Seniors: Resolving Family Misunderstandings

Feb 9th, 2010 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

As for me and my house, the routine modus operendi is for calm, clarity, and  day to day composure.  Once in a while a misunderstanding gets thrown into the mix, disrupting patterns for  peace of mind.  When this happens, it is time to insert some techniques which can produce the desired calm to resolve whatever differences.

Here are some common sense hints:

*Approach the matter with a calm spirit and modulated voice.  Don’t contribute further to the misunderstanding by joining in it with raised voice and a temperamental disposition.

*Clarify, in calming words, what the issue(s) seem to be.

*Determine what the needs are on the part of the other person which need resolution.

*Work from the most basic clarification of the issue so that no detours or additional matters cloud the situation.

*If on the phone, be sure each of you can hear the other adequately and clearly.  Hearing here refers to physical hearing.

*Beyond that, be sure the question is raised during the conversation, whether telephonic or in person, “am I hearing you correctly when  you say blank, blank, blank.”

*Keep a clear goal of satisfactory understanding and resolution in mind.  Do not allow the conversation to end until reasonable compromise has been reached.  But, by all means, do not overdo the conversation, when a reasonable exit is available end the discussion gracefully.  Ask the other person if they feel okay with the conclusions reached.  Inquire if they are okay with your (plural) having reached an agreement and better feelings about the matter at hand.  Be sure there is a chance for any other closing remarks and clarifications. 

When next the two of you are together, do not bring up the subject, allow it to be forgotten.  If the other party needs to say something about it, of course participate, but only briefly.  Do not arouse the issue in an attempt to “prove” who is right and who is wrong.  It really doesn’t matter.  What matters is  that you and your family member have reached a plateau where you can get along favorably.



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