Fights with people you love can be painful. Emotions get riled up, you may say things you don’t mean, and you wind up feeling awful afterward because of the strain in your relationship. Patching things up is difficult, and you can feel at a loss for how to move forward.
You’ve likely noticed that you fight much more with your loved ones than with mere acquaintances. It’s a frustrating phenomenon, and it can be tough to understand why this happens.
Here are 12 reasons why loved ones fight with each other.
1. Misunderstandings and Miscommunications
Relationships aren’t always positive. Sometimes there are crossed wires, or maybe something went unsaid. Whatever the cause, the result is the same – fights and arguments with our loved ones. In some unfortunate cases, it can develop to the point of no return as resentment simmers and boils over in a conflict.
Here are a few ways to avoid this from happening:
- Pay attention to your choice of words within a given situation
- Make sure your volume and tone are appropriate
- Ensure that you are truly listening and paying attention to your partner
2. Focusing on Oneself, Not On The Team
It’s important to remember that the success of any relationship is reliant on the teamwork involved. You’ll find that you often end up recovering positive thinking faster after the resolution of any conflict you have with your loved ones.
Thinking of yourself first instead of you and your loved ones as a team is often the cause of more conflicts than not, as discovered by a study from National Taiwan University. To remind yourself that it’s a team effort, you should:
- Use the word “we” when referring to you and your loved ones
- Think of you and your loved ones as a singular unit, rather than separate units
- Work together with your loved ones to ensure all parties involved come out winners
3. Insecurity Between Loved Ones
Our insecurities may not be evident to us until they are triggered. In such situations, a calm discussion can quickly snowball into an unintentional fight. Avoiding such situations requires one to:
- Be self-aware of what you may naturally perceive as a threat
- Understand that our loved ones do not mean to harm us deliberately
- Be willing to discuss concerns and issues beforehand in a calm, open manner
4. Focusing On The Past
Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it – but fixating on one’s past does not give it justice either.
· Make Your Closure
It’s easy to want to find closure from the other person, especially if you have been wronged. However, that isn’t always possible. Thus, it is best to come to terms with or without the involved party.
· Consider Therapy
Trying to push forward without dealing with buried issues may only serve to make present and future problems worse. Try consulting a therapist to resolve any trauma you may have to stop fixating on the past.
· Maintain Open Communication
While it is inevitable that your partner may accidentally hit a raw nerve or two regardless of their care, it is best to inform them in advance so that they understand how to better support you.
· Move On
Sometimes, there is no real way to truly heal and recover. The best you can do is to avoid fixating on events that have hurt you. Instead, forge onwards and make better memories for yourself.
5. Too Much Rationality (Yes, Really!)
Most would assume that being reasonable and rational is the method that will produce the most positive results in a conflict. As it turns out, this is not the case. A study has shown that when you are trying to be reasonable in an argument, it also makes it difficult to listen to the other person and come to a compromise.
As a result, being in a reasonable state of mind often ends up with us thinking of a way to defend ourselves from criticism and somehow win the argument. A better thing to do instead would be to:
- Take some time to listen to the other person’s points.
- Stop thinking of arguments as something to win or overcome
- Examine the other person’s argument as if it is something of value
- Avoid using reason as a weapon against the other party
6. Pet Peeves
Pet peeves are any quirks and habits that you or your partner may quickly find annoying. There is nothing inherently wrong with these quirks, but it can be a source of irritation and frustration – sometimes to the point of conflict. In such cases, it’s best to:
- Consider if the habit or quirk is something that can be adjusted or resolved.
- Discuss openly your pet peeve, and how it is affecting you
- Learn how to work around or with the pet peeve, to reduce its irritation on you
7. Impossible Expectations
Thanks to the romantic formula seen time and time again across various media, many of us start a relationship with an unrealistic idea of what romantic love and relationships are. Unfortunately, the reality is not as exciting or smooth sailing – and fights can ensue as a result. Here are a few things to bear in mind:
- Love is not a feeling. Rather, it is something that must be actively worked towards every day in your actions.
