Why Is Family Communication So Important?
Family communication helps create and maintain an effective emotional home environment. Also, it encourages its members to be able to express their emotions, feelings, and concerns in a healthy way.
Family communication is synonymous with well-being
Probably, most conflicts and problems that arise between family members are caused by miscommunication or a lack of communication. If open communication lines aren’t maintained, family members won’t have the confidence to express themselves, while misunderstandings and fights will be less common.
A family that manages to establish a good, effective emotional communication at home will be able to resolve conflicts in a more effective and less harmful way. In addition, interpersonal relationships will improve, as family members will feel supported and understood by one another.
However, establishing a favorable environment at home can be complicated since each family member manifests a different communication style. That being said, what’s the best way to communicate?
How humans communicate
To achieve healthy communication at home, it’s important to know the different communication styles that exist. These communication styles are categorized into three types: assertive, passive, and aggressive.
- Assertive style. Psychologist Carlos J. Van-der Hofstadt and economist José María Gómez state that those who communicate with this style are able to express their feelings, ideas, and opinions, while defending their rights and respecting those of others. In other words, an assertive person expresses themselves properly without attacking others, seeking negotiation.
“The only healthy communication style is assertive communication.”
- Passive style. According to Van-Der Hofstadt and Gómez, the main characteristic of this style is that the person cares about satisfying others. In other words, passive people don’t defend their own rights if they have to neglect other people’s rights to do so. Their goal is to avoid potential conflicts. Consequently, passive people often don’t get what they want, which causes them frustration, insecurity, and even repressed anger.
- Aggressive style. On the opposite side of the passive style, people with an aggressive communication style don’t respect the rights, feelings, and interests of others. This means they only care about defending their rights no matter what and have a hard time changing their minds and seeing other people’s points of view.
In view of this, it’s greatly beneficial to know how to develop assertive skills to communicate with family members. Some forms of assertive behaviors are knowing how to say “no,” accepting criticism if you think it’s correct or otherwise confronting it, accepting compliments and praise without expressing false modesty, etc.
How to achieve good family communication
- Talk often
Nowadays, finding free time to spend with your family has become increasingly challenging. However, we shouldn’t consider family time as “free time.” Instead, you should consider it a responsibility, making it a part of your daily life.
For example, make it a goal to dedicate a specific time of the day to talk with your children, such as an hour before bedtime, a period of time of the day to spend with your family, or plan family gatherings.
Focus on your strengths as a family
According to specialists in human development Rick Peterson and Stephen Green, successful and healthy families make a periodic inventory of their strengths and weaknesses. This means you should gather as a family to talk about what you’re doing right or wrong, in order to take steps to improve the family environment.
- Show interest in each of the family members
To begin, it’s essential to listen attentively, especially when you’re communicating with your family. This involves making every effort to understand the other person’s point of view and recognize and respect their perspective.
However, one of the keys to a healthy family environment is showing interest toward your loved ones. When you pay attention to your family member’s concerns and wishes, you show them that you care, which makes them feel valued and appreciated at the same time.
In conclusion, striving to establish good family communication brings numerous benefits. For example, it helps improve relationships, it makes the family members trust each other more, it increases each family member’s self-esteem and family satisfaction, and leads to better problem-solving.