Healthy communication skills amongst family members can be some of the most difficult and trying to develop and maintain. They may be directly related to you and have seen you in every possible situation, but that doesn’t mean finding ways to communicate comes easily. Family members sometimes tend to be tougher on each other and more open about any and all feelings they may be having.
While this can sometimes be favorable, it can also lead to conflict, strained relationships, and undue tension. But since there are no more important ties than the ones you have with your family members, it is important to work on improving the lines of communication amongst each other. Below are five ways to improve family communication.
- Start with a clean slate – In order to start improving communication, it is important to start with a clean slate and clear minds. This may take a bit of work up front, starting with some tough conversations. Starting the process by having some open, raw conversations and getting everything on the table can be a therapeutic way to start repairing relationships.
- Set goals – Goals help keep you focused on the task at hand and can be used as a benchmark to work towards. The goals can be as simple as having a text conversation with every family member once a week or as in-depth as setting family retreats once a month – it is completely up to the family as to what they’re looking to accomplish.
- Participate in team building exercises – When you feel in sync with your family members, you’re more likely to be open with them about your thoughts and feelings. Team building exercises can be a great way to build up the trust and confidence in each other that may have been lost over the years and start working towards a better place. These exercises don’t have to be put on by some formal establishment or third party; even simple tasks such as doing trust falls amongst each other can be a great starting point.
- See a therapist – There is no shame in seeking outside help when it comes to familial situations, and communication issues are no different. Having an impartial person outside of the immediate family group take a look at the situation can help bring new light and insight into the various situations and really work to clear up issues.
- Have each member pick a group activity – Even though you’re related, your family members may be drastically different from you, especially in terms of hobbies and personal taste. By having everyone pick a group activity to do, you’re not only acknowledging your differences but celebrating them. Participating in these activities may even bring about some similarities or common interests that were previously unknown!
Familial relationships are some of, if not THE, most important relationships of ones life. Even though they are built on unconditional love, they can still become tarnished and worn throughout the years. By making it a priority to improve communication amongst family members, you will soon see results and be well on your way to overall improved relationships.