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November


Piggy In The Middle. Wednesday November 26, 2014

There's a family row going on right now.

Well, no; it's not a row. It's just that there's a decision to be made by the extended family (six living members) and there are eleven opinions on what that decision should be (because five out the six are married or have partners). Inevitably there is conflict and equally inevitably, brothers have fallen out with sisters, nieces with uncles (or at least, aunts by marriage) and there is a whole lot of dissonance going on.

But everyone honestly wants the best for everyone. It's just that they have different ideas of what that best is and how it should be achieved.

And who is in the middle of it all? Who is still talking to everybody? To whom is everyone involved pouring their heart out to?

Yes, that would be me. (Sigh)

My job, at which I seem (reluctantly) to be good at, is listening to everybody, validating their concerns and then (diplomatically) presenting eleven different points of view to eleven different people in eleven different ways. Quite frankly, it's been exhausting.
And time-consuming.

Apparently it's all the fault of having a sun sign of Taurus with Sagittarius rising and a moon sign of Libra: I can see both sides of the story. Even when it's a dodecahedron story. And no – I don't understand all this astrological stuff either.

But at last we seem to be getting somewhere: we have a way forward. And everyone has been listened to; everyone feels that their opinion is valued and, even if their preferred actions are not being taken, they understand the thinking, reasons and logic behind the decision.

Which, in turn means I can invite them all to the family gathering just after Christmas.
Oh, I know full well there will still be tensions; a couple of cousins won't be speaking over something that happened last Christmas (and when I find myself thinking "how petty" I have to remind myself that I have not experienced that particular injury/backlash, so I don't know how it feels) but hopefully I can still get all eleven adults (plus six children and two hangers on) round one dining table in a spirit of reconciliation and harmony.

It's an ambitious project, but I remind myself that the family was exceptionally harmonious before the death of its head (my uncle), in July 2013. It can and will be harmonious again.

It might just take a tanker full of oil to pour on the troubled waters though, and, just at the moment, I'm fresh out of Fry-Light!

But I draw a deep breath and remind myself of Stephen Covey's first principal: "Begin with the end in mind." Quite frankly, I don't care what the family decision is, I just want a united family and I'm prepared to do whatever it takes to get my united family back.

Even if I have to see, show and tell eleven different sides of the same story.

Mary
A Moodscope member.


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Comments

Anonymous Wed, Nov 26th 2014 @ 7:44am

well said and a timely reminder for me to 'back off' being angry that my Christmas is spoiled. I was to spend it alone, I couldn't wait, that may sound bizarre to some but it meant I could play my 'naff' carols, visit my parents graves and generally, for once, do exactly what I wanted to do as our family Christmas is on Boxing Day, you know the phrase "you got them last year it's our turn". But now a family fall out has changed that and I will have company and I am very miffed about it too! This in fact means my husband has terminally fallen out with his mother, I did years ago she isn't easy to like, acid tongue, etc. etc. But I lost sight that this hurts him. His mood will slowly deteriorate, guilt will kick in and it doesn't matter that he has had the patience of a saint with her it hurts him. Would I do anything to get everyone together - no it is past that stage (I am not alone in walking away from her vitriol) but his hurt is greater than my annoyance so I will support him and try to understand his mood and pray he can raise his game for the rest of the family on Boxing Day. Maybe next year I will get the Christmas I want.

The Entertrainer Wed, Nov 26th 2014 @ 9:46am

Hi Mary
Do you use Mind Mapping as a technique? I know it is a brilliant way of honouring everyone's input on a big piece of paper - and removing some of the emotion. Everyone can see their point of view and values have been captured and valued. They can often begin to see other people's points too from a new perspective.
If the eleven don't all feel 'heard' by all the others, they may focus just on their own points of view.
Hope this is a useful idea.
You know where to reach me if you'd like me to dig deeper with you.

Mary Wed, Nov 26th 2014 @ 12:45pm

Ah, bless you. I sincerely hope that your family Christmas is better than you expect and that, yes, you get to be on your own next Christmas!

Mary Wed, Nov 26th 2014 @ 12:47pm

Brilliant Idea Lex (lovely to hear from you too). I think we're through it now and the decision has been reached. But if it all goes pear-shaped and we have to go back to the start, I will certainly bear mind maps in mind! Thank you.

Anonymous Wed, Nov 26th 2014 @ 1:09pm

Oooh Marydoll, you have had your work cut out! And danced a diplomatic dance. Permission to lie twitching in a corner is a given!! Very well done. Love from the ratg x.

Di Murphey Wed, Nov 26th 2014 @ 7:00pm

Dearest Sweet Mary,
Your role in the family is crucial & inspiring. Hang in there ~ the mind-map is a great idea (The Entertainer) ~ also, perhaps you might share your posting with them? They might like to know the impact of things, even on you.

Family relationships can be extremely messy ~ in the end, we are family. Keep the faith and keep the caring concern. You are awesome & your family is fortunate to have you.
Lovingly,
Di Murphey

Anonymous Wed, Nov 26th 2014 @ 8:41pm

Matt.5:9
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God

Hopeful One Thu, Nov 27th 2014 @ 11:25pm

I share your star sign which may or may not be relevant but curiously I saw and felt your dilemma as I would have seen it. Glad it reached a happy conclusion.

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