Family Relationships can be the most challenging ones to manage. It’s no secret that family members can unnerve you, upset your day and leave you exasperated faster than anyone else. You love them and you want the best for them. This also means they can – and sometimes, do – take advantage of that.
It’s difficult to tell them no. It’s even more difficult to express disapproval for fear of starting another round of arguing, crying, hurt feelings, exchanging words that can’t be unspoken along with the overwhelming fatigue that sets in when emotions have run amok.
Sometimes you just give in to the overwhelm – and unfortunately, the people who have presented you with this unpleasant situation know that if they keep up the barrage of comments, pleading, wheedling and pouting, it is highly probable that they will win in the end.
If this sounds uncomfortably familiar, it’s time to step back, take a look at how the lines of communication between you and your family members are structured, and create a brand new way of handling times like these.
Clearly, if this describes a typical scenario at your house, you are not the one who is empowered. It is likely that no one is actually empowered, but everyone is reaching for a level of control and it turns into a free-for-all.
Episodes like this that happen infrequently are a part of life. No one and nothing runs smoothly all the time. But if this happens with any regularity in your household, taking stock of who seems to be controlling things and ending up as the “victor” will give you an idea of where you need to start to regain the upper hand – and to restore your Empowerment.
Family relationships are more important than any other relationships you now have – or ever will have. The family unit – and the members of that unit – comprise the most precious people in the world. If that is not how you and every member of your family feel, some serious recalculating of where everyone stands needs to be done.
Here’s where you can start:
- Look at your own priorities first. Have you overburdened your own schedule so much that you no longer have time to devote to your children and your spouse?
- Can you bring yourself back into alignment with what are true priorities – the health and well-being of your family unit?
- Are you trying to do it all by yourself? You are not Superwoman. Household chores and errands can be delegated and a New Order put into place once you figure out where the problems lie.
If your family sees you disintegrating before their eyes, they will do one of two things – become fearful that the safety of their routine is being threatened, or they will think they have to conquer and control. It’s human nature to fight for survival and your family may think their survival is at stake.
Ask each person in the family to make their own lists of the problems as they see them. Insist that they do this in separate rooms. You want them to be completely honest and you don’t want one person influencing what is on another person’s list.
Tell them that everyone is going to sit down together, go over the items on their list and that together, you are going to decide how best to reunite your family unit.
Depending on how many people you are dealing with, you may meet with resistance at first. But Empowering yourself to take control of the family relationships will, in the long run, benefit all of the family members.
Regardless of what they tell you, they are looking for someone to lead, someone to establish guidelines and boundaries, and someone to restore normalcy to their lives.
Take their concerns seriously and factor in each person’s needs as much as possible. Explain to them there is a big difference between “wants” and “needs” and that if all of you work together, you can come up with a way for everyone’s needs to be met. Make sure you let them know that their “wants” are important and work on a timeline to find a way to fill those, as well.