatever you do, don’t yell at your family member, despite how difficult they are being. It might seem like the fastest, easiest way to release your anger, but it’s the least effective.
7. Give It Time
The hardest option, but one of the only ones left when you’ve tried everything else, is to give things time to heal. Family members may not ever understand you or your choices, or you might not agree with their choices, however time heals a lot of things, and family issues can be one. Though the issue might not ever be resolved, time does allow you and the other party to move on with your life and concentrate on other things. Many times, after time has passed, a difficult family member may either apologize, or let down their guard. Maybe not, but it’s worth a shot if nothing else works.
I know that family members are often harder to work through problems with than many friends, but you should try if possible. If you have any tips for how you deal with difficult family members, would you mind sharing them with me?