How often do you sit in the same room with a family member and not a single word is spoken? Does it seem easier to talk to a stranger than to approach one of your own? Well, you’re not alone. It’s hard to accept the fact that communication between family members is so poor that we don’t know what’s really going on in each other’s lives. On the other hand, families must understand the true definition of ‘communication’ in order to benefit from it as a whole.
Until and unless you have transparent conversations in a calm and understanding manner, you and your family are not communicating. With that said, let’s talk about why communication is key for healthy family life.
It Builds a Support System
Good communication within a family allows members to support each other when they need it most. Even through some of the most trying times, a unified family that communicates in a healthy manner can build a support system like no other! This is because you learn and understand what a loved one truly needs and how to go about helping and supporting them. In situations where you feel helpless, just a listening ear can make a difference.
The Root Cause of a Problem is Tackled
Lack of communication allows little problems to become bigger and harder to handle. On the other hand, resolving family issues as soon as they arise makes it that much easier to tackle the underlying problem. The biggest mistake families make is to keep mum about a problem and allow it to create a chain reaction (often times, a single problem triggers a string of others). When the lines of communication are opened, you can discuss the best way of tackling problems together, as a family.
There is a Greater Understanding Between Family Members
As well as you may know each other, you can’t always guess what a family member is thinking. Therefore, if one does not communicate his or her feelings, assumptions will be made and misunderstandings will occur. While open and honest communication may still lead to disagreements, it will aid in understanding the other person a lot more than you have in the past. There is always a reason behind one’s words and actions and hence, communication will help you understand them better.
There Will Be Less Fights
More often than not, miscommunication or just the wrong tone of voice can lead to a fight. Even the smallest of misunderstandings can cause the biggest of fights between family members! Therefore, the way we communicate is more important than communication alone. Before you lose your cool and say something rude or insensitive, pause for a moment and figure out the best way to reach an understanding without fighting over it first. For example, if you come home to find that your kids haven’t done any chores, sit them down and discuss the importance of home cleaning rather than yelling or complaining.
You Look at Things from Another Perspective
If you’re set in your ways and generally disagree with other family members, better communication can help you look at things or problems from another perspective. Not only is this a healthy way of tackling issues (with the support of family, of course), but it also gives you some much needed clarity when your thoughts and judgment seem to be clouded. With a family member sharing their personal views on a specific topic, you will find new and improved ways of dealing with certain situations.
It Brings You Closer Together
As mentioned earlier, good communication facilitates better understanding, lesser fights and more support among families; in addition to these benefits (and multiple others), you grow closer to each other and tighter bonds are formed. It’s common for families to grow apart when there is a lack of communication; hence, talking to one another should be encouraged at the earliest stages of family life.
With enough effort and openness, you can improve communication within your family in a healthy and beneficial way. Remember, there is power in unity and that is what open and honest communication promotes!