Family is such a loaded word. When I think of family, there are so many strong emotions that come to mind. I love my family so fiercely, but they also seem to always find my last nerve. Finding balance in relationships is vital for the health of everyone involved.
Here are some tips for maintaining close family relationships:
1. Find Out Your Communication Style
Learning more about ourselves helps with how we relate to others. Take some time to figure out your style of communication. There are many quizzes to figure out your style, as there are four main styles: passive, aggressive, passive-aggressive, and assertive. Here’s a link to one: https://www.livehappy.com/self/quizzes/whats-your-communication-style.
Once you know your style, talk to your family about it and see if they agree with your findings. Once you start talking about communication, it becomes easier to find the roots of miscommunications. Remember to always have grace. Better communication still does not mean perfect communication.
3. Speak Up
Each of us has needs, whether emotional, mental, or physical, and sometimes we neglect them for the sake of the group. That’s okay. We are supposed to consider the needs of others above our own (1 Corinthians 10:24). But let your family know what you need. Don’t deny those who love you an opportunity to show you their love.
4. Do Activities Together
Creating opportunities for teamwork and fun takes the pressure off intentional communication. Activities such as board games, creating dances, yard games, or making plays, can open new ways of communication by interacting in new forms of expression. These are just some examples; you can get even more creative. There are plenty of websites and blogs that give ideas on new activities to keep everyone engaged.
5. Find Time Alone
Distance makes the heart grow fonder. This is often true, even if you just take a short break from your family. This might seem counterproductive, or even as the opposite, it could seem obvious. However, it is important to take intentional time to refuel and invest in your personal relationship with God. Make sure to take time for your own health so you can continue pouring into the lives of others.