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5 Ways To Make You Closer To Your Family

5 Ways To Make You Closer To Your Family

Family love is one of the most valuable gifts in life and one that you cannot buy anywhere. A good family accepts you inside and out, no matter how you look or what you do. Think about a time when you were broke and your family helped you get back on your feet, a time when you were down and they cheered you up, and when you were sick and you found relief in the arms of your loved ones. Your life is probably full of such small and big happenings that you could be grateful for.

Everyone needs such support in life.

Just as a happy and harmonizing family life can be a good support in almost all aspects of life, a sour relationship can be painful.

Whether you have a good relationship with your family, or not, depends on you: as always “two hands are needed to clap.” So if you find your relationship with your family is broken, consider the kind of thoughts and emotions you were sending out to them all this while. Give someone love and he or she will bloom!

It is always possible to mend a broken relationship; and it is better now than never. So start to work on your relationships before it becomes too late! Here are five ways to become closer to your family:

1. Increase Your Love

You’ve probably heard the song lyrics, “A house is not a home, when there’s no one there to hold!”

What changes a house into a home is, in fact, love; true love. A true love is not selfish and does not take revenge if it does not receive love in return. True love gives without expectation.

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“Where there is love there is life.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Love strengthens the connection, while anger tears it apart.

With love also comes sacrifice. In a close relationship there will definitely be a lot of arguments, disharmony and disagreements. You cannot expect family life to be always be “peace, love and harmony.” As the connection gets closer, frictions get more pronounced!

Think realistically. No one is perfect. No matter how sweet and wonderful a person is, there will always be shortcomings. Roses always come with thorns!

If you accept the fact that everyone is bound to make mistakes, it will be easier to accept and love your family as they are.

“In marriage you love a lot and forgive a lot. Love is the lubricant!” – Master Choa Kok Sui

2. Give Freedom

It doesn’t matter if you are a mother, a father, a husband or a wife, whatever position you have in a family, you need to give freedom to the other members of it.

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No one likes to be ruled all the time. Freedom is one of the most basic needs of humanity and one of the greatest gifts in life. Growth is basically the result of having freedom, while too much control brings, anger, frustration and disappointment.

Work on your trust. With trust comes freedom.

“Friendship—my definition—is built on two things. Respect and trust. Both elements have to be there. And it has to be mutual. You can have respect for someone, but if you don’t have trust, the friendship will crumble.” – Stieg Larsson

With trust comes openness.

Over-possessiveness happens when we are afraid that by giving enough freedom, the person will leave or will commit a mistake. In fact, over-controlling often chases people away. It also obstructs the talents and passions of the other person, preventing them from blooming. If you are a parent, you need to give enough freedom to your children to allow them to follow their dreams.

Although giving freedom is not guaranteed to keep a partner or keep a child from committing a mistake, it is necessary to build a good foundation for a respectful family relationship.

3. Learn to Forgive

“Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a constant attitude.” – Martin Luther King

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“Inner Forgiveness is therapeutic. If you do not Forgive, you cannot be Internally Healed. Forgiving heals the soul!” – Master Choa Kok Sui

In every relationship, forgiveness is one of the most fundamental factors that affects the state and durability of a relationship. Forgiveness is not a matter of who is right or who is wrong, it is a matter of doing the right thing!

Although you are one family, there will always be differences in personalities and preferences between family members, and because of these differences, disagreements happen. Therefore, it’s not wise to react straight away, to jump to conclusions and start an argument. When disagreements happen, put yourself in the other person’s shoes and first try to look at the situation from his or her point of view. This gives you a better understanding and the ability to forgive more easily.

Then give time for the situation to calm down before you talk about your views and potential solutions to problems. Remember that in the midst of an emotional outburst or an argument, your explanation won’t work. Wait for the right time.

“When you forgive, you in no way change the past—but you sure do change the future.” – Bernard Meltzer

Forgiveness not only helps you improve the status of your relationship, but also keeps you from boiling away inside. In a relationship problems happen, and problems are a means of helping us get stronger and more compassionate. If you keep on thinking about the problems and unpleasant events of your life, you prevent yourself from having a better future. Forgive, forget and learn the lesson!

“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” – Mahatma Gandhi

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4. Look For Solutions

Problems are a part of life. They come and go.

Family life is not a battlefield. Do not focus on problems, instead focus on the solutions.

Although we as adults are all expected to be responsible for our actions, it still feels safer and more comfortable for some to put the blame on others. This is one of the major problems that can seriously affect a family as no one likes to be blamed all the time. After all, problems happen to make us grow and this comes about by learning from our mistakes.

Stop the blame game, be responsible for your actions and look for resolution. This is one of the fastest ways to bring you closer to your family.

5. Count Every Moment

One of the most clichéd problems in family life is the taking of loved ones for granted. As we always have our family around no matter how we act, we tend to neglect them sometimes. The minute we realize their value, it is often already too late.

Don’t fall into this trap!

“In all affairs it’s a healthy thing now and then to hang a question mark on the things you have long taken for granted.” – Bertrand Russell

In order to keep love and harmony active among our family, it is highly important to show that we care. Spending quality time with family members is one of the factors that can nourish and strengthen our family connections. Try to have fun on a regular basis. Go out together, talk, play, laugh and have fun.

Every moment matters! Make the best out of it before its too late!

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Last Updated on May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

Example 1

You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

Example 2

You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

Example 4

You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

  • Understand your own communication style
  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
  • Communicate with precision and care
  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

1. Understand Your Communication Style

To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

2. Learn Others Communication Styles

Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

“How do you prefer to receive information?”

This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

3. Exercise Precision and Care

A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

The Bottom Line

When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

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