One of this week's family focus tips we are trying this week comes from William Gladwell Foundation's booklet, "Building Family Communication (Family Matters) published just this year. We are focusing on positive and negative verbal and non-verbal messages that family group members convey to one another and why it helps to build a more fabulous family when we increase positive messages and decrease negative messages. Here are a few quick guidelines that we are trying to keep in mind as a family this week:
“To be effective in a close-knit group such as a family, communication must be believable and trustworthy. When someone avoids the truth, he or she loses the respect of the others….All family members must be open, candid and trustworthy.”
“Positive messages build and strengthen both the family and its individual members...negative messages damage and weaken the family and furthermore, they are a sure path toward family dysfunction.”
HOW CAN FAMILIES AVOID FIGHTING AND ARGUING:
*Family disputes are the result of communication breakdowns. Determine the root cause and encourage the parties involved to talk. Everything can be resolved by communication and “problem-solving”-- instead of "fighting".
SOME WAYS TO TALK WITH FAMILY MEMBERS:
*Choose and use words carefully.
*Speak plainly and clearly.
*Maintain eye contact.
*Eliminate “noise” or other distractions.
*Avoid speaking in negative terms, find positive ways to communicate.
POSITIVE VERBAL MESSAGES:
*I love you. *You can do it.
*I trust you. *I’m proud of you.
*You make me happy. *Way to go.
*How can I help you? *Good job.
*Thanks for being you. *I don’t like what you did, but I love you.
NEGATIVE VERBAL MESSAGES:
*I hate you. *I don’t believe you.
*I don’t trust you. *You’re a liar, cheat, thief…etc.
POSITIVE NON-VERBAL MESSAGES:
*Frequent touches of reassurance and affection *Displaying an open face
*Listening attentively *Being calm
NEGATIVE NON-VERBAL MESSAGES:
*Acting bored or uninterested or imposed upon
*Avoiding eye contact or looking away
*Raising one’s voice *Using sarcasm or whining
*Avoiding being physically close *Displaying unattractive personal habits
*Ignoring the speaker *Crossing arms or legs