<h1>Tips Toward a Truce</h1> <div id="pnlArticleMetaData"><span class="authors">by Becky Sweat</span> <span class="reading-time">Estimated reading time: 2 minutes.</span> <span class="posted-date">Posted on <strong>16-Aug-1998</strong></span> </div> <div id="pnlArticleTeaserText">What can you do when your siblings are speaking to you? Here are some tips to resolve the problem. </div> <span id="ArticleSpan"><P>You and your brother or sister might not be on the best of terms. Maybe you had a big fight and neither of you has taken the steps toward a truce. While it may not be easy, you need to talk things out so that you can be on cordial terms again. Here are some&nbsp;suggestions:</P> <P><STRONG>&bull;&nbsp;Plan a time to sit and talk. </STRONG>Rather than barging into your sister&rsquo;s room and yelling at her, knock on her door and ask if the two of you can talk at a certain time. Choose a time to talk after you both have had time to think rationally about the situation and are&nbsp;calm.</P> <P><STRONG>&bull;&nbsp;Listen.</STRONG> Make it a rule that each of you will get five minutes&rsquo; uninterrupted time to talk about your concerns while the other person listens carefully. You can flip a coin to see who goes first. Listen with an open mind and try to understand your sibling&rsquo;s point of view. Your brother or sister may have an entirely different perspective on the&nbsp;situation.</P> <P>Listening is an underrated, but vital, skill. Without listening, you&rsquo;ll find it hard to communicate. The Bible gives some excellent advice on how we can get along better: &ldquo;Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry&rdquo; (James 1:19, New International&nbsp;Version).</P> <P><STRONG>&bull;&nbsp;Choose your words carefully.</STRONG>Give yourself time to think about what you want to say before you open your mouth to speak. Don&rsquo;t name-call, criticize or fault-find or bring up the past. Start your talk with something like, &ldquo;I&rsquo;m unhappy about what happened between us, and I would like things to be better,&rdquo; rather than, &ldquo;You&rsquo;re a pain in the neck.&rdquo; Stick to the here-and-now and the&nbsp;issue.</P> <P>Put into practice the biblical advice: &ldquo;A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger&rdquo; (Proverbs 15:1). You&rsquo;ll likely see communication improve dramatically when you put this into&nbsp;practice.</P> <P><STRONG>&bull;&nbsp;Use &ldquo;I&rdquo; statements.</STRONG> Talk from your own point of view by making &ldquo;I&rdquo; statements: &ldquo;I don&rsquo;t think you&rsquo;re aware of what you&rsquo;re doing here&rdquo; or &ldquo;I don&rsquo;t think you realize how much this is bothering me.&rdquo; Avoid making statements that begin with &ldquo;you&rdquo;: &ldquo;You did this ...&rdquo; or &ldquo;You always ...&rdquo; &ldquo;You&rdquo; statements tend to be accusatory and put the other person on the&nbsp;defensive.</P> <P><STRONG>&bull;&nbsp;Know when to get an adult involved. </STRONG>If you are getting nowhere one on one, suggest that a third person step in to help the two of you get the problem solved. Choose an adult who can remain neutral and one whom you both trust, such as one of your parents, an aunt or uncle or a young adult at church whom you both like. <EM>GN</EM></P></span>
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