It’s inevitable; at some point in your life, you will run into a problem with a family member. It might be that you have never had this kind of problem before, or it might be that your family member has always been difficult to get along with.

Drama within a family can create many problems if not resolved. According to Psychology Today, you have three choices when dealing with troubled relationships: you can choose not to do anything different, you can try and change someone else, or you can change yourself.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when trying to deal with a difficult relative:

Don’t let the difficulties run your life. In other words, don’t let the drama seep into everything you do. If you let it fester and build, the frustration and stress will grow; put the drama to the side and only deal with what is in front of you.

Watch your mouth. At one time or another, we’ve all said something we’ve regretted. We’ve also all had hurtful things said to us or about us. It doesn’t feel good, and saying hurtful things never leads to positive healing. Hateful comments don’t help either side resolve the argument or drama. Watch your mouth, and don’t step down to their level if they begin speaking cruelly toward you; it isn’t worth losing your cool and class just to get one or two punches in.

Know when to stop. If you’ve tried several times to make nice and patch things up to no avail, it might be time to stop. Remember, no matter how hard you try to reach out to your family member, if they refuse to communicate, your conflict can’t be resolved. Julette Millien advises that if someone is determined to misunderstand who you are and what you are about, and they have no intention of moving forward, nothing you say will have an impact. If you’ve already put in the work of changing yourself but the other person isn’t willing to work on themselves, it will be extremely difficult to find common ground.

Maybe the best piece of advice comes from a Facebook post that was going around last week: “You only have so much emotional energy each day. Don’t fight battles that don’t matter.” The post was credited to Joel Osteen, a prominent American pastor. You can’t make peace by battling when the other side isn’t willing to change or meet you halfway.

See a therapist. Sometimes family drama can get out of control, and instead of living your life, you are living a life that is controlled by this drama. If you get to the point that the drama is all you find yourself thinking about, seeking the help of a therapist is important for you to get your life back. Life is too short to sit in a ditch spinning your emotional wheels.

If you’d like to set up a time to meet up with Reka, you can contact her by phone at 402-881-8125, by email at, or via Twitter or Facebook.

photo credit: Give Thanks to Family via photopin (license)