Do you feel like there’s always tension in your family? Every day you find yourself in an argument with one of your family members and try your best to avoid them.
Meanwhile, your friends seem to have a much more peaceful time with their families; they hardly argue and everyone supports one another.
If this issue has persisted for some time, have you ever thought that you may be the one responsible for the confrontation in the family?
If so, read on to find out if you have these 6 behaviors.
1) You always need to have the last say
It always feels much better to ‘win’ an argument; no one likes to walk away knowing they were proved wrong. It makes them feel humiliated and defeated.
If you relate to this, this may be a sign that you’re a confrontational person.
You’ll continue pursuing your point until they’ve given up. And if they don’t, you’ll find a way to end it with a snarky comment – so you’ll feel better.
Your need to win or be right supersedes everything else, even the feelings of the other person. You may realize that this has caused simple discussions to blow up into bigger arguments.
Perhaps your spouse just wanted to get your thoughts on something and it ended up with you getting defensive or maybe your parents questioned your decisions on how you bring up your children.
Whatever it is, you continuously insist that you’re in the right all the time.
2) You’d rather insist on your way than care about the other person’s feelings
Therefore, your desire to be right all the time may have caused you to overlook the feelings of others.
Maybe your child had a good reason for not completing their household chores and instead of giving them the benefit of the doubt, you dismiss their actions as “plain lazy”.
Moreover, you feel that being direct is the best way to put your point across. This, however, has caused your family members to feel upset because of the way you speak to them.
Especially when you bring up their faults or accuse them of something they may or may not have done.
Rather than give them space to explain themselves, you immediately go on the offensive.
Naturally, they’ll get defensive and start arguing with you as well – which could lead to yet another argument.
3) You always bring up the past
Do you find yourself bringing up past faults of the other person whenever you’re in an argument?
As you vent your frustrations, you start highlighting similar things that they’ve done before – even though they may have apologized for these mistakes or habits previously. You use this as a weapon to paint yourself as the victim while making the other person feel worse about themselves.
I knew a friend whose sister constantly did this. Once, they were talking about investing, and my friend, who had only recently developed the habit of saving, wanted to learn more.
Throughout the conversation, her sister repeatedly brought up her past spending habits, where she’d splurge on herself whenever her paycheck was in. Her sister then told her not to bother with learning so much as who knows, she may just fall back into her old ways.
Naturally, my friend felt super discouraged and hurt. It had taken her some time to learn the importance of money, and she had been making good strides in this direction.
Maybe you feel that this is an effective way of putting people in their place so they won’t be overly complacent or this stems from a deeper issue of insecurity.
Whatever the reason, doing this can lead to a confrontational atmosphere.
4) You communicate aggressively and harshly
Do you find yourself raising your voice or using overly aggressive language when you’re in a disagreement? In an attempt to put your point across, you feel that this is the best way to convince the other person to take your view.
Inevitably, this will cause hostility between both parties. It puts the other person in defensive mode and will increase tensions.
Aggressive communication doesn’t only involve raised voices or harsh language. It could also include sarcasm, passive aggressiveness, blaming, or gaslighting.
Phrases such as “You’re always doing this…”, “You never care about me…” or “Are you sure you’ll get it right this time?” can cause a communication breakdown and the need for the other person to defend themselves and in turn, attack you.
Take note that aggressive communication can also be non-verbal, such as eye-rolling, sighing, or hand gesturing.
5) You refuse to listen
If you always feel the need to win, this may inhibit your willingness to listen.
It’s your way or the highway.
Sometimes we may not be aware of our actions and only realize it much later. Perhaps you were in the wrong after some time but your stubbornness and pride prevented you from changing your mind.
If you find yourself doing this, it’s clear that you’re only open to views that align with yours, even though there may be some merit in these opposing views.
You’ll try to find flaws in those views in order to make yours look a lot better.
Having a narrow outlook on any topic can cause the other person to get frustrated. When it comes to family, they may be coming from a position of care and love.
Have you considered that by clinging on to your ways, you may be unable to see that you’re actually causing yourself harm?
6) You avoid responsibility
When you’re in the wrong, is your first reaction to deflect or deny it? You may acknowledge that what you did was wrong, but you refuse to take responsibility.
Perhaps this makes you feel shame or guilt, so you’d rather not be in this position.
In return, you make excuses and may even gaslight or manipulate your family member who called you out.
Somehow, it hurts worse when our family members point out our wrongdoings; with friends, it doesn’t hurt that badly.
It could be because we wanted them to have a positive impression of us, or that the rebuke hurts more when it comes from people we care the most about.
Ultimately, we should own up to our faults and apologize. This helps ease the heightened emotions between both parties. You can then take the next step to talk things through with the other person.
If you’ve just realized that you may be the confrontational one in the family who has been causing so much tension, there’s no better time than now to change.
Coming back to a house with family members who love and support one another is a blessing – cherish it.
The next time you find yourself amid an argument, try practicing healthy communication tactics – these can really help improve the family dynamic and enable both sides to find a compromise.