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REVEALED: Why families fight so much at Christmas

An interesting new study unearths the reason why families squabble a lot over the Christmas period.

For a lot of families, it is not a complete Christmas until there is a squabble.

According to researchers from The University of West Virginia in the United Sstates, this is a result of a condition called ‘hypercopresence’ which afflicts family members who have to be in each other’s faces all day long for the entire season after having been apart all year long.

Over the Christmas season, family members have to share the same living spaces, beds, bathrooms and often, they have to deal with young children running around.

This, accompanied by the tight schedules that they have to follow so that they can have a holiday and still have a job or business to go back to when it is all over, can easily make one cranky.


The study lead Prof Melanie Booth-Butterfield, a communications expert at the University, likens it to having a large dose of family all at once.


The smaller the house, the more pressure there is likely to be.

According to the scientists, the fighting usually occurs when members are subconsciously trying to win back their independence.

People who are more individualistic are more likely to suffer from hypercopresence during the holidays.


‘”Hypercopresence happens when things are very controlled and scheduled. You are together in the car, the hotel room, always with other people. It’s the idea that you are too close and you can’t get away from people. Instead of having autonomy to be able to get away when you want, you have to coordinate with other people,” Prof Melanie explains.

To avoid this kind of pressure over the holiday with family, Prof Melanie recommends having multiple conversations with them throughout the year to avoid having one big one with everyone over Christmas.

You can also try loosening up your schedule a little bit.