It can be horrible listening in on the situation and hearing them disrespect one another.
Every family has arguments, but sometimes having family problems can really affect our mental health. Dealing with family conflict and arguments can be stressful and tense, even if we’re not involved in the situation. Or we might find that arguments can easily escalate and we end up being dragged into the conversation. This can be really draining and make us feel overwhelmed.
Personally, my parents argue a lot. It can be horrible listening in on the situation and hearing them disrespect one another. I know I can’t just jump in and try and stop the argument. Even if I know how simple it could be if communication and respect was there. I find it hard to hear them throwing around inappropriate words and even something minuscule can trigger an argument.
If a member of your family is going through something, it’s okay if this is affecting you too.
There could be many reasons why families argue. It could be because of divorce/separation, a new step-parent, alcohol and drug addictions, gambling addictions, illness or grief and loss. If a member of your family is going through something, it’s okay if this is affecting you too. Your feelings are valid and it’s important to talk to someone you trust about how you are feeling.
Although it’s normal for families to argue and have disagreements, looking after ourselves when we’re not getting along with our family is so important.
During arguments, it’s okay to walk away if you feel overwhelmed.
Tips for coping with family arguments
It can be hard to know what to do, but here are five tips that I use when I’m struggling with family arguments:
Creating boundaries is a really healthy way to make sure you’re feeling safe while dealing with family arguments and emotional situations. This is also a way for you to know what you’re okay with and what you’re not okay with. For example, you might agree on a time to have space away from family and a time when you feel able to talk.
My second tip is to write down all of your thoughts and feelings. This can really help you process family arguments and get a better understanding of how you feel. It can be especially helpful if you’re feeling numb and need a way to express yourself.
During arguments, it’s okay to walk away if you feel overwhelmed. Taking time out is a good way to remove yourself from the situation. This can be in a separate room or going outside for a breather, even if it’s just for five minutes. This gives you space to calm down and process all of your emotions and figure out what you want to say. Especially if you’re feeling angry and like you may ‘pop’ at any moment.
Speaking to someone you know well and trust can be a great way to vent about your current issues with your family. This could be a friend, relative, someone from school/college or university. There are also helplines at the bottom of this page that you can use if you don’t want to talk to someone who knows you and your family.
Family conflict and arguments happen for so many reasons. Hearing your family argue or falling out with people you love can be upsetting, but it’s important to remember that you haven’t done anything wrong. By communicating your side of the story and listening to your family, you can work through these difficult times together and reach a compromise.
By communicating your side of the story and listening to your family, you can work through these difficult times together and reach a compromise.
More information and advice
We have tips and advice to help you find the support you need. Take a look at our guides.
Where to get help
However you're feeling, there are people who can help you if you are struggling. Here are some services that can support you.
If you’re under 19 you can confidentially call, chat online or email about any problem big or small.
Can provide a BSL interpreter if you are deaf or hearing-impaired.
Hosts online message boards where you can share your experiences, have fun and get support from other young people in similar situations.
- Opening times: