With past unresolved emotions and unspoken difficulties, individuals related by blood or marriage are certain to come up against some hitches along the way. However, it doesn’t have to stay this way! Lisa Turner gives her top tips on how to revive family bonds, prevent problems before they escalate and out an end to family feuds.
Make sure everyone has a role
With many things in life, we like to know where we stand and what our role is. Knowing this really does help family dynamics, as everybody can be involved making day-to-day life more fun.
Recognise positive intention
There are always going to be certain things that annoy you, but when a family member says or does something you find irritating, try to find an underlying intention that is positive. They might even be trying to please you, and are unaware that what they are doing is frustrating. So, try to look beyond what you directly and instantly feel.
Own your emotions
No one can make you feel anything. All too often in family relationships, you swap the responsibility of your emotions round, and think it’s up to others to make you feel good. But it’s so much more empowering and freeing if you take responsibility for your own feelings, and give others back the responsibility for theirs.
“I’m not OK with that”
These are the five most powerful words in a relationship. If someone does something you don’t like, tell them by saying: “When you (state their behaviour), I feel (state how you feel)” or, more simply “I’m not OK with that”. It makes it really clear and simple, and removes the emotional charge from the discussion, making it difficult to argue about it.
Connect at a spiritual level
Remember, even your family is spiritual, all the dramas are only acted out as a kind of play from which you can learn and grow. Connecting at a soul level means you see past their faults.
Get your needs met
We all have needs: to feel loved, cherished, respected, listened to, or simply a little help in the kitchen. Recognise what yours are and state them. “I have a need for…..” Then state what you would like the other person to do to meet those needs. Be specific about the behaviour.
By showing unconditional love to your family, it is even possible to see them change and soften before your eyes. Imagine an infinite source of love coming in through the top of your head and going out of your heart towards them (yes, even to your mother-in-law!)