I’m not going to lie, I’ve been guilty of taking my family for granted and not giving them my undivided attention. It’s so easy to do – we are often more comfortable with our family than anyone else, anticipating what they are going to say or wondering off into a daydream whilst they are telling us about their day.
Although this doesn’t necessarily lead to conflict (unless you have a old school parent who constantly demands your undivided attention) it can cause family to feel undervalued and they may start to feel like their relationship with you is less close. Ironically, it is because we are so close that we feel comfortable enough to let our minds wonder in the first place, however, this ultimately leads to poorer family relations.
If you are fortunate to see your family often, giving them your undivided attention may be more challenging. To tackle this schedule time in your diary to catch up by phone, Skype or in person and have one on one chats, this will help you to reconnect and draw closer to one another.
If you are seeing them for the holidays you could first unpack and then sit down for a coffee or meal together where you can ask them each questions about their work, hobbies, joys and concerns.
When speaking with our parents the tendency is that they will ask us about our life but show interest by taking the opportunity to also ask them about theirs; their past, friends or even where they went on the weekend – then listen as if you were watching your favorite movie!
When you take time to give your family your undivided attention you will be more invested in their lives and feel a deeper connection to them, enjoying a closer bond with them than you might have ever thought possible!
Do you sometimes drift away whilst your family is talking with you? Do you think you could benefit from giving them more of your undivided attention? Would you like to start asking your family more about their lives? Please share your thoughts in the comments below to gain encouragement, insight and support from our community, we’d love to hear from you.