A healthy family should have a lot more comedy than drama!
“Drama” refers to invisible tensions and barriers that prevent growth and health in a relationship. To root out drama, you’ve got to start at the source. I’m convinced that the root of most Family Drama is in unresolved conflict.
Have you ever felt like there’s an invisible elephant living in your house because of unresolved conflict in the marriage or family? Unresolved conflicts can unravel the fabric of a family and create drama faster than almost any other force. Depending the personalities of those involved, it can look drastically different.
In some situations, families live with an “artificial harmony” where there are deep-seeded issues that nobody has the courage to address, so the “deal with it” by not dealing with it which perpetuates a dysfunctional cycle.
In other homes, the family thrives on conflict and will seem to fight just for the sake of fighting. They develop an unhealthy addiction to living on an emotional roller coaster.
Some families just avoid each other completely because avoidance seems easier and more pleasant than continuing the dysfunctional cycles that attempted conflict resolution seems to cause.
Our marriages and our families are far too important to throw away with unhealthy or unresolved conflict. We’ve got to replace the drama with peace! If you apply the principles below to any conflict in your marriage or family, I’m convinced you can remove drama and bring healing, health and resolution.
This is my family. We’re doing our best to establish some “drama-free” guidelines before any of the kids hit their teenage years!
1. Address issues quickly and directly.
When there’s an issue, don’t hide from it or deal with it in a passive-aggressive way. Unresolved issues will fester like a cancerous tumor and you must deal with them in the same assertive manner you’d use to identify and remove a tumor.
2. Realize that there won’t be a “Winner” and “Loser.”
In any conflict with Loved Ones, you must approach the disagreement realizing that you are on the same side, so you share the same fate. You’ll either win together or lose together, so work together to find a mutually beneficial solution.
3. Avoid “Emotional Sunburn.”
When a person gets sunburned and then you pat them on the back, they might scream out in pain. Most of us have invisible “burns” on our hearts and souls from past hurts, and when someone gets close to those areas, we are tempted to lash out. In family conflict, be aware of those “sore spots” and work to heal them instead of agitating them.
4. Be a Peacemaker.
The Bible says, “As far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” To live at peace within your family, there will be times you have to swallow your pride and take the first step towards healing. Be willing to forgive and seek forgiveness.
5. Be an encourager; not a critic.
Your family is going to get plenty of criticism out in the world, so make sure you’re doing your part to counteract that negativity by being an encourager in your home. Be the one who wipes away your family’s tears; not the one who causes them!
6. Always tell the truth.
Honesty fosters intimacy. If you want to remove drama and unresolved conflict from your family, place a high value on telling the truth at all times in all circumstances. This will build mutual trust and create a culture of transparency.
7. Don’t give up on each other.
Families are imperfect, but love is perfect. Remember that a “perfect family” is just a group of imperfect people who love each other and refuse to give up on each other!
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