Everybody argues sometimes
A few weeks ago I had a heated discussion with my mom.
The reason: Nagging on my sister in a very mean voice.
We kind of made a deal some time ago to have breakfast as a family on weekends, because honestly there isn’t any real family time spend together and I (who doesn’t even feel like a part of it) spoke up and wanted to change it.
My siblings feel alienated, this constant negative environment just weighs everyone down. Nobody actually seems to care what happens in each and everyone’s individual life. A simple question like: How was your day? is answered just with either “Fine.” or an accusatory “Why do you even wanna know?”.
I took it upon myself to show them my attention, to show them that I care and they can be open and honest with me. They will never receive anything other than support or appreciation.
So, my mom told my sister to set the table. And it’s not even the request itself that bothered me, it was the reproach. You didn’t do this again, you didn’t do that again.
And I am frank, I heard that often enough the past year and went into protection mode. Why is my sister only blamed when my brother didn’t fulfill any of his duties in the slightest?
We are literally the only two who sit at the table every weekend despite any responsibilities we have. We are doing the dishes, cleaning up everyone’s mess and not only our own, and what do we get? Accusations, when we’re not on time the one time in a month everyone’s sitting there ready to eat, for a change. Thanks for nothing, I guess.
This tiny comment exploded into immediate yelling from my mom. I asked her in a calm voice to please try to talk it out in a quieter way. There really was no need for yelling. That just made her even more aggressive.
After a few more calm attempts, being cut off all the time, I started yelling at her at the same volume she did. Then nothing.
1. Arguing makes you honest
Shortly after having that heated encounter I realised that was probably one of the rare times where my mom simply told me what she felt.
She felt like I was bullying her. Nagging on her, because I only hear her nagging at my sister.
She felt like she isn’t respected, but she actually would do everything for her children.
And most important, she feels like she isn’t heard. Like she talks to a wall, having to repeat everything she says 2364924264 times to not even get any further.
Turn that around.
I was honest too. I feel caged in this environment. This negativity is unbearable. And I said that out loud, for everyone to hear.Fighting puts down the walls we build up. It enables sharing honest and vulnerable thoughts. Any kind of communication is better than no communication at all.
2. Arguing makes you grateful
Let it put me like that. How did you feel after fighting with a loved on. On edge, sad or maybe relieved?
I have this cycle. At first, I am raging, then I am sad and in the end I am relieved and understanding.
I feel like whomever I fought with showed me their raw feelings, nothing hidden. They gave me an insight into their soul and it gave me the opportunity to understand them better.
It makes you value that person for their bravery and honesty. Most fights with loved ones derive from a place of love, but can be perceived as hurtful. But in the end you know it had to happen and you will love that person even more.
3. Arguing resurfaces your inner optimist
“Oh, my life is so bad. Everything’s lost anyway. I tried, but it didn’t make any difference. Everybody has a better life. It’s so easy for them. It’s useless, unfair etc. You did this wrong. Why did you…” These are examples of phrases often used in an argument.
Reaction at the beginning:
I am in a way worse state than you. Look at me, feeling like a piece of shit, being dependable on my parents, having to quit basically everything in life and you sit there on your sorry asses, having all the opportunities in the world, agonizing over how shitty your life is and how you’re unhappy and not doing anything about it. Splendid.
Reaction at the end:
Wow, you struggle just as much as I am, in a different way, but still. Maybe I shouldn’t be so judgmental. Maybe I should concentrate on my own happiness and supporting you as far as I can. What if there’s a way all this pain could go away and we stand up for ourselves and try to see every giving second of life as a gift with a purpose?Acknowledging downs and knowing there will come ups is crucial in order to stay sane. It’s all a matter of perspective.
Feeling emotionally drained after a fight is common and I for one feel exactly like I am while meditating. Mindful, calm, observant, balanced and appreciative.
Fighting with loved ones is eye-opening and can make people grow closer if they choose to look behind the hurtful words thrown at them. It isn’t always nasty, it’s the form of most honest communication.