The Family That Talks With Each Other, Stays Together:
Ways to Strengthen Your Family Communication
Sometimes you might feel that it's much easier to talk with your friends than with your family. If back then, you could easily tell your family about your crushes, problems, and adventures, once you got older, it seems like everyone is worlds apart. Suddenly it feels uncomfortable to talk in detail about your sorrows; somehow, it feels much easier to keep your feelings to yourself.
And you might feel this way for various reasons. It may be because your family has become busy and has no time for each other. Or a disaster occurred, and everyone doesn't seem to entertain the idea of talking about it, so your family has ignored communication altogether.
Whatever the reason is, you should know that family communication is an important factor in happiness and satisfaction. Poor communication leads to family conflicts, unresolved negative emotions, and decreases familial bonds. And this may affect the relationships you may have in the future.
And family, being the smallest but the most vital unit in society, needs to stay intact as children first learn their values inside their homes. With that, here are some of the ways to strengthen your family communication:
Take time to eat meals together.
You might think that ignoring an invitation from your family to lunch is a small thing, but it can have a significant impact on keeping your family connected. Creating rituals, such as eating meals together on regular days or a series of days, prompts everyone to have something to look forward to. It can also help everyone to talk openly since you are all present and facing one another.
One thing to understand is for this to be effective, everyone needs to associate such activities with positive experiences. If family members took some time to have a meal together but found it distressing, they might not want to do it again. So do avoid quarreling or creating conflicts when having meals together. If someone doesn't want to talk about something, respect their decision, and talk to him or her afterward.
Perform activities together.
It's crucial to establish a day/s in a week when all the family members will spend time together. It should be held as important as showing up in a doctor's appointment. No matter how busy you are, make room for family activities in your life. It helps lose any tension and create time for communication.
Before deciding what activity the family should do, ask everyone the things they enjoy. It's important to have a consensus on what type of activities you will do together. After scheduling it, keep your promises, and don't waste an opportunity to be with your family.
Be an active listener.
When a family member looks for you for comfort, give your 100% attention. One of the causes of miscommunication in families is their lack of interest in having conversations and bearing the emotions of others. More so, some parents would feel that their kids don't have a say in the family's problems, so they wouldn't listen and talk over them.
When having a one-on-one talk with a family member, avoid looking at your phone so that you won't get distracted. Don't break the conversation's flow by wanting to give your opinion before listening to the full story. Some people adhere to the 80/20 rule, which means that 80% of the conversation is dedicated to listening, and the other 20% is for talking.
Talk with kindness and compassion to each other.
How can family members share their feelings if they are constantly bombarded with criticisms? Opening up to other people about their issues takes a lot of courage and trust. No one will talk to the people who they know will instantly judge them. As a family, you all have to support each other, and it doesn't only mean attending important events. It also means talking to one another with kindness and compassion.
Being a family is more than a name, it should also mean having best friends all your life. Sure, not all families are close. No family is perfect. But be a family that is trying--- trying to reach out to a family member that is in trouble. And it may all start with communicating honest feelings and being vulnerable to one another. As many people would say, a family that talks with each other, will surely stay together.