One of the main reasons why a family relationship often fails is due to a lack of communication. But note, it is not just about the difficulty of expressing someone’s feelings towards a family member. Communication issues within the family have a lot of contributing factors. It is important that you determine those elements first before trying to make any possible adjustments. It would also be helpful to seek support from online counseling platforms like BetterHelp to gain professional advice. Many families benefit from these online resources when it comes to gaining a better understanding of each individual.
With that, here are some of the significant things you should understand to strengthen communication within the family.
Listen Attentively – This is a no brainer. It is important that when communicating, you listen attentively. You need to realize that all people want to be heard because their ideas also matter. So it is essential that you entirely listen to what your loved ones are saying rather than focusing yourself on formulating a response. If the conversation has something to do with fixing an issue, never multitask. It would be very disrespectful when you show your loved ones that you have divided attention. Face your family members when talking to them and pay close attention to your gestures and facial expressions.
Make Eye Contact – A critical factor of communication is eye contact. It serves as a tool that makes you and your family members connected while talking about any issues. Eye contact is vital when having a meaningful conversation because it represents honesty, enthusiasm, and understanding. It also helps you to stay focus on a conversation by making you less distracted on other things. So next time, when you have a discussion with your family, avoid looking elsewhere as it will make you look less interested in spending time with your loved ones.
Show Appreciation And Respect – Appreciation and respect for others can go a long way. It can make your loved ones more open to communicating with you because they will receive the desired respect for their thoughts and ideas. Giving them respect will make them feel comfortable discussing things with you no matter how sensitive the topics can get. And if ever the conversation is about the discussion of different opinions, showing respect will allow your family members to appreciate your communication skills and attitude as well.
Ask Questions – It might seem too obvious, but asking questions can help strengthen communication. It is one of the best approaches to show family members that you are genuinely interested in what they are trying to say. It opens up a conversation and helps in maintaining the discussion. It also signals that you want to hear and understand your loved ones, regardless of how complicated a situation may be. You have to remember that you are continually communicating, even if you are not saying anything. But note, never to ask a stupid question, if you do not want to get a sarcastic answer.
Be Brief But Specific – When having a meaningful conversation with family members, it is essential to be specific. You need to provide enough information to your loved ones to understand what you are trying to say. Also, always remember never to jump in and give out comments, not unless you have an idea of the topic. Try to learn not to ramble and take the time to think about your responses. Ensure that your words will cause a better understanding rather than an emotional impact.
Watch Your Tone – Improving communication skills is useless if you can’t watch your tone. Yes, you can be assertive at times. But you can only consider that if your goal is to necessarily make a point. Avoid being aggressive. Remind yourself that there is a fine line between aggression and assertion. A rude tone is not going to lead a productive conversation. Instead, it will only cater to misunderstandings and conflicts. So try to avoid using a combating tone and use a confident and calm voice instead. Always ensure a positive attitude when talking to your loved ones so that they will respond positively.
Validate Thoughts And Feelings – When members of the family express themselves differently, allow it. They feel that way for a reason. It is essential to acknowledge the emotions your loved ones put through within the discussion. But also remind yourself that you don’t have to agree with them if you entirely do not have to even if that is to validate their feelings. Despite disagreeing with them, you can still make them feel important by accepting their perspective. You can express your thoughts while ensuring that you care about whatever it is that they tell you.
Effective communication is one of the essential life skills that you can have. Whether you want to experience a good relationship with people, or you want others to appreciate your ideas, communicating is the best way to do that. It is important that you practice these critical things so that it can help improve your communication skills.