NAVIGATING DYNAMIC RELATIONSHIPS

My family. females
My mom’ 90 birthday! and sisters

I was raised with ten brothers and five sisters. It is fertile ground to fuel misunderstandings, particularly as we got older.   

Navigating relationships and avoiding pitfalls is difficult enough but in families, it can be challenging. I am blessed to have a large family.

Being one of the youngest, and female, I had discovered my place in the family early. I became an observer, watching the interactions between everyone.  And I am became obsessed to keep the peace between my siblings, I bite my tongue, and not say something I will later regret.  In each moment we could make a choice. I strive to make good choices.

It seemed simpler to be oblivious about family conflicts as a child.  But as I got older, I knew we created more hurt by our behavior in dealing with conflicts, by avoiding or withdrawing from one another.

I observed on social media that the way we deal with conflict is by ghosting each other.   Making a snap decision in the heat of the moment to cut somebody out of their life. It gives us a momentary sense of power, but with devastating impact on families, emotionally and spiritually.

I understand the reaction to ghosting someone. When I am hurt by someone, I could easily ghost them.  However, it is not who I am. I’ve taught myself 90 second Rule. To step back to gain perspective all you need is 90 seconds to get perspective. This extends to the emails, I don’t automatically click send when I am angry.

Often, we avoid calling each other when we have a disagreement. I understand this, no one want to face conflict.   But ghosting is problematic. Quite literally when you ghost someone you are sending them a message you don’t care to be associated with them, maybe it is not the message you want to give?

As a young adult, whenever I was faced with conflict my first reaction was to withdraw and leave. I would get in my car and drive away.  

That said, I’ve worked on myself over the years; I can now respond  differently and will invite the people I have a conflict with to a conversation. I’ve reached out to several family members since the loss of seven family in the past two years.  

A family member returned my call. It surprised me because I didn’t think he would call back.   I was so happy he returned my call.  in fact, he admitted he almost didn’t. LOL, I knew he might feel that way, because I too had a fear of rejection. Thankfully we both resisted giving into our fear. He told me why he was angry at me, we talked, at the end of the conversation, we had an understanding.

I am so proud of him for taking the risk to return my call. Each time I talk to him, I get more insight into his character, and the more I really like him.  It appears I am not the only one who has grown emotionally in my family.

Mike is a thoughtful caring man

Most conflicts are started by misunderstandings.

 On one hand, I understand it is the unresolved trauma from childhood that causes this type of behavior.

On the other hand, as adults we make decisions deliberately and we should care how our actions impact others. Our intention to have healthy relationships and feel connected is natural because we are social beings.

 Moreover, having a difficult conversation with someone we are upset with is never as difficult as we make it up in our mind.  Being willing to show up to make a difference in our relationship far outweighs any fears we have.

The impact of being ghosted by family was emotional and stressful for me, particularly after my stroke. . The experience was devastating for me and hurt me deeply. Happily, we have made amends. In families, the hurt is greater when you love someone, and you care what they think of you.

sisters

Ghosting is problematic because the conflict can’t be resolved easily. When you’re ghosted it usually means the person blocks your number and you can’t reach them.  And you are powerless to fix your relationship.    

It takes courage to have a good relationship, and if you work through the fears that holds you back, you will create a more powerful connection.

We deal with conflict differently. It has taken me years to respond in a manner that keeps my relationships intact and the door open. But it means talking to one another.

To have a healthy relationship we must be willing to see others’ perspective, to step back and look at our behavior, and the impact our behaviour has on another person.  

 A niece put it this way “We let our hardened hearts come in our way. We let ego and pride come in our way…and it’s a lesson I am still learning the hard way”.

I’ve had numerous misunderstandings with the family because of my writings.

I am working to write balanced interesting blogs without offending anyone. Like my niece, I’m learning to set aside my ego and take responsibility for my writing and behavior. And so far, I have been able to repair relationships that I thought were lost. It is an amazing feeling and gives me peace. As a Denesuline Buddhist, this is my ultimate purpose.

An deal Relationships

  1. Don’t participate in gossip
  2. Have regular conversations.
  3. Return calls and texts
  4. keep healthy boundaries
  5. Express your anger and reason of your anger to the person who hurt you.
  6. Be willing to be wrong
Chilling with an older sister, Mary

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