Founder’s Corner: Family Relationships: Communication, Compromise and Compassion

1. Quote

Whoever does a good deed, it is for himself, who ever acts an evil, it is against himself.

2)Family Relationships: Communication, Compromise and Compassion

We haven been actively involved in the community for over 20 years and have seen many of the family relations are broken due to lack of communication or misunderstanding on trivial issues.

Relationships are developed based on one to one relationship on explicit communication, mutual respect, compassion and compromises.

Once, we were reviewing a book on divorce and marriage breakdown, the author observed while analyzing seven cases that each case showed lack of proper communication and poor assumptions.

To be successful as a family, we need open, positive and explicit lines of communication — where everyone feels heard and respected. To strengthen our relations, we need to increase our listening skills. Give our full attention, stop what we are doing, focus on what the person is telling us and politely give feedback on what the other person is saying. We should be aware of the non-verbal/ body language we use to understand emotion, psychology and environment.

We should spend some time every day to talk and share a laugh, say during family dinners. Have one-on-one chats with each family member, even for five minutes before going to bed. To create helpful and joyful environment, we suggest doing some fun activities together as a family such as playing a soccer game or a family board game or gardening, fishing, movies, etc. Families need to make decisions together about what to do for special events like birthdays so everyone feels respected and valued, and this strengthens our relations.

Each family member should have clear expectations, limits and boundaries. We need to be open to talking about difficult things – like admitting mistakes –feelings, anger, joy, frustration, fear and anxiety, conflicts. We should be ready for spontaneous and difficult conversations with spouse and teenagers, for example, topics like sex, drugs, alcohol, school bullying, harassment, academic difficulties, money and other topics that families can find difficult to talk about.

Here comes the question of compromise and compassion. All families have conflicts and challenges – a normal behaviour of development of human relationships. But cooperating families work through disagreement by focusing on the problems and its solution, not fixing the blame. Everyone should be listening and thinking calmly, considering options, respecting other’s opinions, finding constructive solutions, and working towards compromises with give and take attitudes.

Healthy and strong families  settle disputes /conflicts by making concessions and move away from our original position or objectives. At the end, compromise is more courageous and rewarding, than siting at one end of an issue.

Additionally, we show compassion and go a bit extra, out of our way to help physical, mental or emotional pain of others. We also show mercy, especially, when one makes mistakes and be forgiving, consider it as a blessing and a new opportunity to renew and refresh relations. Remember, God is merciful, He forgives us all the time. At the end, we will be a happy and peaceful family.

Dr. Emdad Khan