- Open communication is incredibly important, no matter how silly, embarrassed, or vulnerable it makes you feel.
- Learning how to deescalate and resolve conflicts is an incredibly important skill in any relationship
- Discuss each other’s needs openly and regularly, and work together to figure out how to meet them
- Be kind to both yourself and your loved ones
8. Being Inauthentic
An easy assumption to make is that ceding to your partner and being permissive is a method that is guaranteed to avoid conflicts of any sort. Unfortunately, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
In reality, research has shown that forced positive thinking to cover up one’s true feelings or beliefs can create a long-lasting depressive mood. Instead, it is best to be authentic to yourself and those around you. Here are a few ways to do so:
- Take a stand in what you believe in, regardless of your loved ones’ opinions.
- Communicate your thoughts and beliefs clearly and openly
- Avoid downplaying or hiding your real feelings.
9. Mistreatment Is Less Acceptable From Loved Ones
It is easy to assume that love will also bring with it plenty of patience. In reality, however, our tolerance for mistreatment is often higher for strangers than it is for loved ones. Here are a few possible reasons for it:
· Negative Things Rile Us Up Easily
It is simply human nature to be more invested and argumentative about things that we dislike over things we do like.
· Low Tolerance For Our Inner Circle
When surrounded by people of your choosing, you may find that you have less patience for their faults in comparison to that of strangers.
· Familiarity Breeds Contempt
It may be easier to dismiss the behavior of one-time strangers. In contrast, the proximity of your loved ones may cause more irritation. If unresolved, this might build up over time and eventually burst into open conflict.
10. A Lack of Sleep
It’s well known just how bad a lack of sleep can affect one’s mental, physical, and emotional state – even in small amounts. It should then come as no surprise that a lack of sleep is fully capable of affecting one’s relationship as well.
For those who are in denial, a study has confirmed that even if only one partner was deprived, it had a significant effect on their ability to deescalate situations and resolve conflicts. Thus, it is ideal to ensure you get good, significant sleep. Here are a few ways to guarantee it:
- Make sure you have a consistent bedtime and wake up time, even on the weekends
- Start getting ready for bed at least 2 hours before your planned bedtime
- Maintain a predictable bedtime routine to prepare yourself for sleep
11. Frustration From A Lack Of Perfection
No one is perfect. Therefore, as much as we want to be the best possible partner for our loved ones, it is foolish to expect perfection from yourself. As noble a goal as it is, trying to pursue such a path will only ultimately cause frustration and anger.
· Talk To Your Partner
All good relationships require open communication, and this topic is no exception to the rule – especially in times of frustration.
· There Is No Need For Perfection
If you do not impose these sorts of standards on your partner, why should you apply them to yourself? A good partner will love you despite your flaws, and may even not see them as such.
· Take A Break
It is impossible to be strong and supportive all the time. Sometimes you will need to rely on your partner’s support as well, and that is alright.
12. A Lack Of Self-Compassion
It should be noted that dismissing one’s own needs in a conflict is not helpful or productive. It is instead a major cause of emotional turmoil and is often caused by low self-compassion.
In contrast, research has shown that caring for your wants and needs and showing kindness to yourself results in better compromises and personal wellbeing. You can do this by:
- Placing your own needs and wants as something of importance
- Be kind to yourself when mistakes are made.
- Treat yourself with the same kind of care you would a loved one.
Fights aren’t world-ending, even when they feel like they are. In most cases, fighting is completely normal when it comes to your loved ones, and it’s not something to be ashamed of or to beat yourself up over.
When the fight is over, work on patching things up with compassion, empathy, and the love you know you feel for the person in question. A strong relationship will grow with each fight, establishing new, healthy boundaries as you each learn more about the other person and yourselves.
At the end of the day, a fight does cause damage, but it’s nothing you and those you love can’t work through. Just remember the information you’ve learned from the 13 reasons why loved ones fight with each other, and you’ll better comprehend the underlying issues at hand.