Building Strong Family Relationships - Cooperative Extension
Even brief moments of physical affection can greatly improve your relationships. It lets the other person know you care and helps you connect with them. You've heard the sayings: relationships aren't easy and marriage is a work in progress. Many are quick to warn about the trials a romance can. The first thing I want to point out is that improving your relationship with room layout that prevented the family from having meals together.
Technology can help you keep in touch but it can never replace being together in person. When I travelled overseas I emailed home regularly to friends and I was surprised at how well this managed to maintain those friendships, even over an extended period of time.
This is important with the people you live with as well.
8 Ways to Improve Your Relationship | Real Simple
Sometimes you can live in the same house yet not end up spending much time together. But whilst technology helps in many ways it can also hinder. A txt is no substitute for a face to face conversation. There are some friendships where you might only catch up once a month, others a few times a week.
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- Building Strong Family Relationships
It can help to pick a friend and think when the last time you had a decent conversation with them was. Depending on how close you are it might just be a text or a phone call, or a present. Listen more — The absolute number one way to improve a relationship is to listen more.
Set the wheel in motion and listen to them first. Really try to see things from their perspective.
8 Ways to Improve Your Relationship
If you want people to listen to you then listen to them first. I yearned for us to discuss decisions about my life, to have intelligent conversations, to engage each other on a deep, meaningful level.
When I worked on our relationship with this ideal in mind, I faced resistance the whole time — from them to me, from me to them, and from me to myself. In all my efforts to create an open communication channel with my parents, I would be frustrated with them for not responding in kind. Why are they not reciprocating my efforts? Why are they being so difficult? It was then that I realized, to my shock, that my parents had been trying so hard to improve our relationship via their own way the entire time.
How to Improve Your Relationship With Your Parents: A Delicate Guide
Advertisement When you approach your relationship with your parents with a fixed ideal, you suffocate the relationship.
Firstly, you limit how the relationship can develop. It may be an ideal to you, but not to them, not to the family. The only situation when having an ideal works is when it has been co-created and endorsed by both parties.
Doing that means removing the scaffolding and eliminating your ideal, i. Instead, accept them as who they are today. For example, we may be frustrated at how they are so traditional. We may be frustrated at how close-minded they are. We may be frustrated at their resistance to everything we want to try or do in life. We may be frustrated at how slow they are with things. And that even though you arrange for more frequent meet-ups, they never seem to make themselves available.
But if you let go of the ideal see previous point and appreciate what they can offer you in their current capacity which is to meet once a month onlyyou place much less tension on the relationship. I would ask them about themselves, and they would clam up. After I realized it was just not in their natural disposition to talk about themselves or their feelings, I realized I was being selfish by imposing my needs on them. With that, I learned to let go of this expectation, and instead have learned to appreciate what they can offer.
My mom is a meticulous housemaker and she prides herself at keeping herself up to speed with the needs of the household.
Advertisement Understand what you are looking for underneath the ideal The parent-child ideal we create in our mind is usually a projection of something. Our desire to achieve the ideal represents an underlying need that yearns to be fulfilled.
Let me give an example. A while back, I worked with a client who wanted her dad to be a strong mentor figure. For her dad had always been busy with his work, and was often out of the picture in her life. She felt she lacked a strong father figure. Because of that, she would seek older, fatherly figures to get guidance — be it in her professors, in her bosses, or in her pastors.
Despite all the guidance she received, she still longed for her dad to step in as her mentor. Was the problem because she lacked guidance? She had more smart, highly capable and successful figures giving her support and advice than anyone else. Not only that, she is an incredibly smart and talented person.
She is perfectly capable of guiding herself and solving her problems. Truth is, she longed for her dad to be her mentor figure because she associated mentorship as love. To her, love meant being watched over, getting guidance and advice, being cared for, and so on. Even though her dad would talk to her occasionally, ferry her to work, participate in family dinners, and spend time with the family when he was not working, these did not register as love to her. Mentorship, on the other hand, did.
Is achieving this ideal indicative of that need being met? Or is it just in your head? In the past, I wanted my parents to be my best friends because I saw open communication and relating to one another as love. Hence, I went out of the way to bridge our communication gap. I tried to talk to them where I could.
I would ask them questions about their day, how their work went, their future plans, etc. At least that was what I thought. Yet I was looking in the wrong place the whole time.
They had been trying to show me they love me all this while, through their actions as I shared in Part They had been trying so hard to express their love, but I had not been able to see it because I had been so blind-sided — so fixated on that one ideal, on that one expression of love.
Chances are you would like to have deep conversations with your parents, beyond superficial chats. Chances are you want to be emotionally closer to them. However, they would have their way of expressing love. Clearly, whether your parents love you or not is not contingent upon whether they fulfill your ideal.
The ideal is just some image we painted up in our minds. The moment you release yourself of this ideal is when the healing between you and your parents begin. Instead of that, try a different tack — think about how you can be a better child to them. Start by being sensitive to their needs.
Speak to them in their language of love see next point. Take them out for a meal — make it a weekly or biweekly occasion if possible. You want to stay true to yourself and improve how you treat your parents in your own way. Speak to them in their language of love Language of love refers to the way someone expresses love.
Different people have different ways of expressing love — some via physical touch, via words, via actions, etc. For example, my parents express their love via acts of service. They like to do things for me. For me, I express love via giving words of affirmation. I also use other ways to express my love, but verbal communication is the primary method I use. I would try to communicate with them, but get nothing in return. In turn, they kept trying to do things like buy food for me and cook for me, but I would get frustrated with their obsession with food some of which you may have read about in the fasting series.
What do you think represents love to your parents? This means if their language of love is quality time together, then spend more time with them.
If their language of love is receiving gifts, then buy a small gift that means something to both of you. They will be able to recognize your intentions more easily that way, and accept them more readily. Do that every day, with every opportunity you have. While you may have the best intentions, you are just imposing your beliefs onto them. Start from existing channels that are already open If your relationship with your parents is very sour, start from the channels that are already open.
For example, what are the points of contact between you and your parents today? And work your way up. My relationship with my parents went downhill during my preadolescent years.