Emotional intelligence (EI) is the ability to identify and manage your own feelings and the feelings of others and make decisions accordingly. Emotionally intelligent people are better at communicating and resolving differences with others and understanding the feelings of others. And being better able to communicate and understand others can be a major boost to family relationships.
A relationship is among life’s fundamental aspects. The time we spend with our families, peers, and significant others can shape who we are and who we become. The key to a happy, healthy relationship has healthy relationships. A relationship that checks off these boxes is emotionally intelligent, or EQ, a trait that can be measured in all of us.
Emotional Intelligence in the Family
While the family unit is built upon the unbreakable bonds of friendship, trust, and love, it can still be stressful when you feel like you’re the only one struggling. These bonds can become strained when you feel like your family does not understand you and your feelings are unappreciated or invalid.
Tips for Refining Family Relationships with Emotional Intelligence in the Family
- Take care of your health. Being happy at home starts with taking care of ourselves. Though we all know this, few of us truly make it a priority. It takes more than going to the gym or loading up our plate with fruits and veggies every single day. It’s far easier to neglect your health and make poor decisions than actually to put effort into improving your well-being.
- Listen if you expect to be heard. Your family is probably the most important relationship in your life. You depend on them, trust them, and love them—and all the more reason to keep them at your best. But we all know that family relationships can be complex and can take a lot of work and time. But as parents, how can we help our children build a sound foundation in their lives and relationships with us?
- Teach emotional choice. Emotional Intelligence (EI) is a skillset one can learn and practice. Teaching emotional intelligence in your family can help alleviate many family problems, including improving communication, helping your child learn how to regulate their emotions, and helping your family learn how to work together in a positive, healthy way.
- Teach how to be generous by giving and receiving. One best thing to do is avoid creating conflict. Instead of arguing and fighting, you can learn to start strengthening your relationships by taking time out to practice generosity. A practical way to teach your family to be generous is to receive as well as to give.
- Take responsibility for what you connect silently. Family relationships are affected by how we interact and communicate. Since we each have our own personalities and unique ways of communicating, it makes sense that the way we behave as a family would vary from person to person. Because of this, it’s critical that parents pay close attention to their communication style and how they treat family members. Since you can’t change who you are, you can, however, learn how to control how you communicate. Remember, communication isn’t a one-way street. If you don’t take the time to listen, you won’t know what the other person is trying to tell you.
- Do not interfere in their problem, if possible, as much as they can solve. Your spouse, children, and extended family are important to you. You want to make positive changes to start improving and strengthening your bond with them. But, sometimes, solving their problems comes before you can do the things you can do to improve the relationship. Don’t put other people’s problems before your own.
- Make a lasting impression through actions. If you’ve ever felt torn between your family’s needs and your own, you’re not alone. The struggle can make you feel like you can’t be a good parent and a successful businessperson or that your career is more important than your family. Everyone has their own approach to strengthening family relationships. Traditional approaches include family dinners, social media updates, and even an annual family camping trip. But even in this age where technology provides avenue for keeping in touch more than before, some families still suffer.
- Admit your mistakes to everyone. Improving your family relationships takes work. As kids grow, they enter a new phase of life, becoming teens and adults. The older they get, the more independent they become, leaving you to question how you managed to raise such independent-minded individuals. While your kids may act like adults, they still make mistakes different from your own. So, how do you handle their mistakes without hurting their feelings?
- Be plentiful in expressing love. Family dealings are hard to direct. Your mother wants to give out hugs, your father wants to give sage advice, your spouse wants your input on your finances, and your kids just want to let you know how much they love you. One key to improving family relationships is practicing emotional intelligence.