Why We Have to Fight With Our Family
For some of us, Christmas is a bit of a stressful time as we know we will have to spend extended periods of time with our families. Its like they were made to get on our nerves. No one can get under our skin like our brothers and sisters. Why does it have to be this way? Shouldn’t going back home to the family be something to look forward to? You have spent so much time with them and are so close. It’s weird how close you are and still fight all the time. It seems like it should be the opposite.
Actually, that’s not the case. Fighting with your family is the more normal thing to happen. It’s actually supposed to happen in healthy family relationships. While the experience itself might not be that enjoyable, it is actually a positive sign when families fight with one another for a multitude of reasons.
We are All Fighting For What’s Best
There is always that relative that does something that is so obviously not healthy for them or just wrong. We can try to tell them all we want, but nothing seems to get through to them. Or we might have that relative who always seems to find something wrong with us. It might be how we dress, our job, or how we act. They just have to point it out to us at every chance they get. It is unbelievably frustrating, so how can this possibly be healthy?
Well, on some level, we all believe we know what’s best for ourselves. We believe we know how to dress, how to act, etc.. When someone comes and tells us that we are wrong about something we do, it usually doesn’t bother us too much. However, our family knows just the right way to say something to get on our ugly side. That is because they know us better than anyone else. They know what makes us tick. While that might be irritating, it is really a good sign.
We believe we know what’s best for ourselves, so on some level, we believe what’s best for our family. We want what’s best for our family and they want what’s best for us. The delivery of this information is not pleasant because they know how to elicit a response from you. Whether you like to believe it or not, even an angry response causes you to reflect on yourself more than nothing. While they might not always be right, it does make you think. They do just want what’s best for you even when they get on your nerves.
There is No Growth Without Struggle
It is very often that the closest families as adults are the ones who argued the most when they were younger. Not to say that arguing is an absolute necessity, but if there is conflict it must be resolved. Families who never interact at a young age, or ignore problems and confrontation, end up growing apart in the future. They never learn how to get along with one another. Fighting and arguing is just that, learning. It is messy and ugly, but sometimes that is how we learn. We struggle until we reach a common ground. Without the struggle, we remain distant.
That is how it is for all learning experiences. The best lessons come from the heartbreaks, failures, and dark hours. By nature, the struggle is where we grow.
The Different Opinions We Share
The different opinions that we share with our family are usually will get us into arguments in the first place. There is an unhealthy habit that people have that causes them to stray away from people with varying opinions from theirs. We like to hang out with people who think the same way we do and have the same views that we do. The problem with this is that we can never expand our perspective if we constantly engage with people who have the same one.
It is too easy to say that our point of view is the right one. This closes us off from ever learning anything new.
“Intelligent individuals learn from every thing and every one; average people, from their experiences. The stupid already have all the answers.”
When we are with family, we are forced to engage with others different views and opinions (Something that doesn’t happen enough). It is a chance for us to exercise our tolerance for other views and maybe learn something along the way.
If They Don’t Fight, Then They Don’t Care
You know a relationship is over when it is ended calmly. One big misunderstanding that people forget is that fighting shows that people care. If someone doesn’t bother to argue with you and spend the energy doing so, then they don’t care enough to resolve whatever issue there is. There is obviously good and bad ways to argue, but arguing in itself is a sign of commitment and effort.
It is actually a bad sign when someone doesn’t bother to argue or resolve issues in a relationship. It is a sign that they have begun to give up on pushing that relationship forward. When relationships stop growing, they start dying.
While you are in the middle of your next argument, whoever it may be with, please do take a second to recognize this. Take a second to recognize that you are both arguing for each other instead of against each other.
They Are Learning Too
How do you really learn to become a good parent? How do you learn to become a good older sibling? You can read all the books that you want, but in reality it all really comes down to experience. It really isn’t right for us to pass judgment on the people that we were raised with. We forget that they are learning how to do this, too. Parents are basically just kids who were given kids.
Please be patient and recognize this fact. No one knows of the perfect way to raise you since it’s never been done before. Each different child is a completely different experience, so no cookie-cutter parenting can really work.
Be patient. Learn to appreciate the arguments. Learn to grow and understand. Learn to love them regardless.