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All Families Argue

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Do you ever feel that there are too many arguments in your house? Then you are not alone. Every family argues and has disagreements with each other at some point.  Crucially, it is the way that people argue that will profoundly determine the happiness levels within the family.  Unhappy families argue badly which drives disconnection and resentments, happy families argue well, which drives connection and understanding.

UNHAPPY FAMILIES ARGUE BADLY:

Unhappy families don't resolve problems when they argue, they simply vent frustrations to the other person in a way that is destructive to a person’s self-worth. The goal is for a person to gain power and control over the other.  They don't repair the relationship after an argument, instead they go from one argument to another and wonder why nothing improves. There is often a scapegoat in the family or a naughty child, who is blamed for the family’s arguments.

Unhappy families arguing styles:

  • Being critical: They often attack the other's personality or character.
  • Passive Aggressive: Will indirectly show anger or annoyance to avoid direct confrontation.
  • Passive: The may be submissive, avoidant, secretive, dishonest.
  • Aggressive: They may be confrontational and intimidate the other person.
  • Stonewall: Ignoring the other person and refusing to talk.
  • Being contemptuous: They may be insulting, disrespectful and disregarding the other’s feelings.
  • Rejecting: Walking away, dismissive, or excluding someone from an activity.
  • Shaming: blaming or demeaning the other person.

It is not difficult to see that this sort of argument will likely cause disconnection, mistrust and unhappy family relationships.

HAPPY FAMILIES ARGUE WELL:

Happy families have learnt to understand that it is not having arguments that is the problem it is how they deal with them that is critical to their family’s wellbeing. They move on past the argument because they process their feelings, don't bottle them up and aim at resolving problems.

Happy families argue by:

  • Being positive: They listen and talk in a positive respectful way to each other.
  • Empathising: They see the others point of view and validate their feelings.
  • Being assertive: They are confident and say what they mean.
  • Take responsibility: They will take responsibility for what they are doing.
  • Being sincere: They are kind and truthful.
  • Stay calm:  If the situation gets heated, they will take time to calm down and then come back to talk.
  • Asking questions: They gain insight into the problem by asking good questions.

Happy families repair relationships after an argument:

Arguments often leave resentments, misunderstandings and emotional pain that can be harmful to relationships. After an argument, it is vital to take a moment to re-connect and repair your relationship by taking responsibility for your actions.  Here are a few words that you may say to your family if you didn’t argue well.

1.    “I am sorry I hurt your feelings.”
2.    “I am sorry I was rude.”
3.    “I am sorry I shouted that’s not OK.”
4.    “Please forgive me, let’s make amends.”
5.    “Is there anything I can do to make things better?”

Be Mindful:

  • Learning to argue well is a necessary part of growing up emotionally. Everyone in the family needs to learn to express their self in a non-hurtful way that does not diminish the other persons self.   As a parent you are either well equipped to manage conflict and arguing in your home or you are not. 
  • Parents who do not know how to argue well, will often shut down disputes or punish anyone who may be seen as disagreeable. The result of not being able to argue well, is that the family dynamic becomes dysfunctional and the ability to be close is stunted by the fear of hurtful arguments.
  • Great relationships are built on good communication. If you feel that you would benefit from arguing better how will you do this today? 

Try it out and see what an amazing difference it makes……

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