Relationships

Let go of these habits to build happier families

The relationships we share with our families are important, but they can often become fraught with tension and difficulty despite our best efforts to preserve them. Why is it so difficult for some of us to connect with the people who are supposedto love us the most? Sometimes, the answer is complicated and sometimes its rather straightforward. Either way, it is up to us to better understand these relationships in order to safeguard them.

When we fail to look after the bonds we share with our family members, we can find them eroding or becoming heavy with resentment and contempt. Things like criticism and even selective inclusion can go a long way to tear apart the close familiar bonds connections we’ve worked so hard to build. If you want to build a stronger, happier family then you have to start looking at the habits that you used to engage with one another. Cut out the toxic and find out how to cultivate more of the positive.

Our family roots run deep, and they provide the first perspective on self and the world that we ever get. The relationships we form with our caretakers, our siblings and even our extended family inform everything from how we see ourselves, to how we form our romantic relationships. They are a formative part of who we are, but these relationships can also struggle against toxic habits that make it hard to love or trust one another.

When our family communications become tense and filled with negative thoughts and emotions, it pushes us away from one another and creates a sense of insecurity and instability throughout the unit. The more we learn to communicate openly, the better off we are, but that requires a lot of acceptance and committing to support one another no matter what.

Let go of the toxic habits that are pulling you apart, and embrace healthier ways to come together in a unified sense of trust and compassion. Learning how to stand together as a family unit is an incredibly powerful thing, but it takes a lot of hard work from everyone involved. Stop allowing the pain, the fighting and the tension destroy what should be one of the most enjoyable aspects of your life. Build healthier family bonds each and every day.

If you don’t look out for the way you communicate and the way you connect with your family, you’re going to find yourself dealing with some toxic habits that drive them away when you need them most. Look out for these warning signs of eroding family happiness.

Selective inclusion

Some families utilize selective inclusion in order to cement specific relationships, or to prove certain points. The problem with this, however, is that it is hurtful and creates a “you v. me” mentality within your family unit. With this mentality, it becomes impossible to trust one another, as it becomes all about competition and proving yourself in order to gain some superficial idea of “love”.

Criticizing and insults

Think about who you are and how you feel. Do you like it when someone calls you names? Or otherwise insults the things and people that are important to you? Criticizing and insulting is no less toxic when it’s used within the family unit. As a matter of fact — it’s far more toxic than when experienced outwardly. When someone in our family insults us, it cuts us to the bone and can make us lose touch (entirely) with the things that are right for us.

Deception

Lies are lies, and they destroy our relationships no matter what type they are. Deceiving your children or your partner will lead to a complete lack of trust across the board, which then impacts every other relationship we share to some regard. In order to build a happy family, we have to learn to trust one another — but that only happens when we learn to stop deceiving one another.

Loose tongues

Sometimes, events happen in our families (or our family members share something with us) which is highly personal and sensitive. Sharing this information to people who are not privy to it is a betrayal of trust and shows a lack of respect. When you share these moments outside of your family, you are damaging the ties they share with you and subjecting them to shame. Loose tongues erode the confidence we find in one another. It’s crucial to remember that don’t get to choose what’s sensitive. (NOTE: This does not apply to instances of physical, emotional, narcissistic or sexual abuse.)

Dividing differences

There are some major differences in personality, experience and understanding that can make it hard to bond and connect. When we allow these differences to come between the compassion and empathy we feel for our family members, we can find ourselves in conflict with them and destroying the relationships we hold. Dividing differences like politics, visions for a future, and even relationships can drive a serious wedge in our family relationships and make it hard to maintain respect.

Refusing responsibility

No matter what role you might inhabit within your family, it’s impossible to do so without ever making a mistake. As humans, we’re prone to overconfidence and flawed thinking. This isn’t the issue, though. The true issue is when we refuse to take responsibility for the things we got wrong. This includes never apologizing or admitting that you’re messed up because of some imagined dynamic or concept of superiority. The harder you cling to these ideas, the more resentment and contempt will grow within your family.

Believe it or not, there are some solid reasons behind why so many of us struggle to build happy family relationships. From unaddressed trauma to open-faced narcissism — these are the most common reasons you might struggle to connect with your family…

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