Having a relationship with your cousins can be challenging. Talk about your problems without hurting each other's feelings.
Method 1 of 3: Controlling Your Reactions
Step 1. When your cousin is doing something that bothers you, don't react immediately
That doesn't mean you're weak. If you keep quiet, you are actually acting superior. Use your energy for productive conversations, not petty arguments.
Often, people will realize they're being boring. If you don't say anything, they're more likely to realize they were being annoying
Step 2. Work your nonverbal response with your cousin
Nonverbal responses are things you do with your body, noises or a facial expression that communicate a particular message. If you're communicating to your cousin that you're angry with him, it can make him react even worse.
Be superior, don't grumble, roll your eyes, or make faces at other people, showing you are angry
Step 3. Inhale deeply and exhale slowly
Do this instead of reacting to what your cousin is doing. Let your feelings pass through you. As you exhale, focus on a word that stops you from reacting, such as "calm", "compassion" or "it's okay".
Step 4. Focus on the whole situation
If you're tempted to fight your cousin, look at the situation in perspective. Your cousin probably won't stop doing what's pissing him off if you respond negatively. Think about why he is doing this. If you can think in the context of what's going on in his life, maybe it can help you feel more compassion for him.
Ask yourself, what benefit will you get from fighting him over this particular situation, whether it's today, tomorrow, or a month from now?
Step 5. Take a break
Leave the house and go for a walk, or talk to a friend or relative on the phone. Put your energy into something else for a few minutes. Use your headphones to block out the noise and listen to music you like.
Be careful not to overuse pauses or headphones. If you stay away all the time, it will damage your relationship with your cousin
Step 6. Change the direction of the conversation
This can calm you and your cousin down too. If he's doing something that bothers him, ask him a question about something he likes. Sometimes, if you can find a way to positively engage with your cousin, you won't have such a bad relationship with him.
- Create a gentle break in the situation or conversation. Say something like, "Hey, I have a question". So wait a while before starting over.
- Recognize what your cousin is doing. Don't highlight the fact that it's annoying, instead say, “I know you're playing your video games, but I was curious about what you're going to do this weekend with your friends. is going to grandma's house, and if you're going to take someone".
Method 2 of 3: Taking Your Role into Account
Step 1. Modify your negative thoughts about your cousin
Your train of thought may be making you think things about your cousin that are your own considerations and not really true. These thoughts can be dangerous to your relationship as they will make you more bitter and angry at your relative.
When you find yourself getting too attached to all the things your cousin does that you don't like, do something to distract yourself. Listen to a song, read a book, talk to someone or do something else
Step 2. Don't make assumptions about why your cousin does certain things
Making assumptions about someone's reasons for doing something is dangerous. It's easy to think that you know what's going on because you're so intimate with that person. However, you may need more information to understand a particular situation.
- For example, you might think, "I know he's talking loudly just to piss me off." But, there might be something else going on with him. Maybe he's screaming while playing video games because he had a bad day at school.
- Next time you think you know why your cousin is doing something, ask him about it. Say "Why do you say that?"
Step 3. Have real conversations with your cousin
Get to know him better. The more you get to know your cousin, the more you'll be able to understand the things he does.
- Ask general questions. Ask him why he likes certain things, or ask him about his relationships.
- Listen carefully and don't interrupt. Show that you are listening by nodding your head, making sounds and maintaining eye contact with him.
- Ask good questions. Show that you were listening and ask more questions related to the topic he is talking about. Bring into the conversation other information you know about your cousin. You can say something you know about another friend. Say something like, "So your new friendship with Maria makes your best friend Anna feel left out?"
Step 4. Share the things you love with your cousin
Little cousins especially want to be a part of what you're doing. Most of them, even if it doesn't seem like it, are curious about your world. Let him feel a part. Take him to a football game, go somewhere you like to eat or take a walk in a part of town you know well.
- Tell your cousin stories about your life. They also like to hear about what's going on with you.
- Laugh with him. Play jokes with each other or laugh at the things that happened to you. Having a sense of humor can help ease the situation in the future when you're angry with each other.
Method 3 of 3: Talking About the Problem
Step 1. Ask your cousin if he can talk
You should talk to your cousin about the problems you two have. This is healthy and will also help to keep your relationship good. See if he has time for you to talk somewhere where there will be no distractions.
If your cousin is busy, ask him when he's free to talk
Step 2. Go to a quiet place where you can talk without interruption
Stay away from siblings, relatives or friends. This also includes television or computers. Also stay away from your electronic devices so there are no distractions.
Step 3. Start with the good stuff
Tell your cousin how much you love and like him. Give real examples of your history together, or the things he did or said that make you love him. People need to feel loved and appreciated before being criticized.
- The best teams give five compliments for each review.
- Your cousin may feel that you don't like him very much, and hearing that may open his mind to hear you.
- If you are not used to speaking this way, you can go through this step in a way that seems to suit your personality. But you need to make sure your cousin really believes you care about him.
Step 4. Mention only one problem you have with your cousin in each conversation
Avoid talking about all issues at once. This will feel like an attack, and your conversation will likely not have such a positive outcome. Instead, focus on an issue that you can work on, such as your relationship.
Step 5. Acknowledge your guilt in the problem
When talking to your cousin, talk about the things you did that also interfered with the situation. Tell your cousin you're not blaming him for the whole problem. But say you want to help him solve the problem. Accepting your guilt in the situation makes you seem reasonable, and can motivate you to try to improve the situation.
- Give real examples of how you also caused the problem. For example, you might say, "I know I hurt you when I said you weren't good enough for the basketball team."
- Apologize and assume what you did. For example, tell your cousin, "I'm sorry. I was nervous, and I shouldn't have said that."
- Tell him the things you will do differently in the future. You might say, "I'll think about what I have to say before I speak when I'm angry."
- If you have several examples of how your cousin is the problem, but you don't have similar examples of how you also did things that hurt the situation, it can make it difficult for your cousin to believe in your sincerity.
Step 6. Watch your language
Explain your feelings and reasons, and don't talk while you're angry. Explain that you may not understand everything that is going on, but explain that you see what your cousin does or says and how it makes you feel or what happens to you as a result of what he does.
- For example, you might say, "When you don't tell me the truth, it makes me feel like I can't trust you."
- Avoid looking like you're judging him. You can be clear, but you don't have to look like you're judging. Don't say things like, "When you lie, always." Instead, say, "When you don't tell me the truth."