What Does Effective Family Communication Look Like?
You and your partner have to juggle home life, family life, your careers, your children, school, extracurricular activities, and more. On top of that, you each have your own personality, wants, needs, beliefs, values, goals, and communication styles. With so much going on, it’s not uncommon for communication to take a back seat.
The good news is, communication can be re-established. Here’s what’s effective family communication looks like.
Think Before You Speak
Communication is key in any type of relationship, especially among families. Communication can be sometimes easier when it only involves two people, but when you start to add more individuals, it can increase the chances of miscommunication and even conflict.
It’s extremely important, especially when communicating among larger groups like in a family, to think before speaking. You want to make sure you’re considering all sides and have the right frame of mind and train of thought before speaking. This is especially beneficial when it’s a sensitive topic or where emotions could get in the way of your thoughts.
Since many tend to have closer relationships with their immediate family, they may feel more comfortable and therefore prone to blurting things out without other social norms in the way.
Be Honest and Respectful
If you’re dealing with a sensitive topic, you may be worried about hurting one of your family member’s feelings. Keep in mind that it’s always better to be honest, no matter what the topic may be. You don’t want to have the same conversation later where you had to admit that you weren’t fully honest. You can build trust in your family dynamic just by being honest with one another.
Make sure that each member of your family is being respectful, especially if and when things get a little heated. You don’t have to agree on everything. You won’t agree on everything. But when a disagreement happens, you have to make sure you’re working towards coming to a mutual agreement and resolution instead of fighting to win. No one wins if you’re not willing to compromise.
Communicate Your Needs, but Make Sure You’re Listening, Too
Each person has their own wants, needs, values, and beliefs. Even if parents teach their children how to act a certain way, their personality and interests may lead them towards a different way of thinking or behaving. Make sure that you’re fully communicating your needs.
Listening is just as important, if not more important than actually speaking and communicating your own point of view. Sure, you want to make sure that your thoughts and emotions are being considered, but in a family dynamic, you have to make sure that each member of your family has an equal amount of time to express their own feelings and thoughts as well.
There’s a good chance that you and your family members are psychics. You aren’t able to figure out what they may want or need without them fully expressing it, and they won’t be able to do that for you either. When you communicate your wants and needs clearly, there’s less room for misinterpretation.
If you’re interested in learning more about how to communicate effectively in a family, reaching out for a little extra help is perfectly acceptable. A therapist is a great option for you and/or your family. You can consider going to individual therapy or family therapy depending on what may work best for you and your family.
There’s nothing wrong with asking for help. In fact, it shows how much you care for your family. Reach out to us today to set up an intake.
Click here for more information on couples therapy.