You Can’t Win an Argument with a Family Member

By | July 27, 2023

[July 27, 2023]  If you have an argument with a family member, and you “win” (by any measure of your choice), you have not won.  Period.  As an early teenager, I had a nasty argument with my mom over money.  My logic in arguing with her was flawless.  I won easily.  It was a slam dunk, and everyone in my family who witnessed it said I had easily beaten my mom.  I smiled.  She cried.

At that moment, I knew I had lost everything.  My realization came suddenly, and it shocked me to my core.

Seeing my mother cry because of something I did, was my most shameful moment.  I had “won” the argument.  But not only did I lose, but I was crushed because there is a clear, rational rule that always applies to families.  You cannot win an argument with your family. That day, I grew up and became a man.  Make your mom cry, and you are a dirtbag, par excellence.  I was a dirtbag.  My brain started to work and I realized I was a fool for my actions.

Of course, I apologized immediately.  But the damage was already done, and no amount of groveling (which my mom would not want anyway) would make my mom’s hurt go away. Hurting a family member, emotionally or physically, is simply unacceptable and perhaps even evil.  Your mom?  Your mom is the very last person you can hurt.

You can’t win an argument with your family.


Please read my books:

  1. “55 Rules for a Good Life,” on Amazon (link here).
  2. “Our Longest Year in Iraq,” on Amazon (link here).
Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I provide one article every day. My writings are influenced by great thinkers such as Friedrich Nietzsche, Karl Jung, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Jean Piaget, Erich Neumann, and Jordan Peterson, whose insight and brilliance have gotten millions worldwide to think about improving ourselves. Thank you for reading my blog.

25 thoughts on “You Can’t Win an Argument with a Family Member

  1. Gibbbie

    Very true. And don’t try getting out of this by any workaround.

  2. Sadako Red

    Thought provoking and on point. If you are married, and don’t know this, them learn it good and hard.

  3. Eddie Gilliam

    Slam dunk. Argument comes from conflict with different view points. I heard a wise man say He learned to agree with disagree helping him resolve his problems

    1. Valkerie

      Good point, Eddie. And excellent to have you back here on General Satterfield’s blog.

  4. Autistic Techie

    Bam! Gen. Satterfield as a young boy, “At that moment, I knew I had lost everything. My realization came suddenly, and it shocked me to my core.” That is when he became a man.

  5. Good Dog

    I would venture that very few people understand what Gen. Satterfield just told us; that you can’t win an argument with a family member, especially your spouse. 😉

    1. Arena of Fools

      Good Dog, yep! You are right. Comes as a shocker to many. Just watch people in stores arguing openly without any hesitation with their family members. Will they win those arguments? Maybe, but the loss of social ties and love will outweigh the ‘win’ of the argument. This doesn’t give up on the idea to be a pushover, stand up for what you believe in and your values, just don’t stomp on your family.

      1. Laughing Monkey

        Right, be careful who you debate and HOW you debate. Stand beside those who are good and honest. Push those who are not, to bring them around to the good.

      2. Raw Hide

        Watch people and see what they say and do, and you will learn a lot of what not to do. Gen. Satterfield tells us this all the time. 👀👀👀👀👀

  6. Tom Bushmaster

    Gen. Satterfield, you sure turned that idea around in my head. Yes, you can win ‘logically’ with a family member, like your spouse, but you will ‘lost’ every thing that goes with a peaceful, beautiful home life. They say “happy wife, happy life,” and while that is misleading, it makes a similar point. Don’t be walked over but don’t create unhappiness in others. It is evil when you do.

  7. Jerome Smith

    Thanks Gen. Satterfield, I enjoyed today’s advice. This is a real topper. ❤👀👍🤣✔😉😀😁

    1. docwatson

      Ha Ha, good one jerome. You are right, as others have noted below, that this is indeed a wonderful website but the thing that makes it better is when someone (you or me) actually take the effort to understand the comments made and the advice given. Don’t just read (while that is important, okay) but also understand (that takes effort) and effort is something too many of us are unwilling to give.

      1. Martin Shiell

        Yep, docwatson, you are spot on with your comment. Too many of us are just too lazy.

  8. Mark Evans

    Gen. Satterfield is on a run of great articles these past few weeks, and BTW, I do really love his letters to “my granddaughter” mini series that he has going. Sir, keep this going and if you can, sometime in the future, please publsih another book. I’m hooked on your writings and more books are better. And my favorite is “55 Rules for a Good Life.” Powerful advice for people.

  9. Lady Hawk

    Yep, nailed it again, Gen. Satterfield. ❤❤❤❤❤

    1. Oakie from OK

      — and that is why I keep coming back to this website on commonsense.

      1. Jonnie the Bart

        I think that is why we all are here, Oakie. Are you really from Oklahoma? I went to OU.

        1. Kenny Foster

          Hi Jonnie. Good to see you back in the forums with us. ✔

          1. Pooch T.

            But nearly everyone will ignore this important, moral advice. Only the mature understand.

    2. Pen Q

      Exactly, Shawn. Same here. I love this site and I also spend a lot of time reading the comments here in the leadership forum. That is where I get many many ideas and can have some of my own ideas parsed by others willing to help.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.