“I have learned that the head does not hear anything until the heart has listened, and that what the heart knows today the head will understand tomorrow.” – Jones Stephens
Communication. It sounds like such a simple word but the reality is that communication is one of the most complicated things we do in life. And as complicated as it is to communicate in our businesses and friendships, one of the most complicated forms of communication takes place in our own families. Perhaps because we care the most about our families so our emotions are the most vulnerable when we are dealing with the people we love the most.
In an article by Marvin Ashton he shares seven suggestions for more effective family communication:
1. A willingness to sacrifice. We have to make the time to talk to each other without distractions. “If we would know true love and understanding one for another, we must realize that communication is more than a sharing of words. It is the wise sharing of emotions, feelings, and concerns. It is the sharing of oneself totally.”
2. A willingness to set the stage. “The location, setting, or circumstances should be comfortable, private, and conversation-conducive.“
3. A willingness to listen. “Listening is more than being quiet. Listening is much more than silence. Listening requires undivided attention.“
4. A willingness to vocalize feelings. We can’t assume people know how we feel, we must be willing to tell them ourselves. We will have no greater regret than having withheld loving words from our family members or having left things unsaid.
5. A willingness to avoid judgment. Be understanding and don’t react negatively. “When we can learn to deal with issues without involving personalities and at the same time avoid bias and emotions, we are on our way to effective family communications.”
A willingness to maintain confidences.
6. A willingness to practice patience.” It takes courage to communicate patiently. We constantly need to express pride, hope, and love on a most sincere basis. Each of us needs to avoid coming through as one who has given up and has become totally weary in trying.”
“One’s point or opinion usually is not as important as a healthy, continuing relationship.” – Marvin Ashton
As difficult as communication can be within a family, we can’t afford to simply walk out angry or leave bad feelings unresolved. The fact is that we never know what moment will be our last one on this earth and we never know at what moment a loved one might be taken from us. That’s why we just can’t take for granted that there will be an opportunity tomorrow to communicate what we should have communicated today.
Make the time and put in the effort to communicate with the people you love. And always make time to say I love you.
Have a beautiful day!
~Amy Rees Anderson