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Starting a lot of fights with my family

Community Member


I love my family very much and I try to help them in ways that I can, but I seem to be constantly causing conflict and getting into so many arguments with them. They say I have a problem with my temper - I am too blunt and confrontational, and escalate things. My sisters have threatened to move out because of me and that hurts so much because I really do love them and would do anything in the world for them.

Recently, when I've argued with one person, the others join in to tell me it's my fault and that I need to change something about myself. I think I'm the cause of everyone's problems. I am a very private person and I rely heavily on my family...so I'm really struggling with all of this as I have no one else to turn to. I have a lot on my plate so I'm stressed and tired and irritable. After each argument, I tell then that I will try harder to improve - and I honestly mean it - but somehow I end up in another argument...I don't even know how. They tell me that I start fights intentionally to antagnise and don't believe me when I say I don't...but I truly don't fights for that reason. I have always tried to do the right thing and I have tried so hard to be a good family member over the years...but that effort has been wiped out by the recent fights - at least that's what they tell me. If so, what's the point of family then...? Do all the good deeds/memories in the past mean nothing? Is that how it works?

Thanks for listening

3 Replies 3

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi, welcome

People can love each other but be irritated as well. This is common under the same roof and the best thing people can do is create distance by leaving- if possible.

Absence makes the heart grow fonder!

Being blunt is lack of tact, needing more gentle expression to others. This is more important when others are sensitive, so work on tact.

You can expand on your comment to soothe the effect on poor voice tone eg

instead if “I don’t think so” you could say “I don’t think so, but everyone is entitled to their views”.


Community Member
Hi Retroactive,

I have similar experiences to you with my family and I think it's important not to take what they are saying as a fact. It is likely that they say these things because they feel hurt but wouldn't want you to feel the way you are feeling.

Family is an integral part of our lives and all the good memories we have with our loved ones are not erased because of a few fights in the present. Just like you look back on good memories you will eventually look back at bad ones when you are in a more positive part of your life. Maybe you could try bonding with your sisters by doing something you love, like watch a movie you used to watch together or a new one you are all interested in. You could try cooking some dinner or dessert for them and then sit down to watch the movie so that they can see you are trying. You could also try to let them know what you said in your post about not meaning to fight. You could tell them this when you're not fighting because they will be less angry and they will be more open minded to listening to what you have to say.

Maybe when you are feeling really angry and you think you might end up in an argument that you don't actually want to have you could take a few breaths, let your family know you are feeling quite stressed and need to go for a 5 minute walk before coming back and having a calm conversation. It's all about practice really and learning how to communicate in a way that works for all of you, this could takes years so don't be too harsh on yourself if you can't be perfect overnight. Also don't forget that fights are normal, especially between siblings but try to build positive experiences with them too during this tough time of your relationship. Make the effort to book in a lunch date or a movie night just like you would with a friend. Just because you live together (I assume) doesn't mean you actually have quality time together and if you schedule this in you might feel like you can support each other more and open up in times of stress instead of accidentally ending up in fights.

I hope this helps and you can put your own spin onto some of those ideas in a way that works for your family.

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi Retroactive

I'm wondering whether you've tried your hardest to be tolerant in the past but you've had enough of being tolerant. You just naturally don't want to do it anymore. Such a suggestion leads me to wonder what your triggers to anger are. Are they things you shouldn't have to tolerate?

It's taken me 49 years to become seriously intolerant and it may sound strange but it's so liberating. By the way, I am a patient and compassionate gal too. The greatest challenge I currently face is the filter factor. There are plenty of things I'd like to say to folk, especially ones who have lacked their own filter regarding the way they've spoken to me or treated me in the past, but I know I have to find a filter because I wish to be a person of integrity and self mastery.

I'm wondering whether you're triggered to anger because you're trying to reason with people who are unreasonable. Give you an example: You say to someone 'Why do I have to control my emotions?' Their response is 'You just do'. YOU JUST DO? Does this sound like it holds reason or is it simply a statement? A reasonable response might be 'Because it's not healthy for your nervous system' or 'Because by studying your emotions and not letting them get you carried away, you become a master of self understanding. By observing the sensations in different parts of your body, you can feel yourself getting 'worked up''. I believe this is more productive than 'You just do'.

Another example: You're feeling packed with energy and you want to follow through by working it out and into something exciting. You ask the people around you, one by one, to do something exciting with you. One by one, they excuse themselves from rising to the challenge. One by one, you feel yourself getting worked up through frustration, to anger. Someone notices you're getting worked up and says 'You need to calm down'. EXPLOSION: 'I don't want to calm down among you lazy bunch of so and so's. Why doesn't anyone want to live life with me?! You people bring me down'. Then someone says 'My god, he/she's out of control'. EVEN BIGGER EXPLOSION. You say 'I'm giving you people reasons for why I'm feeling triggered but you just won't listen. Do I have to scream louder to get you to hear me?'

Is it at all possible you're going through a transitional stage where you're now realising a lot of what you don't want to tolerate from people anymore? Would this explain your anger? If so, what don't you want to tolerate from people anymore?