Why Am I Always Fighting With My Family?
Updated December 17, 2018
Reviewer Rashonda Douthit , LCSW
Another day, another family fighting. You may wonder if you're the only one who fights with their family so much but rest assured, you are not. Chances are, right now one of your friends' family is fighting over something; a family fight over money, or over the kids, or over the people their kids choose to hang out with. It's normal for families to have differences, but for some families, the disagreements can turn toxic.
Understanding Family Always Fighting
If it's not you arguing with your parents, it's your parents arguing with you. And if it's not your parents, it's your brother or sister. Sometimes, it feels like you just live in a fighting family. Where is the love, you may ask yourself.
Parents Arguing With Each Other
Seeing your parents fightingmay be tough to cope with. However, it's important to remember that everyone fights with each other from time to time, and it's healthy - when it's within reason. Just because they're fighting does not mean they're going to get a divorce or even that they will stay mad at each other for very long. They may have said things they didn't mean but more often than not, it will pass.
If it bothers you, you may want to try talking to them about it. If they know how you feel, they may try to help you understand why they're arguing. Or they may wait to discuss more heated issues until you are out with friends or asleep for the night so that you don't have to be subjected to their raised voices.
Arguing With Your Parents
If most of the fights in your house revolve around you getting into arguments with your parents, this may be because you feel like they don't understand you. It may sound like a cliché, but it's true - your parents were young once, too. Though, they may have forgotten how certain things affected them when they were your age. Or perhaps they have already been through a situation similar to the one you're arguing about, and they know how it ends and are trying to save you from a similar fate. This can be frustrating for them, too, which can lead to an argument.
It is your parents' job to keep an eye on you and make sure you're safe. So while it may sometimes seem like they're tightening the noose and trying to stop you from living your own life, they're just afraid that you're going to make a mistake that can end up hurting you in the end, and they're trying to stop you before you do. You may know full well what you are going to do in the situation, and they may trust that you will do it, but if they didn't try to protect you, then they wouldn't be very good parents at all, would they?
Communication is key here. When you talk to your parents about how you're feeling, you may find that you are better able to mend fences with them and the number of arguments you get into with them will probably decrease. The same advice holds true for kids as it does for their parents: screaming and yelling gets you nowhere. The respectful conversation gets you much closer to understanding.
Arguing With a Sibling
Siblings are expected to fight with each other. It's like cats and dogs living in the same house. For the most part, they'll learn to get along, but every once in a while, expect a major blow-up. That's what it can be like for siblings.
It's understandable for you to lose patience with your brother after he's taken your stuff out of your room without permission for the 15th time this week. However, rather than yelling at him a 16th time for the same thing, you can expect much better results if you approach the situation in the same way as suggested for your parents. Explain to your brother how much what he is doing bothers you, and he may just see things your way. Deep down, he doesn't want to fight either, even if it would kill him to admit it.
Tips for Handling Anger More Constructively
While in the moment, it can be tough to get your anger under control. However, it's important to have a good idea of alternate methods of releasing that anger before you end up in the next situation that may tempt you to explode.
For instance, if someone does something that makes you feel like you're going just to explode, leave the house and go for a quick jog around the block to release that angry energy, rather than unleashing it on someone else. As stupid as it may feel at first, it can also be helpful to punch a pillow. You're not hurting anyone, nor are you hurting yourself, and it feels good to get the aggression out, rather than letting it eat you up inside.
If you're not the type to release aggressive energy, you can also try meditating. Find a quiet place where you can get away from everyone and relax. Count to 10 and breathe deeply through the nose on the inhale, and out through the mouth on the exhale. When you're done, you will probably feel way more in control than you had a few moments before.
Tips for Reducing Family Fights
If you find you've been fighting with your family a lot in recently, perhaps you just need some space. If you find a conversation you're involved in is getting heated, take a breath, take a step back, and attempt to collect yourself before you blow a gasket. Many arguments start because someone says something hurtful in a burst of anger. Situations could be better diffused if the parties to the almost argument took a step back and thought about what they were going to say before they said it.
It's also important to pick your moments. If your sister did something that angered you, her birthday is not the best time to address it. Emotions run high on holidays or during family events, and not only is the argument likely to spiral out of control because everyone's on edge, but you also have the potential to ruin the day and make it an unpleasant memory for years to come. Instead, wait until the next day after the excitement dies down, then take your sister aside and explain how what she did made you feel.
It's also important that you focus more on a solution than the problem. Rather than trying to win the argument, brainstorm ideas with the person you fought with to prevent a similar situation from occurring in the future, which might then result in another fight in the future.
Removing Toxic Family Members from Your Life
While fighting with family from time to time is healthy, there comes the point when the relationship has turned toxic, and it may be better for you to cease contact with that person, family or not. What follows are some signs that you may be dealing with a toxic person:
- They constantly make you angry with how they behave, act, or talk.
- You do what you can to avoid visiting with them whenever possible.
- They drain you with their negativity, to the point where you're exhausted when you leave.
- You're constantly walking on eggshells around them, worried that you'll say the wrong thing.
- You feel like you're forced to be around them because of familial obligations, rather than wanting to spend time with them.
Of course, dealing with a toxic family member is monumentally more difficult when you are living with that person. You can't simply stop calling them on the phone or going over to their house because they're living in your house.
What's important to understand first and foremost is whether it is you who is creating the toxic environment. A lot of people don't realize that their actions are causing people to act the way they do, and the first step to making a positive change is to recognize you have a problem and own up to it. If you see any of the following in yourself, you may need to reevaluate how you are treating those closest to you:
- Your friends and family are distancing themselves from you.
- You are always asking others to validate your appearance, personality, etc.
- You must always be in control, regardless of the situation.
- You feel like you are always the victim, and you tell anyone who will listen.
- People seem unhappy to be around you.
If any of these traits describe you, then you may need to make a change in the way you are treating and behaving toward others. You may wish to speak with a professional who can help you overcome these bad habits and adopt a more positive attitude, which can, in turn, encourage those around you to be more positive as well.
Have you had just about enough of fighting with your family? Contact our counselors at BetterHelp for more support and advice.