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Family Conflict: The Stress of a Family Feud on You

Family conflict

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December 7, 2010

Your adult daughter has been feuding with your grown son for several years. This situation is upsetting you more and more. How do you tell them what this is doing to you?

Typically, people in this type of feud are unaware of how much it affects people other than themselves. This is a situation where you need to get the person to see your side of things. First, think about exactly which aspects of the feud disturb you. Is it when they fight in front of you, or when they criticize the other when she/he isn't around? Address the specific issue with each of them separately. For instance, "Joe, when you fight with Debbie in front of me, it really makes me sad. I know the two of you don't get along, and that probably isn't going to change, but I don't think I can be around the conflict anymore. When you're around me, just try to be nice to each other, OK?" If this doesn't work, then the best strategy will probably be to avoid situations when the two people are together. Tell each of them individually that you won't be attending gatherings where they are both present.

If the issue is them talking about each other when the other isn't present, then just gently redirect the conversation every time it happens.

Please download the full "70-40" Rule® Booklet (PDF 600K).

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