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Communication is not the mere verbal exchange of information in the families. It is the expression of respect, affection and concern. Communication doesn’t refers to the verbal alone in the family, but physical expressions, gestures and even an affectionate look can be communicative in the family.
It is through the communication the members of the family express their requirements, love, desires, advises etc., to each other person in the family. Family communication is very much different from that with formal communication. Experts say that there are four styles of family communication. Clear and direct communication, clear and indirect communication, masked and direct communication and masked and indirect communication.
Each of these styles has benefits and disadvantages; thus, it is the communicator who has to decide which style to be used according the situations. Whatever are the styles of communication and modes of it, people agree in a point that communication is the essential instrument or bonding factor in the family life.
There are many practical tips to make the communication between the family members more effective. Let us see some of them.
The focus is preference, not principles
Family is the place where no strict or inflexible rules are applicable and principles always remain subordinates to preferences. Focusing on the preferences simply means to give more importance to the personal likes and methods than rules and regulations. For example, you can’t just implement a rule that everyone should be silent after 10 at night. It may be the only convenient time for one of the family members to communicate with others.
Be flexible in communication. It is not what others follow that is to be considered the standard in your communication in the family. There are no right time, right way and right place for communication in the family. Implicating principles for communication will make the process completely official and people may feel it mechanical, rather affectionate.
Negative and sarcastic communication will destroy the warmth of family talking. Do not over criticize or approach everything in negative way. Certain people cling to sarcasm when they talk to others, especially with family members. This will destroy the mood of talks and others may withdraw themselves deliberately from the family communications.
You can be corrective but even then try to be positive maximum possible. Positive communication is much influencing and effective than criticisms. Creative criticism is helpful in family but always define limits to criticism. Let the communication be appreciating, encouraging, supporting and soothing.
Exaggeration is unaccepted
Many people tend to exaggerate too much when they express their emotions or feelings in the family. Exaggeration is used as a mode of easing the mental tension, but may destroy the family harmony. When you talk or express the feelings be lavish only to the limit of the tolerance of others. Frequent exaggerated talks may make others bored and distrusted in your words and actions.
Let it be more than just verbal
Let the communication in the family be more than just a verbal expression. Even the presence of other family members can communicate a lot. The presence of parents conveys the messages of safety, love and concern to the kids. Similarly, the presence of spouse communicates the feeling of warmth. Use gestures of affection lavishly in the communication. Even when you scold or correct a child or spouse, hold them and talk to them in the most pleasing manner may help the messages to be accepted in the desired manner. A kiss, a hug, an appreciation, a thumps up gesture, everything can tell more than words can do.
Be clear, be gentle and be precise
Being clear, gentle and precise is the rule applicable to any communication; so is to family communication. Do not leave blanks for others to assume or interpret in family communication. If you want to say something to the children or spouse, make your point clear in the most pleasing way. Do not beat around the bush and make others unknown of the messages you intended to pass. Being calm and gentle when you communicate is helpful to invite the attention and action of others. Angry expressions or thoughtless words may be taken lightly, also may not yield the expected reaction.
Be frequent in communication
Communication should not be like a timetabled ritual at home. Find opportunity to talk to other members at home every day and every time. Frequent and casual communication not only helps you to express your feelings exactly, but also encourages others to talk. Mutual communication helps people to grow in affectionate relationship with each other.