Family relationships can be challenging. Living with people all the time and getting on with them is hard work. Sometimes, you just want to run away. However, the way emotionally intelligent people deal with family relationships is different. Here’s what they do to reduce relationship stress:
Don’t Provide Unsolicited Advice
It’s okay for family members to come to you for advice and for you to give it if you are in a position to do so. But lecturing people about what they should be doing rarely works. Providing unsolicited advice can actually make your relationships worse. People can feel pressured into doing things that they don’t want to do. And any change that comes of it is often short-lived.
Make Your Actions Count
In family relationships, actions are more important than words. If you struggle with words, just think about things that you can do to help your family. Going on a treatment family therapy program can teach you some of the techniques that you can use to help a family member going through difficulties.
Admit Your Mistakes
People who can admit their faults, mistakes and errors are a rare breed. But they’re also very welcome in families. When you accept that you did something wrong, you immediately become more humble and display emotional integrity. Not everything you do will be perfect, but that’s okay if you have the right approach to family relationships.
Find Out What Each Person Needs From The Family
Knowing what each person needs from your family is a great way of improving the atmosphere. Clearly, the needs of grandpa are going to be very different from those of your children. When you learn what each person needs, they feel more valued and respected.
Give Love Generously
Be generous when you express love in your family, especially when you deal with children. Whenever you provide emotional reassurance, you make it clear that you will be there for them, no matter what happens.
Teach Family Members That They Can Choose Their Emotions
The idea that we can choose our emotions feels quite foreign to a lot of people. But when you explore your mind, you find out that it is true. How you focus dictates how you feel. If you can, try telling people in your family that moods are okay. They are just something that they can observe. Family members can choose their focus – positive or negative – and use that to their advantage.
Being a careful listener is critical if you want people to hear you. By listening to what others say, you can dramatically improve the attention that they pay to you. Children, in particular, are excellent at mirroring your behaviors. So if you start to listen carefully to everything that people say, they will too. If people aren’t listening to you, ask yourself whether you are listening to them. After a conversation, remember what they said and then follow-up later.
Improving family relationships is possible, but it takes work. Once you get into the right relationship habits, it can feel effortless.