Caught In The Middle of Family Conflict – Baby Boomers Network

Are you ever caught in the middle of family conflict, trying to keep the peace between family members who just don’t get along? Are you the mediator, who is always put under a lot of stress, anxiety, heartache and even pain when you hear complaints from both sides? Whatever the cause of the conflict, you seem to be put in the awkward position to placate the distressed parties. While you may love them all, their fighting leaves you unhappy, frustrated and exhausted. You wonder, why can’t everyone just get along?

Here are some suggestions to help you deal with this kind of situation better:

1. First and foremost, don’t allow yourself to be the middle person ever again. You don’t want to take sides, so they need to leave you out. You are not the mouthpiece for either of them nor are you the venting board.

2. If possible, keep contact to a minimal, so you won’t be put in the position to have to temper things.

3. Explain to all parties that you love them, but being caught in between causes you to walk on eggshells, hoping things don’t escalate – and you don’t enjoy having to change your behavior for them.

4. When the family is together, be sure to have a list of topics to switch to when conflict arises. It’s best to avoid conversations that are controversial and to keep things as neutral as possible. You can try to redirect them both towards compromise solutions.

5. Anticipate any conflicts that may arise and draw the family members towards things that would bring them together, like a common philanthropic cause, sporting event, television shows, etc.

6. Declare reasonable boundaries that both parties must respect when they are together.

You know how difficult it is to be the peacekeeper, so don’t take on the job. If you are already there, set reasonable guidelines that will support peace within the home and harmony among the members. Do what you can to slowly break down the barriers that are causing the conflict and initiate options that restore and renew family togetherness. There’s no room for animosity in a healthy home.

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