How to Stop Fighting With Your Family

Fighting with family

Why is it that the people you love most are the ones who can drive you the craziest? 

Maybe that’s why family violence makes up about one-third of violent crimes reported to police. And while most of us won’t reach the extent of physical violence, our family members still have an undeniable ability to drive us nuts.

It happens to the best of us. You’re minding your own business, going about your day, when all of a sudden you find yourself in a heated argument with your spouse or one of your kids. 

Family can be a source of both joy and anxiety, but when the fighting starts, it can be tough to know how to make it stop. 

If you’re like most people, conflict is something you’d rather avoid. But the fact is, conflict is a natural part of family life. The important thing is not to let it get out of hand. Here are four tips to help you keep the peace in your home.

In this article, we’ll give you some tips on how to put an end to the bickering and get back to enjoying your time with loved ones.

Avoid trying to win arguments. 

When we get wrapped up in trying to be right, we tend to lose sight of what’s really important: the relationship. 

If you find yourself engaging in a full-blown argument with your spouse or kids, ask yourself if it’s really worth it. 

Is it more important to be right, or is it more important to maintain a healthy relationship? Chances are, it’s the latter. 

So take a step back and try to see things from the other person’s perspective. You’ll find that there’s some middle ground to be found.  And even if you don’t see eye-to-eye on the issue at hand, at least you can agree to disagree—and still maintain a healthy relationship through the conflict. 

After all, the best relationships are formed through healthy conflict.

Don’t sweat the small stuff. 

We all have our pet peeves, but they’re usually not worth getting upset about—especially if it means sacrificing your relationship with someone you care about. 

So instead of getting worked up about that one little thing that bugs you, learn to let it go and focus on the bigger picture. 

What’s more important: having a clean house or having a happy family? Most people would choose the latter without hesitation. Of course, there’s a middle ground, but keep the first things first and let the rest fall into place.

Communicate effectively—and respectfully. 

If you feel like you’re constantly arguing with your spouse, kids, or other family members, odds are there’s a communication breakdown somewhere along the line. 

So instead of trying to guess what they’re thinking or feeling, just ask them. Then really listen to their answer—without interrupting or judging—and try to see things from their point of view.

Be clear about what you want and why you want it, and listen carefully to what others are saying. Try to avoid making assumptions about what someone else is thinking or feeling, and instead ask them directly so there’s no misunderstanding.

You might be surprised at how much conflict can be avoided simply by communicating effectively and respecting each other’s points of view. 

Define boundaries with certain family members.

One of the most important things you can do to stop fighting with your non-household family members is to set boundaries with them, especially if you’re finding yourself getting into arguments with certain family members more often than others. 

Remember that you don’t have to share everything with someone just because they’re family, and it’s okay to say “no” if you don’t want to do something or if you need some time for yourself. 

Plainly put, establishing boundaries is the most difficult yet most effective way to reduce stress and conflict in your relationships. It will feel impossible at first, but don’t let the pressure to please your family override your mental and emotional health.

Of course, boundaries apply to non-household family members more than with people who live in your household. But even still, it doesn’t hurt to have “mom time” and “dad time” either with friends or on a date night. It’s okay for moms to have ladies night and dads to have guys night. It’s those friendships that give us energy and keep us balanced so we can give our whole selves to our family when we’re around them.

Seek professional help.

If you find that you’re still struggling to resolve conflicts with family members, it may be time to seek professional help. A therapist can assist you in developing communication and problem-solving skills that can be beneficial in all areas of your life, including your relationships with loved ones.

Remember, family is supposed to be a source of support and love, and while conflict is normal in relationships, fighting should be the norm. 

If you’re tired of arguing with your loved ones, use these tips to help stop the bickering and start enjoying your time together again.