Boxing Day Family Row

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Boxing Day was terrible because my auntie and my sister had an enormous row. My mother had been in tears because my auntie was having a go at her in a very loud, abusive way. My sister became upset for my mother and told my auntie a few home truths so my auntie packed her stuff and stormed out. I just sat there watching it all; it was so horrible I couldn’t speak. Now everyone is really hurt and angry and I’m caught in the middle of it. They’re all tweeting me and Facebook messaging me and now they are getting angry with me for not taking sides. I just want everything to go back to normal.
Anonymous

Answer
You are a peacemaker at heart and what an unenviable position to find yourself in. Unfortunately, this is a classic situation and similar things will have happened over Christmas in families up and down the country.
I’m afraid this is something that the hurt, angry parties will have to sort out for themselves. The wisest position to take in a situation such as this is probably to refuse to get involved.
It helps if people can understand that holding on to hurt, anger, resentment and bitterness is bad for their mental health. They need to let go for their own sakes. Sometimes, especially if it’s a pattern in their behaviour, people may need help; otherwise they may be in danger of becoming depressed. The safest way for people to deal with hurt and anger is to write down all their negative thoughts and feelings on a piece of paper; then destroy it and resolve to put the matter behind them and move on. Every time they find themselves brooding they need to remind themselves of their decision.

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