Doesn't it frustrate you when self-help books and articles tell you everything NOT to do? That's why we wanted to be sure and give you some "do's" this week with family communication. You now know what NOT to do, let's show you what would be better! Do's:
*Use brief statements of 10 words or less
*Use I statements (e.g. "I feel _____ when ____") or take responsibility for your own actions.
*Use direct and specific statements (e.g., "Stop teasing your sister".
*Actively listen with good eye contact, leaning forward, nodding, and so forth when someone is sharing their feelings with you
*Let each person completely state his/her thoughts before stating yours.
*Give feedback/paraphrase (e.g., restate what another said to you).
*Be constructive (e.g., "I'm concerned about your grades," "Something is bothering me: can we discuss it?", etc.
Hopefully as you catch yourself doing some of the "don'ts" (and we all do), you can replace it with some "do's". You will definitely see a difference in how your family member responds. You will walk away feeling much better about the conversations you are having as well.
Tomorrow Joleen will share some more helpful tips. Thank you for reading and have a wonderful weeK!
*Natalie Chandler, MA, LMHC is a therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Natalie enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, and couples counseling. We also specialize in family counseling, child, and adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Westfield, and Zionsville.