The Answer

It’s all very well to say “Speak kindly to others” but what about when ‘others’ in your blended family are really frustrating you?

Are you better off keeping the peace by not saying anything?

Yes sometimes it can be appropriate to ‘keep the peace’ BUT there are also occasions where it’s very appropriate to vent your feelings (which may disturb the peace).

So how can you know the difference?

If your motive is to lay it on the table just to make you feel better, proceed with caution! Talk in terms of how their behavior affects you instead of being critical.

If your motive is to genuinely help the other person, speak the truth with love and compassion. Often it’s those closest that may be the only one to confront you regarding the effects of behavior that’s destructive to relationships and/or responsibilities.  So, if your motive for speaking up is to genuinely help the other overcome a problem for their personal benefit, you are on the right track.

In relationships you need to know you are loved and accepted despite your faults so remember to separate ‘behavior’ from the ‘person’.  The behavior is the problem, not the person.

Warm regards

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Blended Family Advisor

p.s. If you’re in doubt about how welcome your words are try, “Would you like to hear my thoughts on this?” before launching in :-)

p.p.s. Check out Session 2, page 9 of the Blending Lives Program for vital information on how to communicate effectively and resolve conflict. Confronting a problem without the tools and strategies to resolve it can only make matters worse.