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How do you protect yourself from overreacting when fighting with your loved ones?

17 Answers
Last Updated: 05/01/2018 at 10:40am
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Shawn Wilson, LCSW

Clinical Social Work/Therapist

I provide supportive counseling and psychotherapy. I utilize cognitive-behavioral and solution focused strategies to address client concerns. Personal coaching is available.

Top Rated Answers
December 10th, 2014 11:18pm
I deflect anger with humor. 'I see you decided to make the kitchen sink a swimming pool again.' My partner is a jokester, so this approach works for him. And it works for me, because I am attracted to this jokester. I can bear his grin and follow-up joke full of excuses — I focus on listening. We can smile and talk out our needs and figure out what works for both of us. So, I protect myself from overreacting by approaching the conversation in a way that brings out the best in my partner, listening to him, acknowledging and accepting his words at face value, and knowing that he's more likely to respect my wishes if I show him respect as well. He knows what's best for him. I maintain internally the belief that we can reconcile our needs, and need only figure out how. Finally, I think about the good things I want to share with him once the argument is over. My 'closing argument' is usually a big squeezy hug. Compassion and respect are my priorities in any argument, to find solutions together based on what we share, and that neutralizes my reactions and ultimately my partner's.
June 5th, 2015 5:26pm
This is a very good question- When you are starting to feel like you are getting upset or wound up, you need to try and take yourself out of that situation, walk away, don't say anything, keep your mouth shut. If you say things when you are upset, angry etc there is a good chance you will make the situation worse.
June 11th, 2015 8:42am
I lost the one I really love because I used to dramatize everything, and you know, people will sooner or later become exhausted by that. And I learned how to calm myself little by little, with the help of my loved ones. Whenever I tend to make a fuss about nothing important, I would go out, take a deep breath, think again if it's really worth fighting this way, and then come back with a fresh mind. Took a while to manage this, but it's worthwhile indeed.
December 10th, 2014 9:20pm
Say "Karma will bite you on the arse one day" and then walk away for good, quickly. And ignore them.
December 11th, 2014 12:11pm
when i fight with a loved one, i try to be rational about the reason why we are fighting in the first place. i try to remain calm and understand his and my points before sorting them out, then, i talk humbly to them so that we can discuss about the problem without the haze of anger.
December 13th, 2014 11:38am
I try my best to keep my mind calm by breathing deeply. I also try to listen as much as I speak. Not only that, I will try to respect my loved ones advice and even if I disagree, I will try my best to control myself from saying anything that I don't mean or doing anything that might hurt them.
December 19th, 2014 5:48am
Practice calming exercises like Mindfulness and Grounding Techniques frequently (especially while you are calm) so you can use them when you need to stay calm. It may also help to plan for your discussion ahead of time if you can, outlining your reasons and thinking about their viewpoint and reasons too. When things start to get heated, ask for a break. "I need to have a moment to calm down and think, but I will be back to talk about this again in 10 minutes" By setting a time limit for your breather, it lets your loved one know that you are not leaving the talk or shutting them out, but just trying to be calm so you can work things out in a more loving and effective way. Let your loved ones know ahead a time that this is a strategy you would like to start using to help you stay calm. If a particular subject is super hard, you might do part of the discussion by letter/email so you both have time to think, or hold the discussion in a mediated context, like couples or family counseling.
January 3rd, 2015 1:20am
I get away from the fight and sit alone to calm down. Then I take deep breaths and when I am feeling better I go say sorry to the loved one and try to be better on behavior if I did get very upset
May 27th, 2015 2:00pm
practice yoga every morning, yoga is proven to help ease and relax your mind, preparing you to be calm when reacting to situations like fighting with your siblings.
May 27th, 2015 11:18pm
When I fight with my loved ones, it can sometimes start heated, as many fights do. We follow our instinct and emotion before our knowledge. But when we are fighting, I try to go into their shoes, see myself from their perspective. I can't overreact knowing I could potentially make a loved one hurt. Instead, I try to discuss and debate rather than brawl, and if it gets too bad, I remove myself from the situation.
July 7th, 2015 10:31pm
You could Talk to your loved ones and be honest with eachother and the main this is you both need to trust one another.
November 9th, 2015 10:13am
I try to take deep breaths and focus on making sure I am staying mindful and listening effectively to what the other person is saying. I also make sure I can convey what I need to in a way that respects me and who I am talking too.
November 10th, 2015 4:15am
quite simply, just remember that you love them and you should try to see things from their point of view whether they are wrong or not. be calm and understanding.
January 25th, 2016 7:39pm
I take a breather, if I need to...taking a break gives me a chance to calm my own emotions, sometimes by writing them down, then I can better attempt to see things from their perspective.
May 23rd, 2016 9:39am
Always breathe before responding as this slows down your fight or flight response and allows you to calm your nervous system and choose a more thoughtful and productive response.
June 20th, 2016 2:14pm
Take a deep breath and try to see stuff from their point of veiw aswell before saying anything you might regret later.
May 1st, 2018 10:40am
I would take a deep breath and create a moment of silence in order to recuperate my thoughts before responding to a loved one.