From siblings hissing at each other over who is the ugly one to parents debating who ruined the trip to the zoo and more, all families have their arguments. The important part is to resolve them. And laugh at how such trivial things can ruin a perfectly good afternoon afterward.
To enjoy the latter, Jimmy Fallon, the host of The Tonight Show, asked his viewers to tweet the dumbest family fights they've been in. And they answered. Keep scrolling, check out the ridiculous entries, and upvote your favorite ones.
Many people feel that they love and hate their families at the same time. Getting along with the closest people around you isn't necessarily given, the navigating these complicated dynamics can be hard.
"With difficult acquaintances like friends, colleagues, lovers, or neighbors, you may have to deal with them for a time, either until a conflict between you is resolved, or you are able to remove yourself from the situation," psychiatrist Abigail Brenner wrote for Psychology Today. "With family, we are almost obligated to go the extra mile for the sake of the integrity of the family group. In other words, personal relationships may affect the family as a whole. If you don’t get along with a family member, it may very well put stress and strain on other familial relationships as well."
The first thing you can do when you're forced into a difficult situations with your family member is i try to fix the difficult person.
The first thing you have to understand when you're forced into a difficult situation with your family member is that you don't need to 'fix' them. "Accept them exactly as they are," Brenner said. "It’s tempting to try to help someone you want to care about; you probably will make some efforts to help them. Sometimes it works, but often your efforts will not be rewarded. In fact, trying to fix someone or make their life better may become a huge headache, since the more you do for them, the more they want from you." Accept that they are can't change, at least at this moment.
Be present and direct. Keep in mind that a person who is trying to stir up conflict can set you off in a blink of an eye. Emotionally and physically. "Try to avoid getting into a fight-or-flight response, which inevitably leads to becoming defensive. You do not want an argument or heated discussion. Stay true to yourself, grounded in your own integrity. Be direct and assertive when you express yourself. Stay focused on how you respond. Know when the discussion or argument has accelerated to the point of no return — meaning it’s no longer about conflict resolution, but just about winning. If it gets to this point, stop the interaction, and leave the conversation."
Also, don't forget that the other person wants to be heard as well, so encourage them to express themselves. Let them fully state their point of view about the issue/conflict/problem without interrupting them. After all, they feel they're being judged or criticized unfairly. "Just listening, rather than trying to engage, may be enough to allow someone to feel like they have the opportunity to say what’s on their mind. Showing respect for another’s differences may go a very long way," Brenner added.
Be aware of trigger topics. "Inevitably there will be topics that represent points of disagreement and disharmony. Know what these topics are, and be extremely aware when these are brought up." Remember your past experiences. They should really help you, especially when you're dealing with very sensitive subjects. "Be prepared to address these issues in a direct, non-confrontational way or to deflect the conflict if the atmosphere becomes too heated."
Understand that some topics are absolutely off-limits. "History and experiences should tell you that these subjects should be avoided at all costs. That’s not to say that important issues should be permanently avoided. Rather, if your experience dealing with certain issues has left you stressed out or emotionally depleted, and the discussion has not progressed sufficiently along to represent a rapprochement, then it’s best to avoid the discussion until a time when both parties are willing to move it forward in a constructive way," Brenner pointed out.
Realize that these family conflicts are rarely about you. Even though it's hard not to take things personally, they mostly center around a specific topic. The less people make it about themselves, the more they stick to the actual cause of the disagreement, the quicker they can resolve it.
The last thing you need to know is that your well-being comes first. "While you want to be respectful and attentive to others as much as you can, you don’t want to bend over backward or twist yourself into a knot just to make someone else happy or satisfied, or to keep the peace. Never allow any personal interaction or relationship to infringe upon or challenge your own well-being."
Hopefully, now we'll be able to navigate these intricate emotional mazes, escaping them without hurting ourselves or others. And share them on the next #Hashtags segment!