Every family has drama. Anytime you have a group of people who spends a lot of time together, tension is bound to occur between any number of relatives. Sometimes the ones we love most and cause the deepest wounds by their actions–or inaction.
If you’re going through something difficult with family, it’s important to talk to a trusted friend or counselor. A fresh perspective and the ability to talk about your feelings are critical. It’s also important to understand whether this drama is temporary or something that is a much larger issue.
That said, here are some tips for dealing with family drama.
Have Grace for Your Loved Ones
It can be difficult for us to remember that our family members–our husbands, wives, mothers, fathers, sisters, and brothers, even our children–are people too. Remember that all have sinned and fallen short. While it is important to deal with actions and words appropriately, if your goal is to punish someone for misdoings, you need to take a step back and remove the plank from your own eye.
Remember What Is Important
When dealing with drama, remember what’s most important. What’s your overall goal? You may be mad at the moment, but stop and give yourself time to cool down if you need it.
Communicate Your Feelings
Instead of expecting a family member to read your mind or shutting them out, you need to say how you feel. A great example might be something like this:
“It really hurt my feelings when I heard you telling someone else about the sensitive information I shared with you.”
“It upset me when you left. I felt abandoned.”
“When you got so mad, I felt like I couldn’t tell you want I was feeling. What’s worse, it felt like you didn’t care.”
Each of these statements focuses on your feelings around an action, rather than placing blame on the other person.
Openly Forgive and Move Forward
Forgiveness doesn’t mean that what the other person did was alright. Instead, it means that you’re releasing yourself from punishing that person. Verbally tell your family member that you forgive them and that you’re moving forward when you have difficulty with them. You may need a little space, that’s okay, but you need to communicate that and don’t shut out the other person. This frees you from the bondage of pain and anger.