Most of us love our families and wouldn’t swap them for the world. Even the happiest of homes have the odd squabbles and differences.

Sometimes, when things aren’t dealt with, they can become bigger, grudges can fester beneath the surface, and before we know it, there is some type of family rift. The longer we leave something, the more time we have to keep thinking over the issue, often making it bigger than it really is.

Here are Martin's top tips

* Communication and compromise are the key things to bear in mind if you want to make the first move to sort something out.

* Cool down before you blow up. We all get riled up sometimes, but steamrollering in like a runaway tram won't solve anything. Take a breather, whether it's a calming cuppa in the kitchen, a brisk walk around the block, or a five-minute meditation, a rational head makes for a calmer conversation.

* Ditch the 'you' and talk 'I'. Instead of launching into a 'you always do this' tirade, try an honest 'I feel hurt/frustrated/confused when...' approach. Actively listen to the other person, even if you disagree. You might be surprised by what you learn.

* Bin the blame game. Focus on the issue at hand, not who started it. Remember, you're a team, aiming for a solution, not a scorecard.

* Even in the thickest family fog, there's usually a patch of shared sunshine. Is it a love for proper Sunday roasts? A shared dislike of soggy chips? Use these commonalities to start a conversation which could build bridges and find solutions that work for everyone.

* Laughter is often the best medicine when it comes to resolving arguments. Remember, families are meant to have fun together, even when tackling tricky topics. Sometimes it can be difficult to be the first one to make a move. But if no-one does, nothing will change.

Of course, sometimes things can and do get out of hand, and extra help may be required to resolve something which has escalated. This is when professional help can really be useful. If you live in Blackburn with Darwen, their family hub offers lots of help to people interested in building healthy relationships. You can find out more by calling them on 01254 585000 or online

Martin Furber is a therapist qualified in various modalities and an instructor Member of Mental Health First Aid England. E-mail

If you are experiencing any type of mental health crisis, go to your GP or A&E, call the Samaritans on 116 123 or text SHOUT to 85258