Family relationships are often complex, and getting along sometimes seems impossible. Difficult family members are the hardest to deal with, as we are closely connected to them.
However, our family is our root, the place we will always return to, our comfort zone. Therefore, trying to cope with the complicated dynamics and find ways to deal with dysfunctional relatives is worthwhile, as it is for the sake of the integrity of the family group.
That’s right, instead of trying to change others, you can modify your own behavior and improve the toxic relationship.
Here are some useful tips to help you deal with the fights, the grudges, and the silent treatment:
1. Make sure you prepare yourself before you have to interact with dysfunctional family members. Calm and center yourself, and think about the way you want to act and the attitude you’ll have.
2. Be you, and do not change yourself to please your family. Don’t be afraid to say “no”.
3. Avoid accusations, but explain how you feel to express your concerns.
4. Be polite to keep the conversation light, and speak about some positive things, that both of you enjoy discussing. To remain protected, limit the information you share that they could potentially use against you. The conversations should be shallow and general.
5. If you don’t like the conversation, do not participate in it. Just leave before negativity enters your mind and don’t react to unpleasant comments. There will always be one that mentions topics that represent points of disagreement and disharmony, but try to remain patient and wise when they are brought up.
6. Try to find and focus on the positive traits of dysfunctional people, to make it through any interaction.