Switzerland, a neutral country and by all means, everyone’s friends. No, we can no longer hide our money in their bank accounts to avoid taxes, but from what I hear a nice place to visit and they do make some awesome chocolate. Now, let’s cut to the chase here – when two family members are having a bit of a tiff, stay the heck out of it – be Switzerland.
Staying neutral is quite easy:
- Not my circus, not my monkeys. Do not involve yourself in the drama of others. If you have nothing to do with the dispute, then stay the heck out of the way. Provide support to both sides by listening but make it clear you are not taking a position.
- If one of the family members attempts to suck you in or asks you to get involved just tell them you are not comfortable and will not take sides – or lie and say you are washing your hair.
- Do not try to mediate unless you are an actual mediator. Unless you are professionally trained, you do not have the skill set to deal with crazy people. And when family members argue they are probably out of their minds.
- You do not have the time to get involved – you have your own life (you do have your own life don’t you?) If you do not have a life then put some effort into getting one! Take a photography class, rescue a pet, start dating, save whales – whatever, just stay out of the disagreement.
- If you get involved and it all turns ugly, the disagreement may now be a three way with you as the third party.
One thing you do have the right to do is to get involved when there are gatherings where the tension is obvious or the individuals are nasty. For instance, if one family member is making back handed comments then that person has to be called on their bs. If the arguing parties bring their feud to the Christmas dinner table then it needs to be silenced immediately.
A family can be ripped apart when members argue and others jump in and take sides. That is why I recommend staying the heck out of it and remain Switzerland. Be the voice of reason in telling the feuding members that they are each being crazy by allowing the argument to fester and if an agreement can not be reached then they just have to get over it…then give everyone chocolate – that always seems to help.