If you ask most people what they value the most in their lives, they will mention their families. Yet, so many of us are not exactly content with the way we manage our family lives. Without intending to do so, we often neglect people we deeply care about, speak rudely to them and forget to tell them just how much they mean to us.
Here are 5 important tips that can help you have a wonderful relationship with your family members and avoid the most common family relationship problems.
Important Tips For Family Relationships
Mind Your Language
A good way to not have a happy family life is to be rude to your family members. Whether it is your kids, your wife, your parents, your siblings or your cousins, please remember that only good intentions are not enough – good language matters too. Every time you say something rude, you cause a tiny dent to appear in your relationship with a family member.
Many people use the pretext that they are just being themselves, to be rude to family members. You need to remember however, that there is a very thin line between being genuine and honest and being condescending. Express yourself completely when you are with your family but still don’t forget to set boundaries. Do not take your family for granted. After all, even family members are sensitive human beings and an unintentional remark here and there can hurt them.
Appreciate Without Restraint
While you can should twice before saying anything critical, don’t hesitate even once before genuinely praising a family member. Many of us do it the other way round and pay the price. We criticize amply and seldom appreciate. This is the road to a lot of sadness and regret. In fact, many people mention not appreciating their family members enough as their biggest regret on their deathbed.
Remember that appreciation and criticism are both habits that can be learned and unlearned. Initially, you will need to make a conscious effort to notice the good things other family members have done and to ignore their flaws. However, once you make an effort, you will soon find yourself appreciating naturally after a few days.
Note that I am not talking about artificial appreciation here. That is obviously not possible with family members. However, genuine, heartfelt appreciation where it is due is the life blood of any happy family. In the long term, your family already knows you are there for them. However, in the short term, a few kind words can go a long way in keeping the magic between family members alive.
The one word that has destroyed families the world over is ‘grudge’. Please realize that there is nothing to be gained by holding on to petty grudges. Every time you hold on to a grudge and resent a family member’s actions, you are building a wall within your family.
In the happiest families, all family members forgive and forget easily. They realize that everybody is just as human as them. Consider a situation in which a relative of yours does not invite you to a certain event. Instead of blaming the relative for not doing so and holding it against him, just let go! Realize that he may genuinely have forgotten to invite you because of other important commitments.
When a family member does not live up to our expectations, our first reaction is to imagine that he did it intentionally to hurt us. This is not so most of the time. Imagine the best possible reason for a family member’s mistake instead of making every situation into an excuse to criticize.
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Give Personal Space
One major problem in many family relationships is the complete lack of personal space. Realize that at the end of the day, other family members are individuals who can make choices different from your choices. Your brother may want to go on a family vacation without inviting you. Your sister or cousin may make an unconventional career choice. Your own son may have a different opinion on an issue compared to yours.
Differences in opinions should not create problems in your family bonds because they will always exist. Accept that no matter how hard you try you will never be able to make everyone think like you do. In fact it is the differences between family members that make them uniquely contribute to a happy family.
Personal space is also intruded when you expect more from a family member than he or she can give you. Give space by expecting less right from the start so that you don’t feel hurt if expectations are quashed. This is easier said than done but you do need to put in that extra effort to manage your expectations. I am not asking you to completely stop expecting from family members, but make doubly sure that none of your expectations intrude into other people’s personal space.
The happiest families don’t let go of any opportunity to celebrate and have fun! Make an extra effort to make sure all your family members join in and have a wonderful time every time there is an occassion to celebrate.
All families face tough situations but remember that it is the joyful moments which sustain family bonds during tough times. They remind everyone that any disputes and problems are minor ones and that you all do indeed share an intimate connection.
Make the birthdays, anniversaries and promotions of family members extra special. Let different festivals further cement your bond. Let there be so many happy moments that the sad moments cease to matter.
While most people may commit significant mistakes in their family relationships, do keep in mind that it is practically possible to have wonderful and joyful family ties. Just make sure you pay attention to the tiny things that break or make family bonds. Appreciate, be polite, celebrate often, forgive easily, and give each family member lots of personal space. You will be amazed at how much your family relationships will blossom!