Putting Emotion in Motion
Strengthening Familial Bonds with Emotional Intelligence
Photo by @mottaphotos
Family members share a lot of things. They are bonded by blood and heritage, may live under the same roof, and eat the same meals on the same table. Despite having intertwining lives, each person within one household has a different personality molded by experiences and their own view of the world which set them apart from the others. Thus, being in close proximity and spending every day with them does not guarantee that family members will always see eye to eye on everything. Misunderstanding and arguments may be inevitable, but what needs to be focused on is the ability to overcome rifts and emerge a stronger family after every challenge.
Emotional intelligence or EQ is key in maintaining harmony in the family. Mental health and behavioral science website Psychology Today defines it as the ability to identify and manage one’s own emotions, as well as the emotions of others. Having high EQ allows one to be in better control of their relationships, possessing traits such as active awareness and empathy. Being more accepting and permanently attuned to themselves and those around them give them better insight when it comes to responding to people’s needs.
Sharpening your EQ is vital in keeping peace within yourself and the home you have built. Here are some tips in building a solid foundation of emotional intelligence for your family:
- Let change begin with you. When looking for a solution to a family problem, do not just seek for answers around you. Reflect and attend to your own emotional health. Make sure that you are in the right frame of mind to deal with the situation at hand. Acknowledging your own emotional needs and being transparent about it with your family can encourage them to be more conscious of their emotional health and to care for those who may need emotional assistance.
- Be persistent in building trust. Being consistent in expressing emotional awareness is vital in fostering trust within the family. As such, practice mindfulness in your daily interactions with your family. Be more conscious especially around children, as they are more susceptible to feelings of fear and confusion when something beyond their comprehension occurs.
- Don’t get stuck in the past. People often refer to “old times” during conversations. While it’s easy to reference what we know, it may not be representative of who your family member is at present. Express interest and show that you want to be involved in their life by asking for details and listening with body mind and body. Through their stories, you should be able to have an idea on where they are in their personal journeys, and what you can do to support them.
- Cherish family milestones. They say change is the only constant thing in the world, and it is also true when it comes to family. As years pass, children grow up and parents grow old. The house becomes less crowded and more quiet. Instead of worrying about circumstances beyond our control, learn to embrace change and navigate your way around it. Live in the moment and create memories that can transcend time. Practice patience and empathy towards those who are having a hard time adjusting to change.
Wisdom shouldn’t not just stem from the mind. It should also emanate from the heart, and touch others in a way that action or words cannot. Developing emotional intelligence is, at its core, an act of love – a way to ensure that the family stays together in mind, body, and soul.