Whether they are large or small, family disputes can be extremely stressful for all involved. You’ll no doubt want to settle things as amicably as possible, though, so use these top tips to find a more pleasant resolution in a difficult situation…

Calm Down

It can be hard to quell your emotions in difficult times, but if you can stop speaking emotionally and focus on the practical, then resolving family conflict will be much more possible. Do your best to release any negative feelings; showing anger will work against you in a discussion, so try to keep your calm if you want to achieve a fair agreement on something that means a lot to you.

 Agree To Negotiate

 Once you have calmed down, the next step is agree to go through the issue and negotiate the terms and conditions that you have thought about prior to the meeting and consider important to you. It’s also important to be willing to consider and negotiate on the things that are important to them, too. Keep an open mind and be willing to listen before stating your case.

You can only cover ground if the other person is willing to compromise and discuss the problem with you, though. If they aren’t willing, consider bring someone else in to facilitate (see the next point).

 Consider a Mediator

 A professional family mediator is important for any discussions that have a large impact on your life legally. They also provide a neutral insight on the situation and they will do their best to see both sides of the story. Choosing a mediator is a great way to stop a discussion getting out of hand, and to achieve a fair deal for all.

 Meet On Neutral Ground

 Meet somewhere neutral so that each side feels comfortable and equal. Meeting up in someone’s home often makes it seem as though they have the power and can create an imbalance in the discussion. So try to find a, quite literal, middle ground.

 Separate the Problem from the Person

 It can be easy to let your feelings for the person cloud your judgement on the topic at hand. Leave your personal emotions at the door and try to face the issue as rationally as possible.

 Respect Other People’s Right to Speak

 Everyone’s point of view is worth hearing, and when it is their turn to speak, be respectful and don’t interrupt them. If you feel that it’s important to interject, ask for permission to do so. You may not like or agree with their side of things, but it’s important that you hear it nonetheless, and try to understand their perspective.

 Check You Understand Their Point Of View

 There is so much space for misunderstandings and misinterpretations. Ask questions throughout, to make sure that you have fully grasped where they stand. Sometimes problems can arise from a simple miscommunication.

 Come Up With a Range Of Solutions

 Once both parties know where they stand, explore more than one solution – including plenty of compromises. Focus on what you can agree on and build from there.

 Write It Down

 Even for simple disputes, write down and sign the final compromise. If it’s a more formal, legal situation, you will need a proper contract. However, a bit of paper and a pen can remind family members what they have discussed and committed to in the future. It doesn’t need to be a legally-binding affair; it’s good to have things written down in concrete terms.

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