Families are an interesting kettle of fish, don’t you think? We choose our friends but are “stuck” with our families. They bring us a lot of joy, but also a fair share of challenges.
Some of us have meaningful family relationships. I hope that’s you! Others don’t see eye to eye with them.
I believe it’s no accident that we were born into our families. They are often our biggest teachers.
When we work through our family challenges bravely, they catalyze immense personal growth. I am grateful for the lessons of unconditional love, acceptance, and forgiveness my family has taught me.
Here seven tips to help you create more empowered family relationships:
- Healing: We all accumulate unresolved emotional issues throughout life. Family members are often very skilled at triggering them! Healing helps you peel off the layers of past hurt so you get better at responding calmly rather than overreacting. Healing helps you create closer connections with your family–and experience more love.
- Honest, open communication: This is the basis of all relationships. When we truly listen to somebody and step into their shoes, we get a deeper understanding. Then compassion for them and their flaws comes naturally. Share your concerns from a place of vulnerability, rather than from being right. Resolve any conflicts as quickly as possible.
- Clear boundaries: When your boundaries are muddied, it’s easy to overextend yourself and end up feeling resentful. You want to be able to say “no” when others expect more from you—time, energy, resources—than you are willing to give.
- Acceptance: Learn to accept your family members the way they are. Remember, the only person you can change is yourself! I’ve noticed that the more accepting I become, the more relaxed I am around my family, and able to love and enjoy them.
- Time out: Avoid discussing sensitive topics when either or both parties are emotionally triggered and/or inebriated. It will never lead to a positive outcome! Call it quits and get back together when you are calm and levelheaded.
- Create great memories: Plan special group activities together to create life-enriching memories. When I was in Australia, a family group of seven went out on a boat to snorkel with sea lions. We had so much fun together and we’ll never forget this exhilarating experience!
- Look after yourself first: If your family is very dysfunctional and interacting with them is unhealthy for you, you have the right to limit your contact. Make sure to heal any past hurt associated with them. Physical distance doesn’t free you from pain; only healing does!
Let me know whether these tips are useful! If you need help with any of these points, let’s talk! Click this link to schedule a free 30 min Empowerment Consultation http://bit.ly/I_want_to_talk
Enjoy the holiday season creating meaningful family interactions and happy memories!