How to handle conflict when you stray from tradition
When you stray from family tradition, you are bound to experience some growing pains from your loved ones. This can come in the form of constant questions, disagreements, additional explanations, etc. Here are a few tips to managing these situations and staying confident with your new choices.
Keep in mind that not every action requires a reaction. Just because someone shares their opinion, doesn’t mean you are required to agree with them. If they are expressing a different opinion or trying to assert their viewpoint, remember to remain calm. Most people just want to be heard and express their feelings. Try not to react right away. Calmly thank them for sharing their perspective and affirm your new standpoint. Don’t allow them to bully you or stress you out.
Be clear as to what specifics you want to share. Providing information up front will help to lessen the potential questions or confusion about your recent changes. When stepping out from tradition, you will come across the "who, what, and why" kind of questions. If you can provide those facts up front, it can help to soften the blow of this information to your family.
“You are in complete ownership of your feelings and actions. Your beliefs, emotions, thoughts and ideas belong to you, and no one else can tell you what you feel or invalidate your opinions. Likewise, if you seek to invalidate other people’s points of view, you are also sabotaging any chance for problem-solving or having an open discussion.” Deep Patel
Welcome the open discussion. The more you hide or try to avoid your family, the more it can create conflict. Be proud of your choices! However, do not condemn them either for not having the same perspective or understanding that you have for your new choices. Just knowing where the other person is coming from is half the battle. It’s ok to disagree. The new choices you make might not be what they want. Always remember that the people in your life are individuals with their own preferences and beliefs, just like yourself! Mutual understanding is the goal and if they do accept your new choices...even better!
You can have your new choices and your family's understanding too, even if you stray from tradition. Be prepared to put in the work to stand up for yourself and to be calm from their reactions. Strive for mutual understanding and be prepared to clarify your changes to give them the opportunity to possibly be on board. Do not assume how they will respond, but be open to the possibility of acceptance.