How to move on from con­flict

YOU CAN MOVE ON FROM THE SIBLING RIVALRY MAZE, SAYS EX­PERT JEANNE SAFER….

Good Health (Australia) - - The Secrets of Siblings -

1. AD­MIT THERE IS A PROB­LEM. It sounds ob­vi­ous but, very of­ten, we lie to our­selves, as well as oth­ers, about why we don’t see our sib­lings: “If only she lived nearer/ I don’t get along with her hus­band/ I can’t stand his chil­dren.” 2. ASK YOUR­SELF: ‘HOW HAVE I

CONTRIBUTED TO THIS?’ Re­flect back on the fam­ily dy­namic when you were grow­ing up. What roles did you both play? What could have caused the prob­lems be­tween you? 3. FO­CUS ON WHAT YOU LIKE ABOUT THE

OTHER PER­SON. What did you ad­mire about your sibling when you were grow­ing up? Are there things you en­joy do­ing to­gether de­spite the prob­lems?

4. MAKE THE FIRST MOVE. Don’t wait for them to do it be­cause you could be wait­ing for a long time. Tell them that, although you know there are prob­lems be­tween the two of you, you’d like to have a bet­ter re­la­tion­ship. Don’t ex­pect them to jump into your arms. This is a process.

5. BE PA­TIENT. Your at­tempts at rec­on­cil­i­a­tion might not work, or might not work im­me­di­ately. But if you don’t try, there’s your guar­an­tee it won’t work.

6. BE REALISTIC. If you’ve never been great friends, and your lives are now very dif­fer­ent, it may not be pos­si­ble for you to be best friends. Aim for the mid­dle ground.

7. RE­MAIN HOPEFUL. Life events can bring about un­ex­pected rec­on­cil­i­a­tion be­tween sib­lings later on, for ex­am­ple get­ting mar­ried or di­vorced, the birth of a child, ill­ness or death of an­other fam­ily mem­ber. Very of­ten, rec­on­cil­i­a­tions are brought about by the next gen­er­a­tion. Chil­dren want­ing to spend time with their cousins and get­ting along can be a big fac­tor in heal­ing the rifts of the past. >

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