How to avoid family conflicts: expert advice
How to avoid family conflicts: expert advice

We all live in a world full of emotions, feelings and, of course, disputes and conflicts. At first glance, all of the above seems normal and natural, but … no.

Unfortunately, very often under the conflict we mistakenly understand the contradictions in views that have arisen between us. However, the concept of "conflict" is not equal to the concept of "contradiction"!

Contradiction is the natural environment for the peaceful existence of opinions, experience, point of view, interests, goals and worldviews of different people - this is precisely the natural process of development of society and any social environment, be it a family, work collective, couple relations, etc.

What is conflict

Conflict is the most acute way of resolving existing contradictions in the field of interests, goals, views, which consists in opposition between the participants.

If the conflict occurs in an open form, it is inextricably linked with the outburst of negative emotions, with the possible going beyond the socially existing rules and ethical norms of behavior. Any conflict begins and has a so-called "conflict gene": it can be a word, action or inaction, facial expressions, gestures, even a certain appearance, clothing.

Conflict is such a provocation, an injection, a blow.

Unfortunately, the author of a conflict generator usually does not notice its use or uses it unconsciously, without noticing it. And if he does, he considers it quite acceptable - according to the principle of “nothing stash”, “what's wrong with that?”, “So what!”, “But don't pay attention if you don't like it!”, “It's his own fault! " etc. This is the cause of most domestic and family conflicts.


How conflict arises

When such a conflict-generating agent (for example, a strained smile of a husband at a party, where he obviously did not want to go; negative facial expressions, a raised eyebrow at the time of a telephone conversation with a friend; tapping on a wristwatch and rolling his eyes) occurs, he hurts us. As a result, we react on an unconscious level, and in response we get an even greater reaction and … so a conflict arises.

The biggest conflicts - in domestic and family relationships, can flare up and reach their apotheosis in 2-3 minutes, they are formed according to the principle of a "snowball".

The conflict does not arise overnight, it is preceded by a number of conflict situations, and only then - when a certain incident occurs, the conflict flares up like a flame.

Why it happens? Everything is natural! Each side in the conflict, from the position of protecting its interests, considers it necessary to deliver in response a "blow" of an even greater crushing force, more powerful, painful, leading to the "disarming" of the enemy. That is why each subsequent episode of the conflict is even more emotional and painful in its strength! This is how an explosion occurs in a couple of minutes.

Knowing this formula for the development of a conflict (one conflict situation is superimposed on another, after an incident occurs, which ends in a conflict), it is possible to prevent the emergence of a conflict or understand how to resolve it, if it has already occurred, by analyzing each of its elements, that is, each conflict situation, according to separately.


How to extinguish conflict in the family

What if you are already in a conflict and do not want it to flare up with more force?

To begin with, do not react to a conflict generator (deception, an attempt at deception, ignoring when communicating, shifting responsibility to another, reproach, banter, humiliating praise, criticism, remark, ridicule, sarcasm, offensive posture, facial expressions, a look with condemnation, raised eyebrow).

Do not use conflictogens against another person, so as not to provoke him, not to cause irritation, which means an even greater need for the manifestation of emotions.

Show a benevolent message to the opposite side, no matter how difficult it may be for you. And here we are not talking about demonstrative and arrogant disregard, about condescension and pity for the interlocutor, we are talking about a positive attitude towards him, based only on your unwillingness to continue the conflict.

As a result, you will receive fertile soil in order to disassemble and neutralize for the future both the conflict and all the conflict situations that preceded it.

How to avoid conflicts

A conflictogen affects one or more basic human needs (this can be a physiological need (food, sleep), a need for security (order, protection, freedom from fear, stability), a need for love and belonging (family, friendship, one's social circle, social group), the need for respect and recognition (respect for oneself, respect for oneself by others, prestige, reputation, importance of opinion, fame), the need for self-realization (development of abilities, talents, ideas, achievement of goals and their recognition by others).


As a result of this, primary emotions arise in a person, such as fear, anxiety, which leads to a feeling of powerlessness.

All these three stages take place in a few seconds at the unconscious level - at the level of instincts and primary emotions. Then, in a conscious state, our brain begins to interpret what is happening, based on our own experience, feelings, knowledge, worldview, attitude towards this person and other factors, after which a secondary reaction occurs - anger, resentment, anger, disappointment, hysteria, etc. …

We can only influence our behavior on a conscious level. Therefore, in order to avoid a personal interpretation of what is happening, you can ask counter questions, such as:

  • what does this mean to you ?,
  • what is important to you now ?,
  • why is it important for you now?

These questions, firstly, slow down the pace of the conflict, they transfer the conflicting side from an emotional state to a rational one and, most importantly, they do not mean that you want to "add fuel to the fire", but focus your attention on the second side. On the importance for you of feelings, desires, needs and understanding of the reasons for the conflicting behavior of the other side.


So you will turn your attention to the conflicting side with a benevolent desire to understand what exactly is hidden behind the behavior of this person. After all, his emotional reactions are the tip of the iceberg. What the parties express in the conflict to each other are just positions, behind them 70% of the invisible part is hidden, and these are: desires, feelings, needs and values ​​of a person, his beliefs, experience, fears, expectations.

Studying yourself, understanding what is a conflict generator for you, which in many ways serves as a conflict generator for your loved ones, asking questions (three main) and studying the values, needs, desires and beliefs of your family and friends, realizing the structure of the emergence and development of the conflict, you will receive an absolute tool to control your emotions. This is all that will help in the future to avoid conflict situations.


Indeed, in a family conflict, someone breaks the dishes, and someone shouts that he does not want to visit friends, but just wants to watch TV. And here we are not even close to talking about what one wants, and the second does not want to visit … It is about the fact that one does not have enough sense of significance and value, his value of the concepts of "family", "rest" is not closed, but the second lacks the feeling of being heard and respected.

We all use the same concepts: love, friendship, family, home, career, safety, reliability, honesty, trust, acceptance, gratitude, care, but each of us has our own content of these concepts, because we are all different, we formed in different conditions, social groups, lived their experiences in life, formed their values ​​and internal needs, their view of the world.

And that is why it is extremely important to talk with each other and find out about the other what his concepts are filled with, what exactly he means when he says and does this or that, why this or that is important to him, and then 70% of the iceberg, what is hidden under the water column will become understandable and filled with content for you, and those 30% of behavior and positions that are visible on the surface will not cause reactions leading to conflict. It's all about the dialogue and knowledge about each other!

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