Conflicts and communication
Learning to resolve family conflicts
There’s no magic formula for resolving a conflict. If you know how to handle conflicts, you'll be able to have more solid relationships with others. Too often, people wait for others to come to them to resolve a problem.

If you don't agree with someone, don't hesitate to go talk to them. Maybe it's all just a misunderstanding. It’s important to choose the right moment.

You can also use conflict resolution strategies like the one described below.


Be committed. It’s important to show that you’re open, interested in the other person’s position, and committed to resolving the problem together. It’s not a competition, with a winner and loser; it’s a process you undertake together.

It's not a trial!
Remember to use the "I" form throughout the discussion, to avoid making the other person feel accused or judged. Talking about your own perspective keeps your parent or your sibling from feeling defensive, which makes it easier for them to treat you with respect, too. After all, there’s a world of difference between “You never care about what I want!” and “When you say that, I feel like there's no place for what I want."!

Describe the problem. Start by identifying the situation that you’re having a problem with and what you’d like to change (for example, “It hurts me when you talk to me that way...”).

Name your feelings. Tell the other person how the conflict makes you feel (for example, “…it makes me very angry.”).

Identify possible solutions. Together with the other person, identify possible solutions. You can even write them down on a piece of paper. At this stage, any idea is a start, so write them all down!

Assess the solutions. Together, assess all the solutions. Are any of the solutions realistic? Do any of them satisfy everyone? Will any of them resolve the problem effectively?

Come to an agreement. Together, choose the solutions you prefer and come to an agreement you both agree to respect.

Some time later, check if the agreement has been respected and if the problem has been solved. Take the time to talk about it and review your experience. If the solution you chose hasn't worked, you can try another.
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