Photo by cottonbro studio

Constantly engaging in family arguments and conflict can cause a severe rift in your relationship. If not remedied, this can lead to family disintegration. While Harmon’s Sad Papaw books were published from an internet meme, these also remind people of the importance of deepening their familial relationships.

Do you feel your family is a step away from exploding? Whenever you’re gathering, there’s tension waiting to be addressed, and the atmosphere becomes too heavy you could cut it with a knife. Though it doesn’t feel like you’re about to separate, arguments are happening left and right.

While such a complicated disposition isn’t how families are typically described, it’s quite a normal situation to experience. Your family may be the people you’re born into and the company with which you grew up, but either way, it can’t be avoided that conflicts will happen.

A Possibly Conflict-Causing Situation

Though the author, Kenny Harmon’s primary intention of posting the photo of her papaw at their family barbeque was to lightheartedly poke fun at her cousins for missing their gathering, the popularly known meme had a firm hold on people’s empathy. What seemed like a funny internet meme had a story of a grandfather who celebrated a supposedly fun family gathering with a lesser company.

While Harmon’s Sad Papaw books stood as an introduction to the then internet-grandfather, they were also a reminder of the importance of appreciating family members. Her books spoke of their heritage stories and how close their family was, and the unpleasant event didn’t even cause much conflict within their families. This narration stood as a way of encouraging readers to evaluate their relationships with their families. The painful and unpleasant experience of the sad papaw was an opportunity for others to strengthen their family relationships.

However, what’s fortunate for the Harmon family could have ended with a tragedy for another. Such indifference in a simple gathering might have ripped a conflict in another family.

It can’t be foreseen what disagreements may expand to conflicts and what conflicts may be prolonged enough to cause a sense of estrangement within families. Hence, besides appreciation, Harmon’s Sad Papaw books also serve as a reminder that while family conflicts can’t be avoided, a solid means of communication will still win over arguments.

Dealing With Family Disagreements 

People are social animals in nature. They thrive in social settings and, one way or another, find means to connect and form relationships with others. However, conflicts that arise due to differences in perspectives and learned opinions naturally come in a social setting.

Occasional conflict is unavoidable in a social situation. But conflicts over prolonged periods can damage relationships, even in familial settings. Throughout these disagreements, kins may find it challenging to regulate their feelings and unintentionally hurt family members. If such circumstances arise, it can be challenging to deal with since someone in the equation is unaware of what they have done.

Agree to Negotiate

It can be challenging to make sense of the situation if this happens. When emotions arise, the first impulse will constantly be proving you are right. This gives you the illusion that once someone wins, the argument stops, and the conflict gets settled. However, winning the argument can’t always lead to a peaceful resolution. Sometimes, it may even lead to more conflict.

As someone presses to win an argument, the other’s sentiments may be pushed aside and shunned, thus creating a sense of injustice. Instead of stubbornly winning over the other, the floor must remain open for everyone’s opinions to be heard.

Keep an Open Line

Conflicts escalate when people feel as though they’re invisible and insignificant. One way of inflicting this on people is when they’re consciously or unconsciously ignored due to heightened emotions. Misunderstandings cause conflicts, and arguments can escalate these conflicts, but not listening to the other side may bring more damage.

Emotions can be tough to control, but it always helps to remain calm in arguments. Anger can lead to people throwing words they don’t even mean. Instead of talking over each other in annoyance, practice active listening and reacting only when the situation demands it. Paying attention to what the other is saying can help sides stay on the matter and avoid bringing up irrelevant issues.

Working Together

The concept that two heads are better than one also works in conflicts, as long as this doesn’t mean two heads arguing over each other. Once emotions have been settled and each side has been heard, coming up with a solution together is better than working through the situation alone. Both ends must ensure the willingness to compromise and stick to a chosen solution together.

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