PETALING JAYA: Here are some steps to help avoid feuds in families with different views on Covid-19 vaccination.
Counsellor Hansel Wong, who listed four steps to prevent family conflicts, said deployment of conflict management skills was vital.
“Firstly, ensure that all the family members are on the same page.
“Establish that there are contrary opinions and different information that leads to confusion.
“We need to acknowledge that we are in an unprecedented time. There is a lot of uncertainty, ” he said.
The next step, he said, was to agree on a source of information.
“To reduce the possibility of conflict, what the family can do is to align on a reliable information source. It can also reduce the chance of confusion, ” he added.
“While clearing the confusion, it is vital to take care of the emotional aspect of the conflict, ” said Wong.
“The heightened state of fear, anger or resentment makes the conflict worse.
“To humanise the conflict on vaccination, we can take a step back and communicate with family members to understand how they are coping with the Covid-19 situation and what their worries are about the vaccination.
“This can be a time to share our emotions. Do not be afraid of being vulnerable, ” he said, adding that communication was the key to build trust and a stronger relationship.
Counsellor Zubaidah Othman said it was crucial to remain civil when voicing out your opinion.
“Everyone is entitled to their opinion and has the right to make the decision for their body, ” she said, adding that all should keep an open mind and also hear the others out.
Zubaidah suggested one should back up opinion with facts and have effective communication skills.