Essay Handling Conflict in My Family

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Our first experiences with communication are with our immediate family. The relationships with our family members are the most crucial for us to maintain and among the most difficult. Sharing a living space means tension and conflict regardless of the persons occupying it. Conflict can be approached in a number of ways with pros and cons attached to each. It is important to remember that conflict styles and communication climates can change within a group. I say this because they most defiantly changed within my family over the past few years. My family had dysfunctional ways of handling conflict and these led me to adapt different conflict approaches. I'm the oldest child in a family of four by a significant margin. …show more content…
The conflict would continue and often small problems turned into month-long ordeals. One such conflict arose about grades. All four of us know what is expected of us in school and what the acceptable range of grades were. All three of my brothers had at least one D on their report cards, while I had maintained a C average. Our parents called a family meeting at which they explained that for the next four weeks we would be restricted to one hour of television per day and only after our homework was done during the school week. I protested and argued that because my grades were within the range deemed acceptable to them, this new rule shouldn't apply to me. They countered that I could stand to improve my grades also and that it wasn't a punishment. I said they must be confused about the definition and that it wasn't fair; the discussion with something like “We decide what’s fair and we make the decisions.” When I failed to change their minds, I did what I wanted anyway. I wasn't hiding it and when I was caught I just repeated my original argument. This conflict ended up in a cause and response loop. They weren't acknowledging my input on the subject so I wouldn't observe their instructions. This scenario repeated itself over a number of issues. These conflicts were rarely solely based on the merits of a T.V. embargo or a curfew. They were simply the vehicles for what amounted to a power play. I wanted my input to be taken into consideration and they didn't

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