- Family and Parenting
How To Handle Family Fights
Oh boy, so tiresome! And I'm not even started with the day!
If situations of conflict are all too frequent at home, there are things that you can know that will help in the future. Read on, and apply the points that make sense to your situation.
Are family fights a regular occurrence at home?
Step out of the building
Proximity breeds contempt. Often during a conflict situation, it makes sense to change location and exit the confines of home. Doing so will help you cool down somewhat. You will also see that the real world is bigger than your own.
Remember that the nag is a person too
The one who is nagging you has feelings and aspirations just like you. This is a very important thing to keep in mind during a fight. Never make dehumanizing references to him or her.
Realize that the one who started the fight might be having a bad day
Often fights begin as a result of frustration. People tend to take back their disappointments home from school, college, or the workplace. This leads to fights. The person who is irritable or begins an all-out fight is probably already in a bad state emotionally.
Drink some water
Did you know that being thirsty can make you irritable? Being irritable can be combustible in a situation of conflict. Drink water. This can make a whole world of difference and prevent you from saying something you may end up regretting for long or doing something which will be less than memorable.
Take a deep breath
In the middle of a difficult experience like a family fight, breathing becomes shallow and reasoning becomes clouded. Taking a deep breath will help you be reasonable and make your points clearly.
Take your time in responding
Patience is an underrated virtue that exhibits its effectiveness when exercised during a time of conflict. Speak slowly and pause frequently, even if the other person is trying to rush you for an answer or explanation.
Allow the person to finish his or her point
Don't keep interrupting every sentence that is uttered during the argument. Wait for him or her to finish saying what is intended before you try to respond.
Don't take things too personally
During a fight, all sorts of things that don't make any kind of logical sense are said. Not everything that is said in a shrill tone is true. Don't take things to heart. Know that you are in a fight and that stupid things can be said in the heat of the moment.
Don't make personal remarks
Keep the argument on topic. It makes absolutely no sense to sidestep the main issue and bring on a nasty and hurtful personal attack on the family member you are in a confrontation with. It is a very unclassy way to behave. It is not something that civil people do.
If you are wrong, accept it
Don't keep extending the confrontation just for the sake of arguing. If you are wrong, you are wrong. Accept it, apologize, and get on with life.
If you are right, be gentle rather than corner the other person
If you end up being right, you are right. At the same time, don't go on the rampage against the person who was wrong. He or she is your family member. People can be wrong sometimes.
Know that no one wins a fight within the family
Fighting within the family is always a pointless, yet often inescapable, activity that no one ever gains from. It is stressful and takes away from your lifespan. As much as possible, avoid starting a fight or being pulled into one.
Don't start fights
This should be a no-brainer, but many people hardly seem to think before beginning a fight. Of course, in their defence, it can be said that they would not have expected their words to begin a downward spiral into mud slinging. When in doubt, it is better not to say a thing than to say it and disrupt the often fragile peace that exists at home.
Discuss the matter through when things are calm
More important than engaging in a screaming match about something is to discuss it patiently when things calm down. Such a discussion is many times more likely to be useful than wasting time on a fight.
When you discuss things with your family member in a rational way, you will begin to see the absolute pointlessness of engaging in a verbal duel.
Don't be vengeful
Revenge works only in films. In real life, being vengeful is a very bad idea. Learn to take things in your stride, even some inexplicable and inexcusable things. This will help you in the long run.
Don't gossip about fights at home
Fights that happen within the family should, at all costs, stay within the family. Familial bonds, even if strained, are sacrosanct. Friends and even romantic partners may come and go, but family ties endure forever. If you gossip about a family member, you may have to face the consequence of that action at some point in the future. Gossipping kills trust, and when trust is eroded, restoring it is next to impossible.
Never bring up old issues during a confrontation
Just as you should never make personal references during a fight, you should absolutely never bring up old issues. Doing so will only prove that you have been harbouring resentment in your mind and that you are using old issues to mask your own inadequacy at a sensible, mature discussion.
Never forget that, at the end of the day, home is where the heart is
All said and done, family is family. Your family can never be replaced. Work toward preserving your family's emotional and physical health in our already stressed-out world. Many years down the line, when any member of your family passes on to his or her maker, you should cherish some very precious memories rather than rue the countless hours and days that were spent in needless fighting just to protect your ego.
Make up your mind right now to value every irreplaceable member of your family.
Your family is priceless, so value it!
Bonus: During an argument, imagine you are being videotaped
When you do this, you will make sure you maintain decency despite the stressed situation. When you wake up the next morning, you won't be beating yourself up for being rash.