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Resolving Differences

Everyone disagrees sometimes, and arguments in families are part of life. However, ongoing arguments and tension can be stressful and overwhelming.

When families argue, tempers can fray, hurtful comments may be made and sometimes people may even become aggressive or violent.

If there is aggression or violence in your family, you need to take steps to change this. Find places to get help for dealing with family violence at Getting Help, or you can call 911 for immediate help at any time if someone is being violent and you feel threatened. You should also seek help if differences in your family are becoming overwhelming for you, or any other family member.

When disagreements occur, there are some things you can do to “fight fair” – helping to reduce conflict and bringing about a peaceful result – even if the final outcome is a compromise or agreeing to disagree.


Typical causes of conflict

  • Different opinions and/or values
  • Misunderstandings or miscommunications
  • Jumping to conclusions
  • Feeling like you are being disrespected
  • Feeling like you are not being heard
  • Family changes – divorce, separation, new baby, moving to a new place
  • Expectations and pressures – money, responsibilities, jobs, disagreements on parenting or other issues
  • Drug and/or alcohol abuse

Take a few minutes to think about what causes most of the conflict in your family’s situation. Is it one of the causes listed above – or is it a different issue?

Keep in mind the members of your family might feel pressures and stresses that are not related to you. At times, life’s challenges can cause everybody to feel stressed. These stresses can affect how people act, how they talk and how they treat others. At times, it may seem that families take out their stress on each other.


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