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How to Get Over an Argument With Your Sister

by Maura Banar, studioD

Arguments with family members can lead to disconnection in communication and support. This can leave you feeling alone, isolated and emotionally insecure, especially since the strong emotional attachments between siblings provides comfort when you need it. In addition, social supports can increase your self-esteem and reduce feelings of loneliness, explains the Mayo Clinic in its article, "Combat Stress With a Strong Social Network." Getting over an argument with your sister, therefore, isn't just about moving on. It's also about moving back to the comfort of support of a special relationship.

Accept and express your feelings about the argument. Feelings are intrinsically attached to how you behave, explains the University of Illinois in its article, "Experiencing and Expressing Emotions." Express your anger, frustration or whatever you continue to feel regarding your sister and the argument and express it openly. This provides you with the opportunity to process what you feel and you can be more objective about your perception of the argument. Monitor your feelings over a period of time after the argument to continue to identify how they change and affect your perceptions.

Forgive your sister for whatever has transpired between you that led to the argument. Forgiving isn't just letting go of resentment, it's also a choice to relinquish the need to be right, explains the Mayo Clinic in its article, "Forgiveness: Letting Go of Grudges and Bitterness." Holding onto a grudge only serves to prevent you from moving forward. In the case of an argument with your sister, holding a grudge can also affect your relationships with other members of your family.

Reach out to your social supports, including friends, family members and coworkers. Social supports stick with you through positive and negative experiences and can provide you with an objective opinion about your argument. While it may be painful to hear, honesty from your support system can let you know what portion of the disagreement is your responsibility. Social supports also help reduce feelings of stress related to your anger, explains the University of Buffalo School of Social Work in its article, "Developing Your Support System."

Apologize to your sister. An apology is more than saying you're sorry, according to UMass Family Business Center in its article, "How To Give A Meaningful Apology." Instead, it's a statement that you regret the part you played in the argument. Apologize by being clear about what you did and accepting responsibility for your behavior without also placing blame on anyone else. Finally, explain to your sister that you want to make things better by not repeating your behavior and by taking steps to prevent it from happening again. The steps toward prevention can include seeking professional intervention such as a counselor or therapist.

About the Author

Maura Banar has been a professional writer since 2001 and is a psychotherapist. Her work has appeared in "Imagination, Cognition and Personality" and "Dreaming: The Journal of the International Association for the Study of Dreams." Banar received her Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Buffalo State College and her Master of Arts in mental health counseling from Medaille College.

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