Dear Therapist: My family members don't get along

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By Prateeksha Shetty

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Published: Thu 11 Nov 2021, 7:27 PM

Last updated: Thu 11 Nov 2021, 7:30 PM

My family members don’t get along. There’s always fighting and bickering whether it be between my parents or with extended family members. I also have anger issues and find myself getting involved when I shouldn’t but I can’t just sit and listen. I feel like running away. — Lata K.

Dear Lata, I am sorry to hear that your family does not get along well with each other. It is understandable that you feel distressed and enraged about the recurrent fights at home and it can be hard to distance yourself from the resulting chaos. The idea that you need to intervene or mediate is not quite right. There is very little you can do, considering that you are not part of these arguments. By involving yourself in them, you are disrupting your mental health. Therefore, it would be wise to take a step back and think what purpose your behaviour serves. You may have inadvertently established certain roles in the family by which everyone now lives including yourself. You cannot make them stop fighting, neither it is our responsibility to make things better. Instead, reflect on what are the different ways to assert your boundaries and work on your wellbeing rather than working on others’. Practicing meditation, journaling, or developing coping strategies to build a cocoon from this strife can serve you well.

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