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As a pastor, over the years I had my fair share of people approach me to find out if we were a "courtship" church or a "dating" church. The people invariably would tell me that their approach was "the biblical way.


HelpGuide uses cookies to improve your experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. Privacy Policy. Too often, however, our interactions with family are filled with misunderstanding and resentment, bickering and badgering.

Those we should know and be known by best, end up feeling like adversaries or strangers. And this is why emotional intelligence EQ succeeds where other efforts at family harmony fail. EQ is incredibly powerful in the family because it puts you in control of your relationships with parents and children, siblings, in-laws and extended family. Most of the techniques for improving family relationships are therefore centered on communicating your feelings to those you care about, as close relationships are centered around feeling.

Without this emotional intimacy, family contact becomes a burden, because no one is comfortable spending that much time with a stranger. If you want your family members to know and accept each other lovingly, you have to begin with your own emotional honesty and openness. When you do, the suggestions offered below are transformed from familiar reasonable advice, to highly effective methods for bringing your family ever closer.

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The following ten tips will lead you closer to your family and emotional intelligence. Look to yourself first. Your best hope for fixing any family problem is to attend your own emotional health. When you act on the belief that you have a right and obligation to assert your own emotional needs, your family will notice that your emotional independence benefits not only you, but the whole family, and they may quickly follow your lead. Remember that consistency builds trust. Studies have shown that lack of consistency destroys trust.

Off-and-on emotional awareness will cause those who love and depend on you, especially children, to get confused and frightened. Sometimes family ties blind us to the uniqueness of those we love. Pride in the family continuum can make it easy to forget that.

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We all change, and yet each of us seems to only see change in ourselves. Watch out for destructive emotional memories. Catching your thirty-year-old self responding to a parent in the voice of the five-year-old you can make you feel weak and frustrated.

Cherish every stage of life in each family member.

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The best to accept that fact emotionally, is to embrace change. Can you keep having fun and make sure everyone still feels useful and worthy in the family support system, even though roles and responsibilities must be altered?

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Fully accepting your fear of change can make it easier to broach subjects that you may have considered awkward in the past. Maybe your parents are just waiting for your cue. Feel them out. In a flexible, healthy family dynamic, change is just one of the many opportunities you have to enrich one another.

Improving family relationships with emotional intelligence

Two elements threaten harmonious relations with parents and adult siblings, in-laws and adult children: lack of time and an abundance of emotional memories. We do need to invest time in figuring out what our parents want most from us, sustaining close friendships with brothers and sisters, and gathering together without fulfilling every bad joke ever written about contentious, selfish families. Keep your EQ strong, and your adult family encounters are no longer dominated by cleaning up after mistakes and managing crises that have already resulted in disaster.

No relationship stands still. The key to a successful ongoing relationship with your grown children is your ability to deal with the change and growth that comes before role reversal. You have to keep the lines of emotional communication open; your children may be wrapped up in career, love, and friendships at this stage in their lives.

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Let them know how you feel and what you need from them. Do they avoid you because you force advice or your own choices on them? Do you bring more disappointment and judgement to the relationship than they can tolerate? Have you listened empathically to how your children feel about their choices?

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Or have you tried to find out what their unique needs are? Some adult children keep their distance because they feel injured by past experiences with you; in that case the only way to improve the relationships is to stick to these tips—listen to their hurt and admit you were wrong. Here are a few ways to bridge the gap:. Fill out the list for yourself, then move to another chair or position and fill out a list as you think your adult child would.

Now compare.

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Have you failed to recognize how the child has changed? In high-EQ families, brothers and sisters divide up responsibilities for aging parents and look forward to occasions to get all the generations together, because they all now their limits and their talents and how to convey them.

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Unfortunately, this is not an accurate portrait of many adult sibling relationships because too often history intervenes. Maybe childhood memories trigger too much resentment, jealousy, and rivalry. Whatever the problem, you can use any of the ideas in this article to renew your relationship. If you have the time, you can also try reconnecting by going away together where you will both be comfortable and undisturbed.

When your sibling responds, make sure you listen with your body, not with retorts prepared in your head. Think about ways you can make your sibling feel uniquely needed. Either is possible in any individual relationship. Getting along with a brand-new mother-in-law, therefore mother, has left unpleasant emotional memories.

How good and how deep your relationships are with extended family will depend largely on what you want them to be. Sometimes, even when you make your most open-hearted efforts, you end up disliking a relative or an in-law. Examine how much your own baggage keeps you from appreciating this person. Then accept your feelings and interact with the person only to the extent that you remain comfortable.

You may find that removing the stress of seeing him or her under that pressure opens your heart a crack wider. Cookie Policy. Learn how emotional intelligence EQ is your most effective tool for overcoming rifts and strengthening bonds.

The more demanding of your time your family is, the more you need to fit in exercise.

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Perhaps you and your family can seek out ways to exercise together. Listen if you expect to be heard. Lack of communication is the loudest complaint in most families. Manage your moods by letting all feelings be OK, but not all behaviors. Model behavior that respects and encourages the feelings and rights of others yet make it clear that we have a choice about what to do with what we feel. Teach generosity by receiving as well as giving. Giving and receiving are parts of the same loving continuum.

This is why selflessness carried to extremes is of little benefits to others. Take responsibility for what you communicate silently. The very young and old are especially sensitive to nonverbal cues. More than our words, tone of voice, posture body languageand facial expressions convey our feelings. We have to listen to our tone of voice and look at ourselves in pictures and in the mirror to assess our emotional congruency.

Let them know their own strengths and allow them to ask you for what they need. Make a lasting impression through actions. Your values will be communicated by your actions, no matter what you say.

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Be an example, not a nag. Acknowledge your errors to everyoneincluding younger family members.

16 ways to find a wife according to the bible

You can demonstrate that no one is perfect, but everyone can learn at any age. Apologizing proves you can forgive yourself and makes it easier to forgive others. When in doubt, ask! Be generous in expressing love.

Improving family relationships with emotional intelligence

Everyone in a family especially young children needs the emotional reassurance of loving words, gestures, and looks. Those who demand the least emotional attention may need it most. Print PDF.

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