Know the impact of your non-verbal and verbal communication on each otherfamilies
What people say generally accounts for 20-50% of what we communicate, the rest is down to body language. When family relationships are going through difficulties family members tend to talk less so it’s really important to be more aware of how you communicate non-verbally as well as verbally and to try to keep talking honestly.
It helps to let the person talking to you know they have your full attention, look at them and nod to signal that you’re hearing them. Where possible turn off distractions eg computer screen/TV/mobile.
Set up some ground rules including
Signal you’re listening and hearing. When the person speaking has finished it’s helpful to show that you have listened and understood eg by saying something like ‘I hear that you think that I spend too much time watching the TV and not spending enough time with the kids and that you’ve asked me to stop watching so much TV before.’ If you’re accurate the other person will probably nod and because what you’ve said is not exaggerated or point-scoring it is likely to encourage the other person to respond calmly. Talking in this way helps prevent emotions and tensions escalating. This may take practice if family conversations are often heated – but keep at it so you can have calmer conversations about important issues.