Today I want to give you some ways to practice that communication.
- Spend some time thinking and praying about what your family means to you. Are they friends? Are they "just" family...or is family "everything" to you? Some people feel that whether they like their family or not is irrelevant because family is forever. Others feel that their family is all the people they have a close relationship with, whether they are blood relatives or not.
- Once you know what family means to you, take a look at what you say TO your family members and ABOUT your family memebers. Is what you say consistent with how you feel about your family?
- If it is consistent, that's great! Keep up the good work. If the way you feel about your family and the way you talk to/about them isn't consistent then it's time for some changes.
- You can begin those changes by thinking before you speak. We've all heard this before, but so few of us really do this. Sometimes we don't need to say how we feel. Perhaps we should let negative feelings be still for a bit before we 'spew' them all over someone. Often, I find time solves many of the trifling issues that seem so big in the moment.
- If you decide an issue is 'big' enough to discuss, go right to the person with whom you have an issue. This is really important. Talking with everyone else won't solve the problem...because those people aren't the problem! Go to the source directly. I'll discuss in future posts the ins and outs of conflict management.