What are the common causes of conflict in family relationship?
Intimate partners have disagreements.
Parents and children clash. Even friends, siblings, and colleagues exchange hurtful words. The settings may be different, but family relationships have their differences.
As a result, a good place to start for resolving conflicts is the foundation.
CAUSES of Conflict
- DISAGREEMENT: no two persons are the same. Therefore, it is inevitable that two people will not always see eye to eye. When you disagree, “agree to disagree”. Then, find a common place, a compromise. What is the one place where you two can meet?
- COMMUNICATION: whether it is a lack of communication or miscommunication, this is one of the common causes of conflicts. Simply put: there is a gap in words or expression. Someone did not say what they were thinking or said it incorrectly. This is one of the main jobs of mediators – communicate each party’s goals.
- TONE or LANGUAGE: There is a common statement, “it is not WHAT you said but HOW you said it.” Yes. This is also true for causes of conflicts. It is important to watch your tone and language to avoid conflict. In addition, when you follow this suggestion, it will improve your communication skill. Try, “I don’t like when you do this. It makes ME feel ____.”
- UNMET EXPECTATIONS: Expectations are what you expect someone to do or be. In relationships, people have expectation. Sometimes, they are spoken. Other times, they are hidden (unspoken). Either way, when these expectations are not met, the other party feels disappointed and let down.
- INSECURITIES: Another cause that I have discovered in my years of experience as mediator and attorney is insecurities. In other words, there are past self-issues that one party has not addressed. It may be how their father abused them or a broken relationship. In one way or the other, a party’s insecurity can create conflict. Anything that the other party says to the insecure party is going to sound wrong and offensive. You can talk to a counselor or therapist for professional help with your insecurities.
- PRIDE: This is a shock to some people. Pride gets in the way of healthy relationships. It is similar to insecurities. The difference is pride is more like a trait while insecurities are generally results of an experience. When one party is proud (and operate from that attitude), he sees his way as right – all the time. This brews conflicts. No one wants to be around a snob. The quickest cure in this situation is the proud party acknowledging their pride. Also, he or she must be willing to compromise and admit they are not always right.
- UNFORGIVENESS: The last but not least is unforgiveness. Perhaps this should have been first. Many people hold grudges. As you may have heard before, forgiveness is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to be harmed instead. Many parents and separated couples go into the courtroom with anger and grudges. They want vengeance. You may be right; you may want justice – but not jungle justice. Let the law fight for you; try the spiritual (pray about it). So, forgive. Let it go! Additionally, it shows good faith on your part (in mediation).
These are the seven main causes of conflicts that I have observed (and seen repeatedly) as a mediator and attorney. The list is not exhaustive. There are other reasons that people fight and clash. However, with the list above, you have a guide on what to watch out for you.
If you can relate with any of the seven causes and you need help with mediating an issue, then give us a call. Our office line is 832.529.1255.