Are You Caught in the Middle of Family Battles?
“When animosity takes root in a family garden, it destroys the whole crop." - Wes Fessler
Are you ever caught in the middle of a family conflict, trying to keep the peace between family members who just don't get along? Whether there are differences in personality, geography, communication skills, lifestyle, ideology, religion, etc, your relationship with them, puts you in an awkward situation. While you may love those involved, their fighting leaves you unhappy, frustrated, exhausted and leaves you in a position to placate them both.
You wonder why we can’t all get along
As the mediator, you are put under a huge amount of stress, anxiety, pain, and heartache when you hear complaints about the other person. Here are some suggestions to help you deal with this kind of situation better:
1. Don’t allow yourself to be the middle person. You don't want to take sides. You are not the mouthpiece for either of them nor are you the sounding board.
2. If possible, keep contact to a minimum so you won't be put in the middle.
3. Explain to both parties that you love each of them, but being caught in the middle is awkward and you don't enjoy having to change your behavior for them.
4. When the family is together, be sure to have a list of topics to switch to when conflict arises. It's best to avoid conversations that are controversial, as you want to keep things as neutral as possible. You can try to redirect them both towards compromise.
5. Anticipate any conflicts that may arise and draw the family members towards things that would bring them together, like a common philanthropic cause, sporting event, television show, etc.
6. Declare reasonable boundaries that both parties must respect when they are together.
You know how difficult it is to be the peacekeeper, so don't take on the job. If you are already there, set reasonable guidelines that will support peace and slowly break down the barriers that prevent it.
To speak about this topic in detail, please feel free to book a session with me. You won't regret it!